Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Bump and I

Tomorrow my power chair comes back. I am conflicted. Not by the 900 dollar repair bill, which was enough to knock the wind out of me, but by the fact that I'm wondering about how to incorporate it back into my life. This stands in stark contrast as to how I felt when they took it into the shop. Then I almost mourned its loss in my life. Everything suddenly seemed either harder or impossible.

But then, as disabled people do expertly, I adapted. But oddly, I didn't just adapt, I thrived. I pushed longer and longer distances and began to conquer steeper and longer ramps. I began liking the strength in my arms and the delicious sense of tiredness that came from really hard physical work. After a few weeks, I didn't much miss the chair.This was helped by the fact that the weather was really cold out and the WheelTrans buses were warm inside.

So yesterday Joe and I talked about the chair and it's return. I think I might have surprised him when I said that I wanted to use it, but use it less. I picked out some places where we've had to do a lot of organizing with rides and where there 'push potential' is small. Those places, where we go to a lot, I'll use the power chair. But places where the 'push potential' is significant, where we also go a lot, I'd like to stick with the buses and my manual chair.

I realized that I have relied on my power chair more than I needed to. It's easy, it's quick and it's fast, but it also takes away from me my ability to do things for myself and my potential for growth. Just the other day I forgot that I couldn't do something and therefore, I did it. It took me by surprise when I realized what had happened. The only reason that it happened was because, physically, my arms are stronger, my body is more flexible and I have more confidence in trying things previously out of reach.

900$ is a lot of money. I'm still shocked at the cost. But overall, I'm glad this happened. I'm glad that I was forced to adapt and change. What I thought was going to be a catastrophic event was only a bump in the road, a bump I now have the strength to get over.


Unknown said...

Good to have choices....and to have accepted the unwelcome event as an opportunity to change. Not focusing on what was lost and putting your energy into figuring out a new way to get around is a process that takes a lot of strength of character. And now you have more muscle strength, too!
You've got me thinking...

Liz Miller said...

Thank you for this post.

Frank_V said...

Like all tools, your power chair is there when you need it. (Well, when it's not broken that is). Keep building those muscles, and use the power chair when it makes sense, and keep working out.

The same way people who can walk drive their cars, we don't need to second guess ourselves too much, so long as we keep up our workout regimes. Speaking of which, my Pilates band awaits!

Ron Arnold said...

Tell you what - at least for me . . . physical exertion / using my strength is the single best anti-depressant there is. I hope you find just the right balance and continue to gain strength and stamina!

kstableford said...

"Just the other day I forgot that I couldn't do something and therefore, I did it." I LOVE that.