After my marathon nine day hospitalization in November 2015, I expected to enter that hospital in a wheelchair and exit in a week with flat feet and the ability to walk again. Yet, I was discharged from the hospital and sent on my way in a wheelchair just as bad as I went in. I wasted nine days of my adolescent life and Thanksgiving Break.
For 50 days now, I have been completely dependent on my wheelchair to get around. I've been dependent on a shower chair to independently take shower. I have been completely dependent on my family to drive me to taekwondo, doctors appointments, school, everywhere essentially. The psychological ramifications of this sudden loss of independence have been huge. At first, I was terribly depressed and angry at the world. Eventually, I realized that it was counterproductive and I was only hurting myself and those around me even worse.
I have essentially been sapped of my ability to be entirely independent. I am unable to help my family with certain household chores, like cleaning up after the dogs, letting them outside to go to the bathroom, and feeding them. Because they are so strong and I am in a wheelchair, I am too vulnerable to control them. I can't drive to pick up dinner. I wish that I could run some errands, so that my parents don't have to do as much.
While I have gained some serious arm and back muscles from pushing myself around in the chair that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson would be jealous of, I'd rather have my legs back.
Even though I was able to test for my black belt from my wheelchair, I miss being able to do taekwondo the way that I am used to doing it. Now that the snow is flying, I so desperately wish that I could be out on the slopes carving out some turns. I miss hanging with my ski patrol friends running rescue calls and saving people in some pretty desperate situations.
After over 7 weeks, I think I am finally getting used to speeding around on wheels. I am thrilled to be moving back into my own apartment and attending classes full time during the next semester. I will be busy with EMS, the Pitt Dance Marathon, writing, blogging, and maintaining my apartment. I will be very busy, but I am looking forward to my custom wheelchair fitting that should be occurring some time after I return to school. Insurance will cover it fortunately, and I have requested that it be a manual chair, so that I can keep my arms in shape. The wheelchair I have right now is just about ready to fall apart. I am just hoping that it lasts until I get the new chair. I just hope it has some personality, because I know that it needs an awesome name! :)