Since being in the wheelchair full-time since graduation walking became something that was very rarely done. While standing was something I tried to do every day. I admit I was clueless, lazy, and there were days I did not stand at all. Of course I look back now and wish I had paid better attention to my mom when she would say to me "If you don't use it, you will lose it." It made things so much easier for me especially during those menial everyday tasks that I had even taken for granted before things got really difficult. Like carrying a full glass of something to drink. I could just sit in my lap, and not have to worry about trying to walk with it. Not to mention spilling half of it along the way. I used to sit a TV tray across my lap, and only connect one side of the legs to the tray. That way I would not always have to get out of my chair to eat. I did get out of my chair though when we would have dinner at the dinner table. I also had a door mirror that was on my closet door of my bedroom. I would sit in my chair with my curling iron, and make-up to get myself ready for the day. Before using the chair I would just sit on the floor (I would still do that from time to time as it was good exercise for me to get up-and-down from the floor). Because of doing this I had several burn marks on my legs, and on my forehead from trying to curl my bangs! If you didn’t know me you would think I was being abused! It is not very noticeable, but I do have a scar on the left side of my forehead. The pain I would go through, and all for beauty! I also had a lawn chair that would sit in the tub so that I could shower without having to worry about falling. Getting undressed to get in there was always tricky, but I managed to do it! The biggest obstacle for me at that time (and still remains) is going to the restroom. Because our bathroom door like bunches of the bathroom doors is the smallest door in the house my wheelchair was unable to fit in there. So I had to park my chair in the hallway, wobble into the bathroom, and shut the door. The stool was right next to the door. Because my balance was so bad I was having to lean against the counter to try to steady myself enough to get my pants down. I would end up with all of these scratches on my lower back because our countertop was not rounded at the ends. I had even fallen a few times. My parents both worked, and my brother had moved out by this time so I was home alone during the day. My kidneys and blatter were not patient enough to wait 8 or so hours. Imagine that! So our neighbor across the street, Harold, was a carpenter (he built his own house!) came over to look and see if he could widen our bathroom door. Without much hesitation he came over, and dropped what that he was doing. He widened the way and installed a new door. He even drilled a grab bar in the door so I would have something to hold onto that was sturdy instead of leaning against the counter. It was a big relief and blessing to have that done. Along with a great security factor. Harold never did charge anything for his time. Now that I could fit my wheelchair into the door it did not seem to take as much time to go to the bathroom, and I did not fall any more or have scratches on my back! Our bathroom was not huge so I could not do donuts in there or anything. I would actually go in backwards so that I would be facing the grab bar.
Harold is another big hearted individual that deserves a shout out on my blog! I have special memories with the whole family. I have mentioned some of those memories throughout my blog already. I try to keep in contact with all of them by way of Christmas cards and stuff. I mostly talk to Diane on e-mail. She even made a surprise visit to my college graduation a couple of years ago! I love them all!
I learned to make do with what I had around me at the time. I would love for you to share about a time when you had to make do with what you had. How did you do it? Maybe you can share a trick that would be helpful for not only me, but someone else!
Thank you for taking the time to read, Miss S