More writing from early 2017..
It is a dreary wet day and I haven’t been home long. I left work late, but not late enough to be a big deal. After all I have the whole night to myself as Janelle is working.
Little did I know what was coming.
My chair goes in the car, nice and easy. It is an uneventful drive home. I put the chair back together without much thought. But then I go to grab my cushion and realize that I have slipped down the side of the drivers seat in a way that means I can’t reach it.
Looking at the chair I think I could transfer in to it without the cushion. But that would be bad and cause problems of its own. So instead I lift myself back into the drivers seat. Grab the cushion and throw it on the chair. Now I should be ready to transfer.
That cushion has been the bane of my existence lately. Always moving or bunching up every time I transfer. The key being to lift my big fat ass up high enough, so I don’t pull the cushion out of place. So this is what I an focusing on as I start to transfer.
Normally a transfer will feel like you are moving a little up then out to your destination. Once arrived you will then turn around properly getting in to the chair.
This transfer felt more like up then straight down. A sharp pain in my knees, some parts of my body really don’t like to stretch! I have effectively slid down the seat. I lift myself up again. This time not quite getting up to the edge of seat. Effectively trapped in a position where I wont fall down but I am constantly struggling to lift up.
I hang in this position for what seems like forever, but must have been only five minutes. Straining struggling for that last centimeter of height so I can be on the seat properly. At last with relief I am back in the seat.
I wait a few minutes, and then try again. I fall straight down. Stuck and exhausted, my phone starts to ring. No way I can answer this call. Two or three more times I try and fail. Honestly I loose count. Back in the Drivers seat, truly exhausted. My thoughts basically just a constant stream of curse words. As I was struggling I am sure more than a few of them were said out loud. It seems 30 to 45 minutes have passed, maybe more. My car engine running the whole time. My phone rings again, this call I can answer. My call finished I wait a few minutes and try to transfer again.
This time it works, don’t get me wrong it isn’t pretty. Now I am finally in my chair. The push up the ramp feels like I am pushing up a mountain but finally I am home!
For reasons I don’t really understand my body doesn’t like going backwards. Every time I have to whether it is lifting or just moving my feet, it seems unnatural. Every action takes much more thought and effort. Often the actions have to be broken down in to much smaller parts. Maybe my brain is wired to just keep moving forward.
As I was in my car struggling to get up on to the top of the seat each time. I know people were going past, watching, seeing me struggle. Not one person approached me, or asked if I needed a hand. I don’t really know how to feel about that.
Part of me feels relief as I didn’t have to tell them that there is nothing that they can do to help me, but thanks anyway. Particularly if it is a person who is obviously fit and able. Another feels sad that people won’t reach out to help someone who is struggling, even if really there is nothing they can do. The biggest part of me just feels shame. Shame that they saw, but also shame that I was in that situation in the first place.
Often when I struggle I know I look ridiculous. In my mind I see a big stranded whale flopping around on land. In moments of positivity. I can imagine that some people seeing my struggle in a positive light, without pity. But all to often you know that people have no idea why you struggle, thinking to themselves, thank God that isn’t me.
I love driving and the freedom that it gives me, but when I struggle like this I really do feel like a one armed bandit. Almost everything can just seem too hard. Just once even for a little while I would I love to be one of those physically able people. From the outside it seems like going anywhere or doing anything is just so easy.