In early August, I experienced my first major joint injury since becoming paralyzed, which I’ve blogged about previously. It was my shoulder, it’s been a long healing process and to top it all off, it put the kibosh on me being able to drive my van.
Reverting back to my old 25 year old self, of not being able to drive and relying on others to take me where I needed to, was a rude wakeup call. I had completely forgotten how frustrating the lifestyle of constantly looking for a ride, a driver for my vehicle or scheduling a cab can be. I think I might have put it out of my memory because I hated it so much (memories of being entirely dependent are never a pleasant).
Luckily, my caregivers were competent enough to drive my van and help me run my errands the past couple months – groceries, the bank, therapy appointments, the mall – everything mundane that needed to be done, they helped me get there. It was an odd feeling reverting back in function though Is this what it would feel like if could magically walk for a day, and then had to go back to using a wheelchair?
It’s so easy to forget the tough times. Who wants to remember bad things? Those two months of not being able to drive were a huge life lesson; the lesson of being grateful for what you have in whatever moment you’re currently in. You just never know when things will take a turn for the worse.
So I also learned how to be patient, even more so than I already am. It seems every year there’s another big lesson to learn as a quadriplegic; it’s a constant personality enhancing process, folks. Let’s just hope there is really something after we die, otherwise all the lessons we learned in this life will go vamoosh once we’re gone. Sadness.
Luckily, I was able to reclaim my driving ability, but it cost $1800 to make it a reality. We improved the already-there zero-effort steering in my van, making it at least 70% easier to steer, and thankfully that was enough of a solution. I am now utterly broke though, but I can drive. Maybe now I can drive to score some free grub somewhere?
All I know is that it’s never easy having to ask people for help when you already do in so many other areas. That was the toughest lesson in all of this. In the disability life – you never know what is gonna happen next. You just need to be patient with whatever comes at you, and deal with it with as much grace as possible.
Has an injury set you back for a spell? How did you deal with the temporary loss of independence?