Thursday, July 7, 2016

Goodbye Canes

It is with a strange bitter sweetness that I give away my canes.  I remember when I reluctantly began to use one, I had so much pride, I was so insecure about being seen with it.  The day that I made it all the way up my hill from downtown, I learned that pride had held me back from so much.  What I had originally saw as a symbol of confinement was actually my access to freedom.

Though my legs and vertigo seemed to only get worse and eventually a wheelchair became necessary for many out of home tasks, they paved the way for my acceptance of the wheelchair, or at least for not being embarrassed to be seen in it.  

All trials are teachers, this I believe.  So if I could be candid with those I love, I'd really like to share some first hand knowledge with you:

I don't wish to speak for everyone with an assistive device, but I think it is safe to say this:
We are generally tired and in pain when we are out, that is why we have the assistive device.  It is draining to explain our medical situation to people who sees us, it is also draining to find ways to politely not tell you our medical situation, mostly because we know you are coming from a good place and we do not wish to hurt your feelings.  A simple: Hey how are you? Will suffice.  If we feel like talking about why we suddenly have a cane or wheelchair we will.  Otherwise, please carry on as if nothing is different.  For my part, I was acutely aware of how different things were for me and I really appreciated any sort of normality I could get at that time.

I am so grateful for the lessons I recieved during my time of disability.  I know it's time to let go of my fear of ever needing to hold my canes again.  Faith.  I'm crying right now because I truly have faith in my body to be healthy and strong, and I feel for that woman who was me who thought she may never walk unassisted again.  

I am a miracle.  I forget that some days, but not today.