Living Life

Jesus, Me, and the Kitchen Table

Life is Different Now

It’s been over 3 years since the accident that caused me to be paralyzed. At first, I was so accepting of it all… I think the reason I could accept it so easily is that I KNEW I was going to be healed. And I still have faith for this. But I admit, some days it is easier than others. Some may think it was the phase of denial in adjusting to a disability. Maybe that was part of it, too. But when you go from being able to walk one minute to not being able to, there is no denying it! When you start to get up out of the bed only to realize you are stuck, reality has just hit you upside the head!

Life is different now… ¬†And each person with paralysis has their own unique experience, I’m sure. And it’s true that I still have some adjusting to do. The way I experience life in every avenue is different now. Here are some examples:

Going to the store: I have to carry my own shopping bag so I can put my items in it while I’m shopping. It probably looks like I’m shoplifting! I can only get as many items as will fit into the bag. I love stores like Brookshire’s that have the rolling carts with a long handle on them. And they don’t put them in the front where everyone will get them.

Getting Gas: I can pump my own gas, but it’s kinda tough. My biggest fear in doing this is that someone will (again) run over my ramp. I’ve learned to put it up AS SOON as I get out of the van! If I was not in a power chair there is no way I could do the gas thing independently. And even though gas stations have a “handicapped” procedure like honk your horn and someone will come out to you, it doesn’t work. The attendants are busy and they did not come out the one time I tried it.

Work: I work in a 5 story building. My office used to be on the 4th floor with the other consultants. My employer accommodated me with a large office on the 1st floor all to myself. It is awesome! Enough room for my wheelchair and my things. One of our custodians raised my desk to a good height for me. My work day is flexible. All of this is so appreciated. But I’m not allowed off the 1st floor unless I get permission. That way they can make sure there are enough people around to carry me out in case of a fire. I really appreciate the concern for my safety, but at the same time this is very isolating. I seldom get to see any of my coworkers. Sometimes a new hire is made and I don’t even know who they are until the staff meeting. And then I don’t see them enough to remember who they are when I do see them. There are a couple of them who are both thin and blonde that I can’t tell apart. I miss being able to be with the others. But it is what it is until it’s not. Travel is also a problem. I can’t go out of region to meetings. I don’t have anyone to help me with medical routines while I’m gone and I can’t afford to pay someone the extra it would cost. This is also very isolating because in my field we are a close-knit group. And I know so many people and miss seeing them.

Sleep: I sleep on one side or the other all night. My husband turns me every 2-3 hours all night long. This is necessary to prevent pressure sores. My arms get sore sometimes and keeps me awake. I try not to turn more often because I don’t want to wake him up before it’s time to turn the next time.

Daily life: We had to start having a care-giver come to help me in the mornings and night. So now, no matter what we hve to get up at the same time unless I call to get a later time on the weekends. But we like her a lot. She has been very helpful and I’ve gotten to know her over these pst few months. I don’t get to go anywhere at nigth unless I can be home by 7 or 8:30 every night. 7 some nights, 8:30 the others. It is very limiting. There are lots of ministry activities we can’t attend and other events, too.

Health: Some days are better than others, but the days when I feel anywhere as good as I did before paralysis are few and far between. I never know how I will feel until I wake up and get going. Sometimes I feel “fine” and other times I am either sleepy and can’t stay awake or I am in severe pain. UTIs are a constant threat and I usually end up taking about one antibiotic a month.

So all this sounds pretty dismal, right? But here’s the silver lining you’ve been hoping for!

Spiritually: Things have never been better! I’m not where I want to be, but I’m not where I used to be! Praise God! I am so much stronger because of all that has happened to me. The Lord IS near to me and I thank Him for that, because I could not make it if He wasn’t. That is no lie.

Friends: I have found out who my true friends are. They are the ones who come to see me or call and check on me, who help when they can. They are the ones who pray for us and hold us up. It is definitely true that you find out who your real firends are when something goes wrong.

So I have not given up on my healing. I know that what my God said is His Word is true. I know He will do what He said He will do. He is not a man that He should lie. So it is a matter of His timing and prevailing in prayer. Prayer is the key. God wants us His children to pray. That is how He partners with us to get things done on this earth! So if you want to help, then please PRAY without ceasing with us.

So life is diffeent now for the good as well as the challenges we face.

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