Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Journey into disability

How many of my readers are disabled parents?

Adjusting to any life changing event can be a journey, with mountains, valleys and plateaus. I feel that on my journey as a parent with a disability I have reached a rather peaceful plateau.

When I first used a wheelchair I looked at it as something to only be used in the worst moments of desperation, to be avoided if at all possible. It appeared to be a restriction, a limit imposed on me as well as the rest of the family.

Over time I have come to view my wheelchairs as my ticket to freedom. With my manual chair I can make myself a cup of tea or tidy up even when my legs won't hold me. I can once again do some of the shopping myself and browsing around a shop is very freeing. My electric wheelchair gives me the independence to take Small to the park or to nip out for a loaf of bread, without needing Big to chaperone us!

Last week I met with an Occupational Therapist, who watched me in my home and suggested some hand rails and seating to make the house a little safer and more accessible. A few years ago I would have resisted, not wanting to admit that I needed equipment that I would associate with my grandparents! These days I can see that saving a bit of energy and pain by using a wheelchair or a hand rail means I have more in reserve to do enjoyable things. It seems so obvious but it took a while to gain the acceptance I needed.

Each step on this journey makes me a more able woman, wife and mother.

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