Transitioning to the Full Disclosure Model with my peeps is one of the best decisions I ever made. Actually, there was no “transition” with Gen – she knew it all within 5 minutes of our meeting. I could explain it better to CMD after she treated JJ and I could refer to “My friend from Africa” so it made more sense. I had told Trainer D a little bit about it all when he first got up in my grill (and called in the professional help – Smurfette – for a casual consult) about my food soon after we met. But it really came out of left field for Coach R.
He didn’t flinch. None of my peeps did – they just absorbed the impact of what I was saying and we have continued to roll merrily along in pursuit of a higher level of health with a shared understanding of my situation.
The only person I noticed flinching was Ann|Ning. I still do sometimes, even though our interactions have gotten so much easier since I no longer have to keep track of who knows what. But I can still get caught by surprise.
Example: Some team members were talking about the big Powerball jackpot last week and Coach R asked me what I’d do if I had a billion dollars.
This is an extremely benign question. It’s the sort of thing you could ask in an icebreaker exercise for team building among strangers, and we are not strangers.
But a lump rose to my throat anyway and I blinked hard as my mind flew through the things I’d like to attend to but can’t. Of course, this led me to think of what people who win or inherit big bucks might do – buy real estate, cars, etc., and I stifled another sigh. These things don’t fit in with my lifestyle.
Finally, I thought, I have my wheelchair. I have everything I need.
A long time ago I told you I’d introduce you to Red, my wheelchair. It hasn’t happened yet, but it will. I just have to pull it together enough to write that post. But I’ll tell you now that it was a direct answer to prayer. I had been praying for a long time that the Lord would give me “something for me,” because I can no longer enjoy so many of the things I used to.
I hit on the idea of a wheelchair over a year ago as I anticipated more travel, and said, Lord, I’d really love a Tilite 2GX titanium chair with tubular arms and swing away footrests, but I could never afford one. I wanted it to be titanium so it would be super light bc I’m not the one carrying it. I haunted a wheelchair website online for weeks and built the model of my dreams and determined that I couldn’t justify spending that much considering that I’m only an occasional wheelchair user.
Then, guess what happened? “My” chair showed up on Craig’s List. Seriously, based on my EBay research, the chances of finding a model with your specs at a discount is slim to none. Ernie and Tanpo took me to see it (near E&R’s house) and I got to test drive it to make sure it fit. A2 was the last person to “seat” me properly, and that was while I was in inpatient at RIO (3rd hospital) – I knew my numbers from then but my situation has changed. Happily, it fit, and Ernie and Daddy took care of the money handling. And then J said she’d bedazzle it for me. We made a day of it and with KAR, who lobbied strongly and successfully for sparkly streamers :).
So I’ve been enjoying my chair ever since! It’s something just for me that is simultaneously meaningful and useful, even if I only use it once in a while.
A few months ago I cried a little and told Mommy, I miss my pretty clothes.
We’ll work on getting you some pretty clothes, she comforted me. But I said, “No, thanks,” bc I don’t really need pretty clothes to live like this. Right now my mindset is: the more I own, the more I need to clean, or move out of the way so I can clean the table etc. Besides, I have already decided on my uniform (all black workout wear) so I don’t have to think – I just grab things and put them on.
One morning I sat in the lobby of The Gym dutifully sipping my Chocolate Ensure since I had just seen Trainer D and am trying to abide by the new liquid protein rule. A cute little kid, maybe 3-4 years old, came skipping up to the chair next to me and his mom busily zipped him up into his coat in preparation for their walk to the car.
He had been sick (his mom kept on feeling his forehead), and he was busily asking her for some chocolate milk as she attended to his coat.
Don’t worry, buddy – we’re going to go get the BIGGEST chocolate milk you’ve EVER seen, she assured him.
But the promise of this future delight was difficult for the boy to grasp. As his coat got zipped up as high as it would go he looked over at me sipping my Ensure, and told his mom in a loud stage whisper full of awe and longing, Look at THAT one.
I laughed and laughed, and told him I was sure his would be a lot yummier than mine. But I’ve thought of that incident for the past week. That kid had only one wish in the world. And I had what he wanted.
I don’t flash back to Medical scenes as often anymore. What has been troubling me lately are flash backs to scenes of every day life – the clothes I used to wear, the handbags I used to carry, the jewelry and shoes I chose so carelessly every day since I fell back on my favorites so often. I knew what worked, and surrounded myself with the wardrobe and teacups etc. that made my life easy and beautiful. It’s all gone now. But I’m learning that I have everything I need. And more.