Yesterday almost made me cry. I saw the wound care team and the doctor has permitted me to sit up in my wheelchair as needed. Yes, I still have two wounds, one small the other not so small. The more serious wound has under mining that they think is caused by constant bending in my hip. Asked how to reduce bending the hip I replied "sitting up". Well, let's try that was the reply. I was too stunned to reply and a host of restrictions were added to this glorious news--reduce transfers to a bare minimum, no trips out to the store, relieve pressure every five minutes etc. All this is fine with me and common sense. I do after all have two wounds. The odd thing is I do not know what to do with myself. I slept late and was literally afraid to get up. I was afraid of transferring from bed to wheelchair. Could I do it alone? Of course I can but no one was present to spot me. What I am feeling most now is fatigue and soreness. My arms and shoulders ache just from being up. It is the most wonderful ache I have ever felt.
It is impossible to relate how happy I am. I have my life back--I am alone! My black lab Kate is even happier, she wants to play. play, play. I can cook, clean, and be independent at home. Although this is nothing short of awesome one thought has been constant in the last 24 hours and brings me to tears--I am forever thankful to my family for sacrificing on my behalf. They provided care for me in a way no other people ever could. They did not do this for a day or two but for weeks on end without reprieve. Not once did a family member ever complain or make me feel like an imposition. Not once did anyone get mad at me even though there were times I was a royal pain the ass. When I needed space, I was given it. When I needed to voice my concerns, they listened. In short, each and every family member was as close to perfect as we humans can be. I suspect they would be mad at me for writing this because I must say I owe them all a great debt. Without them I would have ended up in a nursing home, an institutional setting that would have crushed my spirit. Instead, I was empowered at home--empowered by the love of my family. Today, I celebrate not for myself but for them--they made this happy day possible.
What have I done since I have gotten up? Well, I reorganize my kitchen, a job I really enjoyed. I cooked an early lunch to celebrate and read a book outside. I played with my dog. These basics don't sound like much but they made my spirits soar. Just think in another month I may even get to drive to the store. What I need to be very aware of is not to over do things. I am eager to split and carry fire wood and do major outdoor chores. But that will need to wait. For now sitting is more than enough. And not sitting too much or too little. I will seek a good balance and rely on wound care to determine that I am still making progress. I have come to far thanks to my family to have a set back. So my joy though heart felt is tempered by reality--I must not over do and be stupid. Event with this proviso I cannot help but be overjoyed.
Paralyzed since I was 18 years old, I have spent much of the last 30 years thinking about the reasons why the social life of crippled people is so different from those who ambulate on two feet. After reading about the so called Ashley Treatment I decided it was time to write a book about my life as a crippled man. My book, Bad Cripple: A Protest from an Invisible Man, will be published by Counter Punch. I hope my book will completed soon.
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Friday, November 19, 2010
Wound Care: A Spectacular Day
Posted by william Peace at 8:28 AM
PhD 1992 in anthropology Columbia University, I am interested in disability rights and bioethics.
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You're more awesome than I am any day of the week. Congratulations!
BTW, if you want to come over to my house and organize my kitchen just to prove your awesomeness, I'll have a cold one waiting for you.
Congratulations! And many,many karma points for your family and friends and, of course, Kate.
BCC, I will take the cold one but skip the reorganizing.
Becs, I know of few or no other family that will go to the lengths of care I was given. I am truly blessed.
Oh, that's encouraging news! Glad to hear it.
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