Sunday, August 23, 2009

Independently Dependent

Though this was at first a funny event and all my friends and I shared a good laugh over it on Skype. The entire situation made me thought about my life, my current and future life.

When I got hurt, a lot of people said I would never be independent again. PT (Physical Therapist) and OT (Occupational Therapist) can only teach you and show you so much. PT and OT can show you the ropes and with practice you can even "master" little things that will make your life a whole lot easier. But there is always a line, an extremely thin line that separates being independent and relying on others to help.

Yesterday afternoon, after being sick of sitting in my wheelchair, I decided to take a break and just lay down on the ground. Like I have said before, if you haven't lay on the ground for so long, the floor in your bedroom can make you feel like you're laying on clouds. So I transferred out of my chair and lay there on the ground for a couple minutes. Well guess I must have passed out because when I open my eyes again, it was hours later.

If you didn't know before, an uncle of mine (one that my parents didn't bother telling me about) showed up early Saturday morning and left a note for Mom. Yesterday night we were supposed to go out and have dinner with him. That was the plan anyways and well, I overslept. I guess Mom just got tired of waiting and telling me to wake up, so she left, without me.

By the time I got up and was about to get in my chair. I realized that my chair wasn't at the place where I left it. In fact, it wasn't even in my room at all. Still half asleep I texted Mom and asked her. She told me she "hid it" and I "will get it back" when she comes home. Crap. That means I am stuck in my bedroom with no way of getting off of the ground. Trust me, if you think getting from the floor to bed is that easy, it ain't. (Probably because I have never transfer from the ground to my bed before and trust me, there's a huge height difference) So after several attempts at actually getting in bed. I said forget it. I was getting exhausted just trying to climb back in bed. So laying and sitting on the ground, I watched and shifted my weight every so often so I wouldn't end up with nasty pressure sores.

I was feeling lonely, yes my dog was here but sitting on the floor and not being able to get in bed or do anything was starting to get to me. I felt like a prisoner in my own room. I felt like as if I was going to die there, the feeling of wanting to do something but can't because of a physical limitation it can really get to you and fast.

I told my friends, they laughed and when I added "I rather be grounded than this again." and one friend replied, "You are grounded...literally." The group of us had a good laugh about it. Ya I laughed with them but there was more hiding behind the laugh. Now, roughly 12 hours later Mom's still not back (and I would careless why) I was getting frustrated, maybe Mom was doing this to mess with me. Maybe she just want me to be truly piss off and think about the meaning of something. Anything!

But now, writing this blog, I'm not pissed anymore. I'm more glad than pissed for some reason. I thought about a lot sitting here on the ground. I thought about the true definition of "independent". I've always been an independent person, I wanted to try to learn to ride the bike myself. I wanted to hit the t-ball myself. Everything was "LET ME TRY FIRST" and never "can you show me?" After I got hurt, that fear of not being independent swallowed me whole. It wasn't until mid way through rehab I realized "hey it ain't that bad, I can still be independent, do things myself." and boy I was really happy about it. I can still remember pushing myself in the house that day I came home. I still remember trying to transfer into bed on my own without supervision. I just wanted to be independent because that is who I am and that's who I want to be.

And now I realize, though as much as I want to live independently on my own. After getting hurt "independent" just isn't possible anymore. The true independent was gone the day I broke my neck. I will never be able to live independently, but rather, live independently dependent. There will be times just like this that I will HAVE to ask for help. There will be curbs that I can't just "hop" on over. There will be times I will need help. And if you really know me...I HATE asking for help.

And with that, I hope that one day in the future I can find my other half. The person who not only will love me for who I am, for my stubbornness and the one who will challenge me more than I wish for. And when it comes the time, help me be independently dependent. Help me feel like as if I never got hurt and make me feel alive.

I sure hope that will happen for me.

There was also a few extra things I realized:

1. How grateful I am to be living in a country where wheelchairs are available for those in need. I cannot imagine living in a country when after such injury like SCI, you're pretty much done with life.
2. How grateful I am to have my parents who constantly challenge me to do more even though they know I already am pushing myself to the limit.
3. How the best friends in the world aren't often the ones to give you a hug and tell you it's going to be ok. The best friends are usually the ones that can laugh AT you and WITH you at the same time.
4. I am a quadriplegic, I am a survivor of Spinal Cord Injury, and I am a survivor of my worse enemy: myself. And though at times I lose the battle with this enemy, there's always ways to beat myself at my own game.
5. No matter how pissed I am at Mom hiding my chair, I'm glad she did it. Without her doing this, I probably wouldn't have thought about all this.

So Mom, thank you, really. And I'm not pissed anymore, just give me my chair back.

Well ok maybe just a bit edgy.
I love you Mom.

Dad if you can somehow read this, you should know that Mom said "If your Dad was home, he'd take your chair apart and hide them all throughout the house! So you should be grateful I'm so nice to you." It made us chuckle because we both know that's what you'd do.
Come home soon Dad.


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