Friday, January 8, 2016

Life in a Wheelchair

So... yep. I'm in a wheelchair for a while. Hopefuly temporary but we're not really sure what's going on. I woke up the day after christmas and couldn't walk. My feet were really painful and a little swollen. Not like pregnancy swollen, like my muscles are swollen. There have been a lot of dr appointments and a lot of waiting. They were hoping it was inflammation caused by being sick with colds/ear infections etc for so long and that it would go away as suddenly as it came. But it hasn't gone away and they're thinking it might be something else. Words like Vascular and Auto-immune keep coming up. 

I've come to realize a lot of things in the past couple weeks. 1. My house is not wheelchair friendly. 2. Messy little kids are not wheelchair friendly either, but they do like to go for rides on my lap. 3. My history of achievement-based worth issues are not helped by me needing to keep my feet raised for weeks.
 4. Wheelchairs are awesome, but needing one sucks.

Alright, that's kind of a negative view. I've been trying to learn a lot about humility. That there's unique learning that can come from being faced with your own frailty. That learning to receive service without shame is vital to being able to serve without judgement. That I offer more to my family than just housework, driving, cooking, etc. That I can be content, grateful, and happy even with such a low level of functionality. That Russell is really kind, patient, and willing to take over the kids and the house.

Man, I just really like all of those lessons better on paper. Trying to live them is much much harder. I've always loved being independent. Life got better once I could drive. Even better with a job. Even better with my own apartment. I remember just loving having the freedom to get up and go without many hangups. I've capped that freedom significantly by having kids. Now my body's almost annihilated it by hijacking my feet. But part of me can't help but think that while freedom is nice, it's maybe overrated. Okay okay, simmer down all you property-worshiping country-singing folks. Freedom is important, but it needs to be measured in balance with the other parts of life.  

Freedom of mobility is nice - but it's not as deeply important and meaningful as being able to help my son figure out why he's upset and what to do with those feelings. It's nice to be able to go wherever I want whenever I want, but it is deeply nourishing to read to my kids. It is true that having kids limits your choices, but that's not the whole truth. There's a bigger story there - and honesty, acceptance, and perspective help to reveal it.

Maybe there are unique things that being limited even further by a wheelchair can teach me as well. 


Abby said...

I've never thought about freedom that way before! Whatever choice you make comes with conditions. Choosing not to have a family limits you too, just in different ways. That idea of needing to accept service to give it without judgment is also brilliant! Thanks for sharing all you're discoveries, you're so good at putting it all into words. Hope your feet get better soon!

Dean, Andrea, Tanner, Landon, & Braddock said...

This is freaking me out a bit!! Not sure how you're taking care of three kids from a wheelchair but your attitude sounds far better than mine would be! Keep us posted and you're in my prayers!!