Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Who is in control?

Most of my life, I have felt in control of my days and plans. As a young "Yuppie" I did what I wanted, worked hard, earned good money and only worried about finding a husband.

As a "young" married, things didn't quite go to plan. Number 2 child born with a serious heart problem, money problems, no job etc. But still I felt in control.

Then bang, age 44, my health goes and my life is totally "out of control". But I am still stuck with this control obsession Looking back over the years prior to my disability, I often wonder if could have done something to prevent it, as I hadn't really felt 100% well for a number of years.

Even now, I haven't learnt the lesson. I try to plan my days and things go wrong. This week, my physiotherapist said I must spend more time in a chair, and less time in a wheelchair. The next day, as I was out walking and a wheel fell off my wheelchair and I was forced to sit in a chair most of the day!

So who is in control? There is a good yiddish saying that encapsulates this well:
"A mensch tracht, und die Ebishter lacht".
Roughly translated, it means a man makes plans, and Hashem laughs!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

4-wheel drive

Yes, there has come a day when I can use a 4-wheel walker! Not an easy thing to do when your body and legs are like a wobbly-bendy doll...

With 4 wheels the walker can go real fast which is a bit of a problem for me. There are brakes and a seat, but even these are difficult to use. I guess it's like all my other equipment - push weelchair, standard walker, leg casts - in the beginning they were all hard to use. Right now, I need very close supervision to use it. But in the future who knows?

Now winter has started in Israel, getting to walk outside has become more difficult. So I guess I'll be trying out the 4-wheel drive around the house.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Disabled or Physically Challenged?

I don't like putting labels on people for any reason - from religious outlook to political views. But just recently a friend recently asked me how I would describe myself. So I have a dilemna.

In Hebrew, it's OK as I only know one word, and I usually only use it if I want help. In English, though, I don't like any of the words you could use:

Disabled. It could be either mentally or physically. not me

Handicapped. Same as above.

Wheelchair bound. Not strictly true, as I can walk with a walker (as long as someone is near me to catch me if I fall!)

Sick. Could be anything from terminally ill to sick in the head. Too broad a description.

Physically Challenged. Very politically correct and in my case also technically correct. But it doesn't really feel like me.

Actually I just would like to describe myself as "NORMAL", because that is how I see myself. Does anyone else have some other ideas? Just don't say crazy!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

One of my legs needs oiling

Well, not my leg actually, but the leg cast needs oiling. Everytime I walk it squeaks!

This is an update on my walking progress, and general attitude to life.

After 2 years of being wheel-chair bound I am fed up of doing exercise for the sake of it. My phyiotherapists set me lots of boring exercise to do on my own, like lifting my legs up, sit ups, playing with plasticine etc. Mostly these exercises involve lying in bed, sometimes with the help of my care-worker. I just can't motivate myself everyday for at least 30 minutes. I need a life!

So this year, I have decided to do things I like doing. Walking outside is fine, and I can now walk to the nearest supermarket, which is very exciting. Today I walked inside a shopping mall which was fun. I have been making jewellry with a neighbour which is fun. And I have also set time aside for learning which makes me feel good.

Apart from this, I am going to make an effort to go to Simchas even if I am in pain. I went to an engagement party yesterday for only half an hour, enjoyed it and still feel the "simcha"now.

I still feel I only have "half a life", but I am working on trying to make it more fulfilling.