A Time for Everything
3 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Hello friends! I am writing from the comfort of our new power reclining couch we were able to purchase from the generosity of basically everyone reading this blog. Thank you! The power recliner is huge because it helps Derek put his feet up and allows him to sit in a different position. It is a sunny, chilly day here in the city and it just felt like the perfect time to catch everyone up on our journey and what we have been learning.
Can you believe we have been home for almost 4 weeks? We have our routine basically figured out and have been working on getting faster at the daily tasks. There is a lot more that goes into paralysis than most people would ever think. In fact, we are learning new things almost every day.
For our average day, we head to bed around 9:30-10pm and try to allow time for Derek to lay on his stomach a bit and do lots of stretches. We then wake up a couple times in the night to move in order to prevent pressure sores. When we get up in the morning, we work on getting ready for the day which usually takes a few hours, depending on how the morning goes. Lunch is served at noon and then we head out for an afternoon of either doctors appointments or physical/ occupational therapy sessions. By the time we are finished with appointments, we will run errands and then head home. We have LOVED getting re-connected with our friends and the new apartment really allows us to host dinners easily.. After we finish up with the meal, we go over the next days schedule and then start getting ready for bed!
Along with our daily routine, let me take a second to fill you in on a few things that make life way easier on us and how you can help:
- Please try your very hardest not to stop your car on a pedestrian walkway when you are at a red light. If you look at the sidewalks, they have specific cutouts in the curb for wheelchairs. 99% of people can just walk around your car but we cannot. We have had to sit and wait for lights to turn and for cars to move before being able to walk across the street. It isn't a huge deal but it is something I never thought of before! You are going to feel really awkward parked in the pedestrian walkway with me just staring you down, trust me :)
- Handicap parking spots are also very valuable to us. I always just assumed they were nice because they were closer to the store but never stopped to think about the lines next to the spots. You know the lines. There is a handicap space and then an empty space next to it with lines. Well, we really need one of those spaces so no one parks us in. Derek needs to be able to get his wheelchair up to the side of the car to be able to transfer in and out. If anyone parks right next to us, he wouldn't be able to get in and I would have a hard time getting his chair into our backseat. So, next time you are tempted to park in one of those spots, please don't. We really need it. And if you see a car double parked in the back with a handicap tag, they are double parked to avoid cars parking next to them for the same reason.
- Moving to and from his chair can also be a little tricky. Unless the surface Derek is transferring to is EXACTLY the same height, he usually uses a slide board. This board is long and narrow with a cutout handle on each side. He will place one end under his leg and the other end onto the surface he is moving onto. Then leaning forward and doing a "push up", he will slide over. He is getting better and better at this and eventually will just be able to "pop over". But for now, the slide board goes everywhere with us.
- We are fairly easy guests! At first, I was nervous braving anyone's house because it was just "unknown". Now, we know what to look for and what to ask. For the most part, most individuals in wheelchairs travel with portable ramps. These ramps just go in the trunk of our car so we can get almost anywhere! But, if you just have one step into your home, it should be totally fine! One way to make your house a little more accessible if you are having a handicap guest would be to pull up the loose rugs. We can get through most carpet (although low profile is the easiest) but rugs tend to be a little tricky.
One final thought. I have really been challenged with the above set of verses. There is a time and season for everything. I find it so fascinating that in each season of life, there are different joys, challenges, sorrows, and stories. I remember as a child I would walk WAY behind my mom in the grocery store because I wanted people to think I was old enough to be there by myself shopping. And then as you grow up, you realize grocery shopping is NOT fun because food is expensive. When I turned 18, I remember telling my mom that THIS was going to be the best time of life because I wouldn't have acne anymore and there wouldn't be anymore drama (insert eye roll). At 23, I finally was out of college and making money, so let the living begin. I then got married and boy, that was way better than all the other stages of life I had experienced. Now we have nieces and nephews, an amazing family circle, fantastic friends, the joys of being together for 7 years, and I am convinced THIS is the best stage yet. So although the stage you are in will bring difficulties (like paying for groceries and your metabolism slowing down), think today on how much better this stage is than the previous one. Praise God for making every season of life better than the one before.
Ps. Mark- This blog post is for you!