Nov 29 2009

Wheelchairs, Wrist Injuries, and New Awareness

Published by at 6:40 pm under Ivan's Story

When I was in my first year of college, I spent a day in a wheelchair. I wasn’t injured. I just wanted to do it, as an awareness exercise. Not for some class assignment. I wanted to get a better sense of how people in wheelchairs relate to their environment. Making my way across the University of Southern California campus was no easy feat. Trying to find ramps hidden around the back of buildings. Elevators that existed only at the other end of a hallway Asking strangers to open doors I couldn’t quite tug open. The simplest things became difficult puzzles. And my arms were exhausted by the end of the day. But I highly recommend it. It will change your relationship to the world around you.

Well, unfortunately, my wife is going through her own version of an awareness exercise, but not by choice, and with significant discomfort. Early last week, my wife fell and broke her wrist. (That’s why the poetry emails stopped without notice.) When we haven’t been sitting in doctors’ offices, I’ve been helping her with all the little things two-handed people take for granted: carrying things from room to room, fastening buttons, opening food containers… She goes through surgery Tuesday, more time in a cast, but over a few weeks she’ll get normal use of her hand back.

I better check on her again, see if she needs another ice pack…

Wishing you all lots of love, and safe footing!

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