Being in a wheelchair can present many obstacles when going about your day. Most of normal everyday things like stairs, doors, hills, and uneven pavement are some of the more impossible obstacles to overcome on your own. Unfortuantely, it is almost impossible to avoid these obstacles. For example, on my way to work, I encounter two hills four doors, a staircase, and a stretch of pot hole infested sidewalk. Unfortunately, I can't rely on my friends for help with getting to work because I go to work early in the morning and feel it would be selfish of me to wake them just to get me to work. So I make the journey on my own. I do pretty fine making it toward the end of the main campus. I roll with my breaks down to help slow my chair on the hill. The real problem occurs when i cross the street. It has not much to do with the actual crossing of the street. That part is ok. It's when i make it across. The sidewalk at the other end of the crosswalk is blocked by a staircase, which common sense tells us that a wheelchair can't make it up the stairs. So, what am I to do? I go onto the road to avoid the stairs. Ordinarly this wouldn't be to bad except the road has more indentations than a slice of swiss cheese. I don't have any other option so I awkwardly proceed onto the road. I need to get to work after all. I am now on the corner of the shoulder of the road next to the sidewalk attempting to get up the hill. I feel extremely awkward because i know just about everyone who is stopped at the stoplight is staring at me struggling to free my wheels enough to proceed toward the office building. I struggle for about a minute or so and then put the breaks on my chair so I could think. My innovative nature tells me to figure out a way to free my wheels. I looked around for something to grab onto so I could pull myself over the uneven pavement. There was nothing. I continue to sit there awkwardly trying to figure out what to do. Then i hear a car door open. I turn around and a young man approaches me. " Do you need any help?" I answered sure thanks. My face was probably as red as a tomatoe. I get embarassed having to depend on help so much. I'm just a naturally stubborn person. So anyway, the kind stranger freed me from the pavement trap and pushed me to the smooth part of the road. I was so greatful for that mans kindness. If he didn't stop to help me, I don't know what I would have done. The kind stranger left me at the smooth part of the road and went back into his car and drove off. I started to wheel myself up the road. Even though the pavement was smooth, there was still an obstacle. Not one as bad as the swiss cheese pavement, but still an obstacle nonetheless. The smooth pavement was a hill. Not a very large hill, but a hill large enough to make my life my more difficult. I started up the hill. I was just glad to be freed from the uneven pavement so I didn't really care about the hill too much. I made it a 3rd of the way up and then heard a voice behind me. I turned my head and it was another young man. He too asked if I needed help. I thought why not and replied sure, that would be great thanks. I offered to hold the stranger's coffee. He pushed me the rest of the way up the hill. I thanked him and he went on his way. In 10 minutes time, I encountered two kind strangers. I have never seen these men before in my life and yet they went out of their way to help me.It only took maybe a minute or two out of their day but it made a worlds difference to me. I am really greatful for their kindness. I hope this could inspire those who read this story to take the two minutes out of their day to help make someone's day a little better.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Today was not a good day for me. I awoken by my joints killing me. By that alone I knew it was time for me to change my patch. So i got myself out of bed and put on a new patch and went to class. I forced myself to go to class. Once at class I was listening to my professor lecture, yet I could not concentrate. The pain was excruciating. While the professor was talking I was silently begging to make the meds kick in. Some time passed and it just wouldn't stop. I tried to ignore it and continue on with my schoolwork. I was particularly determined to go to my next class because I seem to miss it often. It's not because i don't like the class, I have no problem with it. It's just a coincidence. Anyway, I was trying my best to make it through the class i was in. Then, I started tearing. I couldn't sit there any longer. I told my professor my situation and he allowed me to go back to my room. My friend volunteered to help me back to my room. Finally I made it back. I felt like I was gonna die. The pain was so bad. I managed to take my medicine and fall asleep. As I layed in my bed I couldn't help but feel guilty about missing my class. Of course this was something out of my control, but I couldn't help but obsess over it. When I awoke, I felt a little better, I guess my pain medicine decided to kick in. It was about time.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
I woke up this morning in excrutiating pain. Nothing too out of the ordinary being that I am always in pain but my joints were killing me. Then it came to me that I almost forgot to change my pain medicine. I love my pain medicine because it helps me have some sort of relief from the agony. It lowers my joint pain level from its usual 9 to about a 5. Big difference. The best part is I have to change my pain med every three days. I despise it when the medication wears off because then I feel the pain at the level 9. It's especially awful because it like hits you hard. It feels like someone showed up out of nowhere and decided to break your bones at the joints. Not fun. I can't wait for the day to feel pain free. Especially from my headache. My headache is like a personal gift from Satan. It's a level 10 pain all day everyday. It's sad because I don't even remember what it feels like to not be in pain. I bet it feels amazing. I know nobody is literally pain free but I want to know what it feels like to have the normal aches people have. Not the torture I feel all the time.
Friday, November 25, 2011
I had a very nice Thanksgiving with my family. I spent the day at my Grandy and Poppy's house. We spent a lot of time talking and reflecting on things. I love visiting them because I know they love me so much. I can see them hurt when they see me suffering from the Lyme and despite being in their seventies they are always trying to help me get around. They have a lot of stairs in their house so navigating it is a bit of a minefield for me. It's ironic to me that they have to help me get around when usually it's the other way around. The granddaughter helping the grandparents. Life is funny like that. Today I plan to take my little sister to the mall. She has nothing to do today and has done so much for me, so I think it's the least I can do. It's black Friday and the place is going to be a mad house so after I take her I think we should be even. Navigating a packed mall in a wheelchair is no easy feat. For one, people love to stare. It's not like they haven't seen a wheelchair before. Then theres the people who despite how many times you ask them to move ( politely of course) they insist on staying put. Like moving over an inch would kill them. Then theres the people who are perfectly okay and have no strollers or other accessory that prevents them from using the escleator that pile into the elevator. For those people, the escelator is no more work than the elevator. That brings me to my next point, the mall only has one friggin elevator in the whole place. It's extremely inconvienient, but wouldn't be so bad if all those individuals who think the escalator is so strenuous to use kept taking up the entire thing.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Today is the day before Thanksgiving. So I decided to write my Thanksgiving entry today since I may not have the time tomorrow. Anyway I am going to dedicate this entry to everything I am thankful for. It may be hard to believe, but despite all the things Lyme has taken from me, it has given me some things too. Mainly it has opened my eyes to all I have to be thankful for. I am Thankful to have such a loving family. My family has been at my side since day one. They would comfort me when I cry, hold me when i sleep, clean up my vomit, spend hours at my side when im in the hospital, help me when I need something, and celebrate small achievements. Throughout my life I have always known my family was there for me, but getting sick showed me the vast extent my family supports me. My illness does not just affect me, it affects the entire family. I can't even count how many sacrifices they have made for me. A recent sacrifice that continues to amaze me is the one made by my little sister. For her 13th birthday she threw a huge birthday party. Instead of asking for presents though, she requested that guests make a donation to the Department of Lyme Disease research at The University of New Haven ( my university). The over 2k she raised will not only benefit me but the 1000s of other plagued by Lyme Disease. I am really thankful for her generosity. She is an amazing sister. My family are not the only people I am thankful for. I am also thankful for my friends. My friends are the best a person could ever ask for. I can always count on my friends. Living hours away from home means I especially need to depend on them. They make me laugh when I feel like crying. They encourage and motivate me. Taking pills that make me gag just by thinking about them needs as much motivation one can get. They help me with things that being in a wheelchair makes difficult. Like crossing parking lots or going up hill. They are there through thick and thin. If I need them I know I don't need to hesitate to ask. They too go to extremes to help me. I am thankful for my amazing doctor. I am thankful for everything I am fortunate enough to have. Food, a house, clothes, the ability to go to college, clean water, and the other things so many people take forgranted. Even though I am in an awful situation, I still have countless things to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving! Remember to reflect upon what you have to be thankful for.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
It's Tuesday and damn it is cold out. Got up this morning around 6:30 am which means I was actually up and out of bed around 7. I have two classes today then back home to Jersey for thanksgiving break. My joints are especially achy. I can feel some of the pain through my pain patch. That means one thing, it's gonna rain or snow or hail or whatever other type of weather has to do with changes in the pressure. It's Tuesday and damn it is cold out. Got up this morning around 6:30 am which means I was actually up and out of bed around 7. I have two classes today then back home to Jersey for thanksgiving break. My joints are especially achy. I can feel some of the pain through my pain patch. That means one thing, it's gonna rain or snow or hail or whatever other type of weather has to do with changes in the pressure. On the brightside, I am home for Thanksgiving break. I am seeing my dogs for the first time in weeks which is amazing . It feels good to just be home.
Monday, November 21, 2011
It's 5 am Monday Morning , as usual I did not sleep too well. My immune system has once again let me down. On Saturday I took a trip to the mall, like any teenager does and now I have a fever and sore throat. Nothing spectacularly out of the ordinary in my life. Whenever I venture into the public territory, I always get some sort of souvenir.
Lyme has taken a major toll on my lifestyle. For the past 4 years I have been fighting for my life. I can't walk, suffer from severe pain 24/7, and can't even use the bathroom. I spend a lot of time taking care of my health. I always need to take my medications. By medications I don't mean one or two pills. I mean more like 16. Of course I can't take them all at once. That would make my life way to easy. I need to take some in the am, some in the afternoon, and some at night. Then further splitting them down into groups of with food and without food. It's a pain in the ass seriously. But, I know i don't have any choice if i want my life back. I am a fighter and I will not give up just because something is difficult.
Getting an education means so much to me that despite my illness, I attend college as a full time student. I felt that it wouldn't do me such good just laying around feeling sorry for myself. I wanted to feel productive and like I was achieving something.
I get around campus with a wheelchair, which is not at all fun. That's one thing I really don't get. Using a wheelchair is far from fun. But, I will save this rant for another entry. I'm managing to do pretty well at school though. The college I attend is very accomodating to my medical needs. It makes my life a lot easier knowing I won't get penelized for missing a class for a visit to the doctor, a hospital stay, or just because I'm feeling under the weather. The semester is almost over. The time just flew by. I leave for home tomorrow. It's for Thanksgiving break. I am so ready for break and am so glad I only have a two day week.