I try really hard to ‘accept’ my situation, my medical conditions and disabling disease. I try really hard to accept the chronic pain and to adapt to and try to mitigate my limitations. I know that I do things every day that some other folks with disabilities aren’t able to do… I’m truly thankful for the things I’m still able to do, but every now and then something comes up that tears at that acceptance.
This is the creek near our home. I walk with my dog on the dike/bike path along this creek nearly every day. I get to see all kinds of wildlife, from ducks and geese, to falcons, hawks and bald eagles, to butterflies and all sorts of birds. There are fish in the creek and occasionally we’ve sighted a river otter and know that there are deer nearby.
The water itself is probably 180 – 200 feet from the bike path on the dike. A steep bank drops down from the bike path to a level area of grass, then drops down again to reach this sandy area you see at the bottom of this photograph.
The sandy area extends to the water’s edge.
I would love to spread a blanket on the sand, set up my tripod and camera gear and spend hours just photographing the wildlife and enjoying the sound of the flowing water. I can only imagine the photographs I could get, being so much closer to the wildlife.
The realization that there is no safe way for me to get down to the sand or back up to the path has been extremely difficult to accept. It really brings my limitations clearly into focus. It’s a bit of a ‘slap’ from reality, that no matter how much I am able to do, there are still things that I simply cannot. It’s a nasty reminder that this disease, the disability is, in many ways, in control, regardless of what I tell myself.
I think perhaps this is the one thing that ‘able-bodied’ people, no matter how hard they try, will not be able to fully understand. I know I didn’t, before I became disabled, even though my grandfather was disabled and used a power chair, it just never really registered for me.
Having to accept that there are things I’d really love to do, that are simply out of the question, things that would cost nothing financially, things that would improve my emotional well-being, that would bring me great enjoyment and peace, is debilitating emotionally.
I even thought about sitting on my bottom and sliding down the embankment, using my cane to get across the level area and then sliding down the smaller embankment to the sandy area, but the fear of not being able to get back up to the bike path brought me back to reality.
Sometimes even the things you love and enjoy can be a source of pain, be it physical or emotional.
I cannot adequately describe the amount of restraint and self-control it takes to not park my chair, slide out onto the grass and be off toward the sandy beach, every time I walk this route. One of these days I may just throw caution to the wind and go!