Confidently Broken


My husband and I were talking the other day, and he mentioned that several positive experiences we have had within the past few years were an indirect of the confidence I’ve gained since being in a wheelchair.

Wait, confidence, from being in a wheelchair?

I had to think about it. I’ve always been insecure/low self-esteem/whatever.

When I first started needing assistance walking, it was difficult…ok, devastating. I cried a lot. I hated walking across an open room. I held on to walls for balance. I tried using a cane, but never was very good at it. Finally, I began to accept the fact that I needed a wheelchair.

When I first started using a wheelchair, I was a little self-conscious, but the ability to go from one side of my kids school to the other was nice. I didn’t have to constantly plan where I would sit, that was close to a wall, and not in everyone’s way. I didn’t worry about the amount of time it would take to hobble to the restrooms at church. Wheelchairs are a lot faster.

I started taking my kids on “walks” once we got a ramp and I could bring my powerchair outdoors. We went everywhere. We still do. 🙂

I used to walk, run, slide down the banister at college, literally walked about 4 miles when I couldn’t get a ride to work one day…

Thing is, I’ve always been independent, but maybe I am more confident since being in the chair. I still have all my old insecurities, plus some new ones (atrophy, bladder issues, etc.); but I know I can survive.

I know that there will always be people “better” in some way. That’s true for all of us. I know that I’m capable of more than I would have imagined. So are you. I know that regardless of how much makeup I put on, how much I tone my abs, and how cute my hair is; I’m still in a wheelchair and you know what? That’s okay.

I still have lots of bad days, and plenty of pity parties, but could it be that I am stronger now than I was before I became disabled? I’m starting to think so. Hopefully I can dance while rolling down the street and show people you don’t have to be “perfect” to be happy. Hopefully I can show my kids that life is to be lived for all of us. Broken bodies don’t have to equate to broken spirits.

Today I’m going to live. I’m going to “walk” the dogs to my kids school. I’m going to breathe the fresh spring air and wave at strangers, and maybe even try a few dance moves.

Hope you live today too.


This post was written in response to: Calling All Writers

“After all I do for you, the least you should do is take the fucking time to wipe the damn seat down after you pee.

Most people would have left your sorry ass a long time ago, but no. I stuck it out. Why? Because you’re my mother and that’s what family does. Take care of each other.

I doubt ‘wipe down mom’s mess when she can’t quite make it to the toilet’ is in that “take care of each other” guideline, but that’s what I do. You are capable of wiping the urine off if you get some on the seat.

It’s not like you are a fucking toddler who shits and pees all over themselves, then expects someone else to come along and clean up their mess.

Actually, maybe you are that immature. A spoiled, selfish brat who only gives a damn about one thing…her show.

You care more about your fucking tv show than you do about anything or anyone. I work my ass off all day then come home to a filthy house and mom sitting there watching tv.

The least you could do is make me a damn sandwich, but I guess that’s too much to ask. You are a lazy, selfish bitch. Maybe one day you’ll take too much of your medicine and put us both out of our misery.

I’m sick and tired of taking care of you. If you would have done things right and taken care of yourself a long time ago, you probably wouldn’t be in all this pain and need someone to help you, but since you didn’t, I’m the one who suffers. All because I am a decent person who is trying to do the right thing.

I’m letting you know right now that I’m at my breaking point. Either you get your act together, or I’m going to start getting really nasty. I’ve had more than my fill of this shit and I’m not going to spend my life like this. Are you even listening to me? Do you understand what I’m saying, or do I need to spell it out?…Mom!…Mom?

*I don’t know what your prob…oh my God! Mom? No…no!

911, what is your emergency?

*Alternate ending-““Were you talking to me, dear? I forgot to turn my hearing aid on.

Help please

We have a friend who is hurting. Broken really. She put a cry for help out on her blog last night. Although a few of us saw, and tried to help, she hasn’t been active at all for the last 10 hours or so. She didn’t think anyone cared, but I know that even if you don’t personally know her, we are a community that cares deeply for each other.

I don’t know if she is okay. I don’t even know if she is alive, but if she is, she needs to know we see her. Please take a minute and let her know she is not alone.

Hobbling Around the Issues: Assisted Suicide

There are some things in life that are difficult for me to understand. This issue is one of them.

I can’t understand why it is ok to put our dog out of its misery when it is old and can hardly eat, but when it comes to our grandfather…well, that’s just inhuman. We explain to our kids how “the right thing to do” is to put our cat down after being hit by a car, but when our loved one can only speak long enough to beg us to help them go quickly…we are appalled by the thought of “murdering” them.

We (as a society) say that it is okay to have an abortion, but when our own grandmother, who has lived a long, full, dignified life is now unable to control her bowels and bladder, not to mention her mind…it is best to just clean her up and pretend that she wants to exist as long as possible in a hospital room that she is frightened of each morning.

On movies and in reality, we often hear people say “at least he/she died doing what he or she loved.” Meanwhile, the father who gave 30 years of his life in service to our country is in so much pain that he can’t even see or hear his kids because his head is thrown back in screams of horror…it would have been okay if he died in the war, but we are going to make his life as long as possible here on our soil.

It is one thing when our loved one wants to fight, wants to live, tries to deal with the pain since it means they can still see their family and friends, etc.

When people are in horrible pain; when they are scared of each new day and in brief moments of sanity, beg us to kill them; when days or weeks of helpless humiliation are all they have left before they pass away…how can we ignore the real issue and only focus on serving our own purposes. Are we really that selfish? If you think the quality of life is not important…well, I don’t understand that.

Maybe you can help…