It’s Throwback Thursday and I wanted to do something special for everybody. I’ve talked about this before but didn’t actually think we had pictures of it until my nana posted a few of these on her Facebook. Do you know I actually used a walker once in my life? It was years ago, but I did do it. When I was in the fourth grade I was at my wit’s end with myself about not being able to walk like my friends, so I talked my therapists and my family into letting me get a walker to do for a few sessions. I thought it was pretty cool to be into something that could possibly get me to walking on my feet like everybody else. On soft surfaces it was the easiest thing to move around and do whatever I wanted, but then after a while it was like swimming. Everything had an uncomfortable spot. If you’re butt wasn’t even on the seat then your pants and the straps would make things complicated to move your leg over.
When I had my surgeries that next year, I had to take a year off of anything hardcore as everybody was very cautious about if I made one false turn my rods would burst out of my back. Of course, I was very concerned about my back too but I’m not the type of person to let something keep me back long. It’s back enough that for three whole years I had to rely on somebody to help me sit up. I never got back to my ole self by getting myself from the floor to the bed. Even though we did try to work on that last summer, things didn’t really work well. The only thing that I still know how to do is get me off my bed and the couches. Everything had to sit back and watch me heal up. When I hit middle school, I wanted to get back into walking again. Well, one of the things that was different from going to elementary to middle school was that certain teachers were not so happy letting the therapists take me out of their classes and walking in a walker with already bad wheels, on carpet was just evil. When we practiced that first year, we went into the gym. When I was in sixth grade everything I wanted to happen just came to shierking halt and it was just devastating to me. I wasn’t strong enough to move around on the carpet with being barefoot and wearing sneakers. I actually ignored my feelings of feeling defeated until it was like last two weeks of school and I wanted to show my friends that I could walk like them, but they were all watching a movie and nobody wanted to see me walk. It kind of hurt me to see everybody that I had always admired not caring about it like I thought they would. I think an hour later I told my therapist I was done with it.
As I look back on my time on it, I just wish embracing my beauty in the wheelchair came that easy! For certain things, I tend to get a lot faster. I had always heard that “beauty is pain” and so I think I just accepted being uncomfortable in the walker. It wasn’t so much about being in it and around my friends that made me hate it. It was mostly the fact that when we were taking these pictures, it was gym class and they were playing volleyball. It was a scary experience for me even though I had my aide, physical therapist, mom, and nana in the room watching over me, anything with balls of the size of my head scared the living crap out of me. While I sit in my wheelchair, I feel very empowered and less scared by anything, in this I was much shorter and there was nothing really there to protect me. I still don’t understand why everybody wanted me to join in that day. I usually do other stuff whenever they did these sorts of games anyways.
Sometimes I feel like there are some similarities between doing the walker and the regular push wheelchairs. Besides the no seatbelts, I still have to drag my feet out below and use my toes as my guide. I am still spinning in circles by only using one foot. My back and neck hurt because the back part of the seats are weird and too short for me to relax my body in and both have four wheels that squeal like monkeys everytime I moved around. In a way, I think I belong in my powered wheelchair. I’m more mobile to get from place to place then being in both a push wheelchair and down on the floor. I have always felt like a total badass being in my chair, nobody really messed with me while I’m in it and everybody seems to get out of my way a lot easier knowing I could potentially run over their feet. I just feel very different from all three of them, one gave me a wake up call, one has its ups and downs, and the other just makes me feel like a total badass. I wouldn’t want to change my life. After my experience with trying to “walk” in this thing, I think walking is completely overrated.