This year has been about finding different things to do. It didn’t matter what it was, as long as I felt comfortable getting prepared for it and allowing God to guide me closer to it. Even though I don’t think he really wanted me to experience Plummer. Every year I try to make it better than the year before and I think I succeed in making it that way this year. It wasn’t about going and experiencing things, it was more about finding things that I could while being in my wheelchair and being around my parents, seeing if we all could get through it in one piece. We now know that a tent with three people on an air mattress doesn’t work ideally, but camping isn’t impossible. Experiencing Plummer was exciting and new for all of us. I think it showed my folks that I’m my own person, even in the wheelchair. There’s not very many times were I feel independent and an adult when I go out and about with my parents. I’ve seen my other friends casually go out to a restaurant and have a drink or two with them. I still think I have a bit to go with them to get to that comfortable stage, but I don’t think it’s an impossible task.
Life is all about taking baby steps. I’m all about taking baby steps. I’ve been doing it forever it feels like. I’m in my twenties and I’m just now figuring out how to do simple things like open a can or help sort out laundry. My nana and I have been religiously trying to find more things for me to master. That list of things I can do with my toes were kind of small for most of my life. Since using my toes as my fingers, they’re not your normal toes. I’ve seen everybody’s feet before in my family, nobody can separate their toes as far as me. I don’t know if that’s something to be proud of, but it’s an interesting fact! With the separation of my toes, I can extend them a bit to grip things. If I was to go on and explain the ways on how I grip things it would just confuse the crap out of you, so I’m opting out of explaining it. Sorry! I’m been all about sorting in the last two years. I help my nana out by doing the laundry. She has their clothes go over to our house, my mom does them. I just help with the organizing between the whites and darks. I’ve been the one to enjoying sorting out stuff, even when it comes to cleaning! Trust me, when my nana had me arrange her desks in her office. If I had the patience to do it I’d organize that sucker.
There are three things I’ve learned how to do this year. You already know about the pop can surprise. I’ve even tried to open a soup can as well, but those are a bit harder to pull. Even with the accessory I’ve been using. If my nana and papaw have trouble opening it, there’s a pretty good chance I will too! The less exciting achievement I’ve recently done is help with my mom and fixing her tag of her shirt. There’s not very many times were I get asked to fix something unless it has to deal with an electronic. So when my mom walked into my room asking to tug in her tag into the back of her shirt. I was a bit concerned because I’ve never done this before. I had to lie down on my bed while she sat on the edge of the bed. I tried to only use one foot first, thinking it was be easy to do! Nope. I think it took probably six times to do, but I never gave up on it. I had to put my right foot on her back for some odd reason that ended up working, it didn’t even “help” with grabbing it and pulling it inside her shirt, but the support of the foot helped my back a lot. I vaguely remember my mom feeling proud of me but I didn’t want to do that ever again!
The third was performed a little bit after figuring the pop can. My nana can sometimes get her trash bag out of her trash can, my papaw is basically in charge with putting that bag in their bigger can outside for the people to come pick it up. If I’m there on the day she takes it out, then I get the joy of putting on a new bag. When I say “joy” I actually mean it. This one is a lot of fun compared to the other two. At times, I ask for help to separate the layers out and splitting out the bottom of the bag so I can get it inside the can without falling out of my wheelchair. I can do this part on my own, but I find it better to have some help with I’m in the push wheelchair because it’s one of things were I have to use both feet to accomplish the task. When everything inside, I first pull the sides of the trash can. Once I get that part done, I have to somehow manage to keep those ends in place while I go to pull the other side. This is where my right foot and what little calf muscle I have in my leg is placed to secure that section. My left foot does the rest unless tugging doesn’t work with just one foot, then I make sure the first side is fine and then I use both feet to push the bag onto the last side. This usually takes two or three tugs before it actually works.
I had my nana take these pictures the other day. By the time I got done with it, I forgot to have her take a picture of the last position. Apparently I’m a lot faster in my electric wheelchair. If I a stop watch, I’m pretty sure it didn’t take me more than two minutes to get everything figured out and secured in place. I do take my time with it some days, especially making sure the red outlines are low enough over the edge of the can as possible so it doesn’t pull over when something heavy is thrown in. I don’t know what kind of experiences and tasks I will learn once the new year starts but I’m kind of excited about it honestly. At some point I’d like to be able to do some sort of cooking or baking thing. I know I’m going to need help, I mean I can’t necessarily lift a bowl or pan in and out of the oven. I mean, even I know that’s not going to end very well! As long as I don’t burn myself or the kitchens, I might be okay! Who knows, but I’ll keep taking baby steps for now!