I am tired. So tired in fact that I don't even think that that a piece of dark chocolate will help. It is Thursday and therefore a Parkwood day. I walked a couple of kilometers on the Lokomat and biked ten miles on the FES. A good workout by any standards. The best part of the day though was getting to hang out with my people. I know I have said this before, but being able to connect with others in the (almost) same boat as me is incredibly meaningful.
You see I have been feeling pretty lonely out here in Huron County for the past little while. I know it seems ridiculous when I have my family here, regular appointments with professionals and lots of friends to visit with [I regularly get the comment "another new friend?" when I arrive at Parkwood with someone different] but I know no one who is in that same boat as me. I have connected with some peers online, those who have more years of experience than I. This is helpful because I hear about what their life is like - and I gain hope and knowledge that things will be better down the road. But I still have yet to find that peer who is really like me. All of the women I have talked to were injured young, then went on to get an education, a career and/or a family. To me, this is different. I want to talk to someone who is just like me - in full swing of career and family - and learn how they were able to adjust to the changed body and relationships.
In the meantime I got to hear from my Parkwood gang. Lots of tales today. One friend has been put through the ringer by his auto insurer as he tries to get his licence back and get his newly modified Mazda 5 on the road. The insurer thought it prudent that his auto rate should be doubled - because that is what they do when you "give up" your licence and have to go back through the retesting process to get on the road. Right, because that is what we all did - voluntarily gave up our licence! Nice try - more like we were unconscious in the ICU when the resident Dr filled in the paperwork to have it revoked. Not the same thing.
The other friend talked about the elevator in his house and how they are not the answer to making a two story house accessible. Elevators get stuck, you see. Others chimed in that they have generators to back them up for when the power goes out, however, a back up generator does nothing for you when it gets stuck because of the incomplete work done by the repairman! This friend got stuck 3/4 between floors, so when the door was opened by his son he was at eye level to the kitchen floor. He is lucky his son (and he) are strong enough to heave him up through the gap. Another friend said that she would have been stuck there until morning and would be lucky if her mom passed her down some supper.
Then (somehow) we got on to skiing - many were not able to picture how nordic sit skiing would work. I had the idea that we should all go downhill skiing together this winter, telling them about last year when I went with my family. It's pretty hard to picture and/or describe how you get on a chairlift when you are strapped to a sit-ski. I guess I didn't do a good enough sales job because one friend said she thought her plans to skydive were better. In the end we decided that we should all go to Mexico together. I guess I had better get that passport application finished!