It was two years ago today that Mrs. F.G. brought me home from the hospital in London after 7 long months of first surviving and then recovering. We have been given two more years of life together which is a huge gift compared to my dying 31 months ago! At least in our brighter moments we both rejoice that we've had this time together. In our darker moments we have to remember that every day I'm alive is a gift.
I won't disguise the fact that it's been tough. Our lives are now so limited compared to what they were. My lack of mobility severely constrains what I can actually do, and Mrs. F.G. is stuck in the chief caregiver role which is very demanding. We don't travel as we used to, and I'm in constant pain. We have to always watch out for the complications that come with paralysis. My age certainly hasn't helped, though I would never wish this on a younger person.
I would venture to say that we've succeeded in reaching a plateau in my recovery now. I'm about as mobile as I'll ever be I think, though I intend to continue improving my strength. And at least some parts of the care I need are going well. And, given the paralysis I'm as healthy as I can be with no serious lung, skin, bowel or bladder issues though all these are seriously compromised.
Mrs. F.G. is amazing and I'm very lucky to have her. Not only has she picked up all the work I used to do, she's also doing everything she used to do herself. She's an expert on details, organizes everything, and does all the driving. This morning she's outside with our garden helper working on more planting. The patio was her idea, as is the plan to turn all the surrounding yard into garden. Next summer this will make a big difference to my life, and be a continuing source of joy for her.
I do wish people would understand more of the difficulties a paraplegic faces, and the wide differences they experience. People seem to see you in a wheelchair and think it's just a mobility limitation, solved by making places more wheelchair accessible. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let me list some of the other issues.
The pain! - our medical system can work miracles, and millions are invested in 'cures', but they've never come up with a good way to handle nerve pain. This is my biggest daily frustration.
Health issues - the other bodily problems you're always watching out for, those skin, lung, bowel and bladder issues. Hours are invested every day in preventative care.
Travel - for us travel, whether locally or further away, has been a big part of our life. Trips give you something tp look forward to, and thereby transform your entire life. It's very difficult in you're paralyzed!
Photography - my photos are pale shadows of what they used to be, and I can’t get close to any of the things I’d like to take close-ups of. Because the big camera is so heavy I'm mostly limited to my iphone. Sometimes when I’m posting my blog I find it very frustrating.