I woke up early in the morning and opened the window. It was on a Friday morning, and I was in off from work. I was pretty excited that the day would be very exciting. Hardly had I peeped through the window than I realized I had a thing with my lower limbs. I could not move. I tried to reach out for my wheelchair feeling dazed and shocked. I mean I would have to miss a days hike in the park with my friends. That was brutal.
I called out to my cousin who had visited and was supposedly in the other room, adjacent to mine. He never answered, and he had apparently left for town. I knew it was going to be a rough day because he would probably return at midnight.
Trying to Refresh and Fix Breakfast
I eventually struggled to my wheelchair and rolled to the washroom. Oops! The washroom was on the ground floor, and I was on the first floor. I felt like jumping out of the window because it was a very intolerant situation. I gathered all my might and the activity that normally takes few minutes took a record thirty minutes. However, life must continue. I struggled to the kitchen, but this time I decided walking sticks were better off. I could then move faster, and after fixing a very simple breakfast, I remembered that my cousin had a birthday. I had promised her that on that Friday, I would be in attendance without fail. With my situation, I was pretty sure I was not going to make it. She would probably cry after the birthday and hate me for remaining hours of Friday and call me the next day. I took the initiative and called her explaining why I would not make on that day.
Hanging Around Till Lunch Time
Friday for me is normally a very busy day. If it were a normal day and normal legs, I would go to town to check on some businesses, create some content for my blog, visit my friends and later do thorough cleanliness on my house. I could do none of that. Instead, I remained seated and glued to the television wondering what had just happened. At around 3 pm, I could not hold the hunger pangs anymore. I decided to go to the kitchen and fix some lunch. With my wheelchair, I pushed myself to the kitchen. The table was so high for me, and I could not chop the onions or the tomatoes. Well, I grabbed some spaghetti, boiled them, and hobbled over.
After that, I felt I just needed to watch a movie and sleep because I was so irritated. I first tried to call my friend to come by, but she was busy and could not make it. I then watched a movie up to 8 p.m. afterwards; I went to bed without taking supper. I felt I did not deserve a meal because the day was wasted.
I woke up the second day feeling I just needed to take a break from life. That is because I was so bored. Fortunately, my cousin had come late last night. He assisted in the basic chores of the house and fact took me to the backyard to have some sunlight. Phew! That was better but not to the level of a normal person.
I guess if I were asked to choose between a million dollar and having my legs back, I would go for the later. However, I was very happy on that day because Jane, my closest cousin, and friend had come with her daughter Stella. After arrival, she let her daughter play around as she went to the shops in town.
For starters, Jane was a mother of two-year-old Stella. She said that her daughter was one of her biggest inspiration in life and she felt better seeing her kid running around jovially. However, one of her greatest fears was losing her daughter. It was the story of Casey and Caylee Anthony case that created her biggest fears for her two-year-old daughter.
On her visits, Janes daughter liked playing on the balcony of the first floor. Jane did not like that. She had severally warned her daughter to be careful with the balcony. More often than not, she would find her daughter playing on the first floor of the balcony, and she would shout that she get out of that dangerous place. Before she left, she told me to look after her.
In one particular day, I was in the backyard just opposite the particular balcony Janes daughter loved playing. I suddenly remembered that I had not seen Janes daughter for like two hours. Stella! I shouted trying to learn where she was. My cousin who also assisted me to move around in the wheelchair had gone to the mall to purchase groceries. After calling out the name of her daughter for quite a while, I was so frightened because I received no reply. Suddenly the deafening screams of her daughter were heard from supposedly where the balcony was situated. I was scared to my spine. As I tried to struggle out of the wheelchair, she suddenly appeared laughing and holding a cockroach. I felt so relieved, and on that night, we laughed off the night with the ordeal as we had dinner.
After the exercise, I got to understand from a personal perspective, how the disabled people manage their lives from the start of the day to the end of it. Worse still are those who find themselves in such a situation long after they grow up. The biggest challenges include understanding and trying to catch up with reality. I mean those people are not used to such great problems and would have to teach them a new life once again.
In the first day, I felt as if I had just landed on a different planet where things were done entirely different. What I needed to do was to learn all over again how to operate almost everything. Apart from having to learn to do things, I understood that I had failed to undertake the normal chores that I would do during the normal days. The business of cyber cafe I managed in town was not opened on the two days. Normally, I would open the business premise during the day then the person I employed to be managing the cyber would come. I had failed to open the cyber, and after waiting for me at the promise for too long, he was irritated and went home without calling. It was later that I called him and explained why I did not make it.
With my cousin who had a birthday on Friday, I had to convince her that I was okay. Since she was only five, I could not tell her about the simulation activity because she would not understand. I knew that she would think that I was seriously impaired in the lower limbs. Therefore, I decided to that I would visit her on the third day with a beautiful present and a note, happy belated birthday!
On the second day, it was very nice to have my cousins around handling all the chores and helping me around. However, I came to think of it. What do those who are disabled for life do? Because I had started being a nuisance and a burden to my cousins assisting me was very hectic for them, and they were just available in the place merely because they were free and it was on the weekend. I imagined what I would do if I were seriously in such a situation. It would be so tiresome and burdensome to those people who offered to help.
I also realized the kind of stigma that came with it. For one, I could not go out to the places I would go on the normal days. I felt bad about myself and thought I was so awkward for the normal world. I feared ridicule from my friends and felt like I needed to be alone. I did not even know how to explain to my friends that I was okay. Apart from feeling bad from the inside, I observed that the people around me were behaving rather weirdly. They could not joke around rather freely because they were afraid they could hurt me in the process. Even Stella was quite preserved in interacting with me during those two days. Unlike other days, she would play a little bit further from where I was and would steal glances quite often. I tried to create a relaxing environment for her, but she felt so weird being around me. When her mother came back from the shops, I picked up an apple fruit and offered her. Instead of being excited and grateful for it, she felt scared and opted to pick another fruit by herself. I felt so bad, and I knew I would have to catch up with her after the two days to remove that mentality from her mind. I thought about the disabled for life and was filled with sympathy.
The exercise was very educative as I explored more options for dealing with the common problems and challenges that the disabled normally undergo. After the exercise, I was motivated enough, and I started aspiring to create innovations that would regain the sensory feel of those people suffering from malfunctioning of the senses in the lower limbs. Apart from that, the perspective regarding disability was completely changed in me, increasing my empathy towards the disabled. I strived to be a better person in the world by ensuring that I light up a candle for one person or two. I learned that I did not have to do much but to share light moments with the disabled, sometimes in my free times.
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