I think it has a lot to do with giving up second life. It is so easy to get absorbed in that game and it just isn't worth it. You just end up wasting so much time and money and it's so stupid really, but it did play a role in my life for the last few years as I struggled to come to terms with my dissability. I guess Second life gave me a place where I could be normal or at least feel it at any rate. I could walk, dance, ride horses, do all the things, normal people do. That's what's hardest about my back injury. It makes you feel as if your not normal. As if you are holding everyone else back and getting in everyone's way. It changes your life completely and nothing is simple anymore.
For example: you can't just think, I'll go to the toilet now. First you have to ask can I get there without my crutches. Regardless of if the answer is yes or no, once you get there you know your staying there for a while, because your back can't take the return journey straight away. So then you need to think about a book or something. If your using crutches to get there you then need to take your bag to carry the book in and sometimes when it's really bad, you have to stop on route and sit in the chair in the hall for a while and that is just to go to the bathroom, so going out, takes even more thought and consideration.
I understand why some disabled people give up and stop leaving home altogether. If it weren't for my son and my husband, I probably would have too but the need to be with my family and to do as much with them as was physically possible has pushed me to try and find solutions to my problems.
Starting out there was my mobility scooter and it was brilliant. It changed my life dramatically and meant I could be a normal mum, who could take her kid to school, but it wasn't good enough for going out to shops. It was too big and incredibly heavy for my husband to lift into the car. So we got a wheelchair.
I haven't got on well with the wheelchair. I've never had very good upper arm strength and so getting myself around made me exhausted and fast. Being pushed just wasn't an option for me. I needed to do it for myself. I didn't just want to give in and let this beat me. I didn't want to be completely reliant on someone else being there to get me round.
Recently though, crutches were brought to mind. I was sceptical they would help but for want of anything better to try, I rushed out and brought some. No boring gray ones for me, if I was doing this I was getting fun colourful ones, that I could feel less self conscious about. So I got these:
They weren't cheap and I researched the best make for not only long term use and comfort but for use with a back condition like mine. I was sceptical, I really was but now I've had them over a month and for the first time in years. I have been able to not only go out with my family without wheelchair or mobility scooter but been able to walk around, not just one but two relatively large shops in one day.
Now this might not seem like much, but when you have only been able to sit in the car and wait while your family go into shops and explore, for the last 2 or 3 years, it is amazing to get to do that again.
It was a huge achievement for me and the first time was amazing for all of us. We were so happy and it was a very excitable day in the Solheim house. Especially as the first time, around the two shops, was achieved during a period that we classed as a bad day. Where my back was very tender.
Other changes are my blue badge which enables us to park in disabled spots and on double yellow lines, which gets me much closer to the shop to start with and give me an even better chance of making it around the shop.
Lastly there is my new pain medication. Yes I finally caved and agreed to Perscription pain medication which wasn't an easy choice for me. I had heard so many horror stories, but in the end the pain just became to much.
It hasn't completely gotten rid of my pain but it has eased it. It has other effects to though. It makes me very tired the first few days I was taking it, I struggled to keep my eyes open.
Given a choice, no one would choose this but sometimes in life we don't get choices and we are forced to ride an emotional roller coaster. I'm on mine but I am adapting and coming to terms with it. Slowly.
But here is where I want to get serious because here is where you can help people like me and it's simple. Don't stare! We are people just like you. So we had some bad luck, so what. Will get on with it and get over it, but that is made a lot harder when people constantly stare at you. It makes you feel judged. It makes you feel like you don't have a right to be out there in the world with all the normal people. Feeling like that, worrying about others opinions, has been the biggest and hardest hurdle to me.
So look if you must, but at least offer a smile or a friendly word along with it.
I hope you all have a lovely day and I'll try to blog again soon.
Love and hugs