Yes WE can Here we go

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Just saying “yes we can, here we go,” gives me goose bumps. Because, I remember days when ‘yes I can” did not even enter my realm of being. Confined to bed, ill, not able to walk, losing consciousness daily and having episodes that caused my body to go into temporary paralysis, that was my daily dose of reality. The prognosis was not optimistic.

I was told that the rest of my life would be lived in a nursing home. That completely terrified me. I needed an escape plan, options and hope. Who was going to be my support if the medical profession was telling me there was no way out?

Changing my thoughts

Slowly, it started dawning on me that my support would have to start with me. I started meditating on what I needed to do to get well and stronger. First thing I started doing again was my art work. Right there in the nursing home I made my room into my studio. That way in my periods of consciousness I could distract myself into a space of creation. It added so much color to the space, nurses and aides stopped by just to add a smile to their day.

That started a conversation about having an art exhibit for those of us who now had to deal with our “new normal.”

And suddenly I was on my way to a new space of consciousness. I was no longer the victim. Now I was driving the car. Every little sense of achievement added on to my knowing that somehow I was going to get through this and thrive!

Each step along the way was not always pretty. I very begrudgingly accepted the realization that my new vehicle of not choice would have to be a wheelchair. That was a tough day.

But then I realized I had a choice. I could let my ego crush my opportunities or I could say I am really grateful that with this wheelchair I have accessibility. Took some time, but finally I got there.

Allowing myself to get past the odd looks of passerby s, I tried out the chair along the hallways and property of the nursing home. Wow, I have to say it felt so good to be somewhat independent.

Actually it was pretty heady!

That helped raise my can- do- it- ness, and spurred me on to new tasks. So I started forming a plan for being able to live independently. I could get help at home. (Yes, it was really hard to accept someone had to be there with me, in my home, doing my chores.) I could have programs set in place in case of emergencies when my aide was not there. I would make sure my door was always unlocked in case I needed help quickly. I could set up that help I cannot get up alert program. I could wear a medical alert bracelet.

And with the help of a very special compassionate, loving, intuitive Occupational Therapist, we set up how to steps for every part of the day.

We even wrote what I called my functional information card. On it was my pertinent info and how to deal with my being unconscious. That gave me an even more sense of empowerment. Because I was taking full responsibility as to how I wanted and needed to be treated. It could be attached to my wheelchair, with a copy posted in my apartment. That way it was highly visible and accessible.

Huh, I could really do this.

So there were a few obstacles. Major ones in fact, grin. My family was not comfortable with my decision to live alone.

I understood that. It was really important that I both honored their concerns and stood my ground. Especially knowing that at some point I just might have to call them for help.

Finally, as they saw that I was truly determined and taking responsibility, the escape plan started taking shape.

The next thing was where to live? I could not go back to the house I was living in. It was not wheelchair accessible. So sight unseen I choose an apartment that was completely accessible. My amazing kids decided they could move me into the new space. So when I was finally released from my rehab stay I could just go directly to my new home. I was over the moon with relief and joy.

Step by step, my no had turned into a resounding yes!

I cannot tell you that each step of the way was easy. It was not. But what I can say is that learning how to not listen to someone else’s perception of my life, turned my life into my own work of art.

So what is your challenge? And how are you considering changes?

I would love to hear all about it. Share your comments below.



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