Copyright © 2002-2010 Barbara Joan Gushin All Rights Reserved
My overwhelming task, was to manage those steps.
Observe the crack before the stairs. It scared me. With a walker, I was afraid, and unsteady to approach that crack. The pavement is also unlevel, making me very unsure of myself.
How do I appear "composed" ? Inside I felt awkward, very vulnerable, trying to act my age, yet knowing I was a scared little girl, wanting and needing my mommy.
I was robbed of my dignity.
My car is a Toyota . People who could of helped, also drove, small cars.
I couldn't sit in them, as the seat was too low. That meant for me that I had NO means to leave my Apt. until my hip was healed.
No physical therapy either. Why? You may ask? No taxi driver would pick me up and help me with the stairs. I needed somebody to hold the front of the walker, so I could climb the steps.
Further rejection and humiliation
I discovered that most public restrooms were not "handicapped accessible". With my wheelchair, most didn't have enough room to turn around, once I go into the stall.
Toilets also were too low, and I had to wait to I returned home to relieve myself.
Walkways were a nitemere. Try using a walker, count the many steps that lead to your destination.
The above resturant pictures the challenge I endured. It was hard coming in with a wheelchair, and also using a walker. Trying to get around seating was next to impossible
People looked at me, like I was " below them", inferior, and with annoyance if they had to move out of my way. I became a "second class citizen".
All this was on top of being in a continual daze, where life seemed 'unreal', and I was 'spacy'.
My life was about ' functioning', just going through the motions.
When I was with my dear friend, he noticed something was different about me. . . .
" Calling earth to Joan". . . he'd say. He observed when I would start having a blank stare.
That is what my friend remarked to me, and I will never forget hearing those words. He was correct. My mind remained dazed, like I was on Valuim. Nothing stimulated my senses. I didn't come up with any ideas, and I couldn't have goals or hope for a future.