Tuesday, July 12, 2011


There is nothing like a stranger with a clipboard and a bunch of probing questions to make you take a real hard look at your life. Tonight we had a medical evaluation in our home to qualify Brian for a wheelchair. We spent a good two hours going over his medical history, the story of the car accident, and what day to day life is like for him. Right now I am just overwhelmed. We've both know for awhile that a wheelchair would probably be in his future. I think we just both thought that it would be a bit more in the distant future.

The truth is mobility has been hard and getting harder for awhile now. Both of us really try to stay positive and focus on the blessings we have rather than the struggles. And really, it's hard to complain when you see other people who have much bigger struggles. But tonight we had to focus on the reality of Brian's disability, and it was just more painful than I was expecting.

The sheer cost of everything is overwhelming. Getting into a wheelchair means some pretty serious accommodations will have to be made. (I am trying to hard to stay away from the word remodel, but it's what it boils down to ultimately.) Ramps... hard surfaces instead of carpets... wider doorways... I can't even think about the bathrooms without bursting into tears. And then there is the new physical therapy to learn how to use the wheelchair which means co-pays, not to mention the cost of the wheelchair itself.

Brian could tell that I was upset after the meeting and asked the fateful words, "Are you okay?" (I swear, those three little words can drive me to tears faster than anything!) I said, "This just isn't how I pictured my life, you know? I never thought these would be things I'd have to deal with and worry about." I know he didn't either, I mean who would before it was something you have to deal with? Brian said, "Come here. I want to give you a hug, but it's just so much work to get up."  So I went and sat with him and he held me while I cried. And then from the bathroom Evie yelled, "Mom?! Lila has a HUGE booger coming out of her nose!" And so life goes on...

Of course as overwhelming as it is, we are both very excited for the new addition to our lives. Brian's life and mobility will be so much better, he'll have so much more freedom. It's like I said to the therapist, "It's time for us to stop clinging to what we had and embrace our new reality." I know we will be okay. We always are. No matter what comes our way we will handle it together as a family and we will be okay. I know that it will help to get educated about what programs and assistance are available for us. I also have a couple of ideas I've been mulling over for awhile to bring in some more income and this might just be the push I need to go forward with them. Necessity is the mother of invention after all.

I think it's been very cathartic to get this down in black and white. This is part of my story. I think it's important to record the good and the bad equally. This is a real life and the unexpected is part of a real life. I look back at what I wrote when my mom was sick and at the end of her life and I didn't write anything but the surface. I wish that I had recorded more of my deeper self at that time. I think it would have been helpful with the grieving process. And that what this is. We have to grieve the life that we had and the one we thought we would have, and then get busy living the one we've got. Because the one we've got is still pretty good.


Elizabeth said...

Hey Chrissy. I haven't commented on your blog lately, but I wanted to let you know that I am still here :) I think it is more than okay to take a little time out to post about the real life stuff if you feel like it. I think it is just as important and shapes who we are more than the fun/happy times, and I agree that it does a soul good to get the feelings out in writing--in a more tangible and approachable form. Also, I think when we record what you said as the "deeper self" it will not only help you, but possibly your children as they go back and gain strength and inspiration from seeing you work through your trials. You guys are amazing and I know that you will be able to forge forward with success. Prayers your way, and any other help you may need with your house or anything else let us know!

Emilie said...

Oh Chrissy! I know you'll be fine, but I'm shedding a few tears and wishing I were closer to give you a big hug.

Amy said...

Thanks for being so honest in this post. You have no idea how much this hit home for me. We are going through our own thing and I have had similar feelings. I am grateful for your strength and honesty. I really hope that the transition will go smoothly for you guys.
Sending love your way!

Megs said...

Thank you for sharing a deeper part of you. I whole heartedly believe in owning the unexpected, grieving a little, and then moving towards progress and change.

You are a very strong woman, and your family is amazing. You deserve an Extreme Home Makeover. :)

Caitlin said...

I agree with Megan. If any of us (besides dad) were the least bit competent with power tools, I know we'd all rush en masse to help you out with the changes! However, I'm guessing you'd prefer to have just one person in a wheelchair, so I for one will abstain from wielding heavy/sharp objects and send loads of good karma and love your way!

JD said...

I am sorry that it is so hard. I wish life were easier. But then it wouldn't be life. Your house will change, your home will stay the same.
(sorry sniff trying to type through tears, not out grief, but sadness we can't be there to help lift you up, the way I would want to.)

The most important part of life will remain unchanged, as is exemplified by huge boogers and flow charts and graphs showing family togetherness will always indicate. Think of the exciting fun of making the choices to that await that will bless your life with ease, comfort and aesthetic happiness. Life doesn't end with a wheelchair, it just goes off-roading.

we love and miss you.

Natalie said...

I really admire you and your family Chrissy. I know what you're going through is hard - I can't even imagine - but that positive outlook will get you through it. It's okay to have a good cry now and then too. Sending hugs.

Noelle said...

I don't really know what to "say." This post made me cry and laugh and cry some more. I'd like to know about the details for your garage sale next month. Can we donate items? What is the bake sale portion? Can I make cupcakes to sell? Let me know! I will keep bugging you until you tell me what I can do to help!