It has been a while since I have written, I apologize for that, it's just that I have been busy. Being busy is a good thing these days, it means I have things to do and places to go.
I was at my sister Rhonda's house for six days at the beginning of August. As always I had a great time, floating around the pool, soaking up the sun, and eating like a pig. My thoughtful brother-in-law, Peter, built a ramp in the garage for my wheelchair to make getting into their house easier. While I was in Indy I got to see two of my dear friends, Mark and Jena along with Jena's little boy, Hudson.
Bill, yes that Bill, has been very kind and thoughtful with regard to picking me up and making sure I get out of my condo. Bill and I went to the Andersonville Farmers Market a couple of weeks ago. This was my first real venture out into my neighborhood since the loss of my second leg. I will admit I was a little selfconscious about being in my wheelchair, but more about that later.
Bill and I have also been out to eat three times. I appreciate the time and effort he puts forth to help me get out to see and be seen by other people. We went to see the movie "The Help" at the Northbrook Mall, even though it was a lot of wheeling through the mall, we had a good time.
I know how this may sound but I feel it is necessary to share my feelings. I'm not sure whether the feelings of selfconsciousness I have are normal for people in my situation or if perhaps I am overreacting. I feel like people are staring at me because I am in a wheelchair. I realize that people see others in wheelchairs all the time and probably don't give it a second thought, however, when it is you that is in that wheelchair it changes your entire perspective. These feelings of selfconsciouness are perhaps because since the loss of my second leg, I haven't really been out in the public all that much.
I think this adjustment will take some getting used to. Now you may be wondering, why is he talking so much about the wheelchair, what happened to the goal of walking? That goal is being accomplished a little bit more each and every day, but as I have discussed in previous blogs, these things take time. In the meantime it would behoove me to begin to get out and try to socialize more, learn to become more comfortable in my new circumstances.
As we know sometimes I am hard on myself, not allowing myself to have feelings of loss and the sadness that goes along with loss. I attempt to share my feelings with you honestly at all times, and if I acted like going out in public in my wheelchair didn't bother me, that would not be the honest truth. It does bother me.
The question then becomes which bothers me most, not getting out and socializing or staying home too much? One of the reasons I started this blog was to share my feelings with my readers, to let you know how I feel about what is going on in my life and how I cope with this monumental loss of my lower extrementies. Having said that, sometimes my feelings are not all that pleasant. One of the most benefical aspects of this blog is that it is a carthartic means by which to vent my feelings. I thank you for allowing me to do that, as I feel it is a healthy approach to living a happier and more meaningful life.
I know that what I am going through, with respect to being seen in public in my wheelchair may be hard for you to understand. Some may think I am overreacting, why should I care if people stare? The more likely scenerio is that people aren't really staring at all and if they are it is just a passing thought.
My friend Steve has said to me on more than one occasion that he wished he could see himself through other (not another) eyes because he would like to know what he would think about what he saw. Another friend of Steves said to him, "me too I want to know what others think of me." Steve said to him, "I don't care what others think about me, I care about what I think about myself." I love the fact that Steve doesn't care what others think--I want to be more like Steve in that respect. I shouldn't care what others think, I should care most about what I think.
Suffice it to say I am glad to be out and about and once again it is yet another aspect of my adjustment that will take some time.