What does one do when injured by a chair and needing to be extra careful about posture?
I’m fortunate enough to have a chair that’s build for me, meaning it’s designed as specifically as possible to my unique posture needs.
I’m talking about my wheelchair.
There are additional benefits to having a wheelchair that people don’t think about, and this is certainly one of them.
Having somewhere to sit that you know won’t cause pain or discomfort doesn’t seem like a big deal, but for some people it is.
You’ve heard of BYOB? Sometimes I BYOC
This isn’t a new thing for me, but as the years pass I find more times when it is beneficial.
Once I remembered I had the BYOC option I remembered the 1st time I write about the topic.
The holidays always make me think of recovering from surgery. My last surgery was in September, the one before that January, my SDR was in October, and I even had a large birthmark removed during the holidays one year.
Did you know some surgeons frown on having surgery requiring a long recovery period in the summer? Something about being more inclined to be more active in warmer weather, I think.
Three years ago (almost to the day) I was given the O.K. to stand up. So I did. I’d love to tell you that I strolled out of the clinic that day but it doesn’t quite work like that when you’ve spent months off your feet at all costs.
This wasn’t the first recovery process I’ve dragged my family though but this one has been different than the others, at least to date. This one involved the shouting, “Come get Sarah in the house,” for one thing. And even that became shockingly normal after a few tries.
I thought I’d be “up and around” by Christmas that year. A month was enough time to learn to walk again right? (Plus it wasn’t my first time at this rodeo either) I wasn’t thinking I’d have to maneuver a wheelchair though a house crammed full of people.
But when the day came I was still relying on wheels to get me from point A to point B so my cousins carried me into the house. I rolled in and quickly turned to the left.
Christmas day in my family is legendary. There’s a running joke that if you return for another Christmas you’re probably going to stick around for a while.
We’re the only family (that I know of), that won’t go buffet. It’s “not how Christmas should be,” we all have to sit down at the table and eat, together. The table runs the length of the dining room, literally. So if you walk in the “wrong” entrance you walk into the table.
I’ll admit it’s an intimidating table, and this is my normal.
Trying to fit a wheelchair at a table that’s had to adopt the mantra, “just because a plate can fit there doesn’t mean a person can;” have I mentioned that we have to borrow chairs from other people/places in order to make this work?
So fitting a wheelchair at a Christmas table……
Thankfully my request was honored and I was privileged to sit on an end. It was pretty easy actually.
This one year my cousin brought his girlfriend to dinner. She was trying to be polite asking my cousin questions as quietly as possible. I say she was tying to be quiet because it’s impossible to do anything without someone noticing when you sit that close to each other.
“How many people are here right now?”
My cousin looks down the table and makes an educated guess, but his younger brother (& one of my carriers) and I overhear the guess and feel compelled to jump in, it’s what we do.
“We needed 29 chairs, so there are 30 people here.”
“That makes sense 29 chairs, plus me, so yeah 30 people”
“If we needed 29 chairs then there are 29 people here.”
“No there isn’t, I brought my own, so it’s 30”
I just had to throw a joke in there somewhere, because all of us trying to do math isn’t funny enough.
“There are 29 people here.”
“She brought her own chair. There are 30.”
“Sarah brought her own chair.”
Error in judgment realized, joke understood, the whole section of the table burst into laughter, girlfriend sits there confused, which is probably part of the reason she didn’t return the next year.
The things I do to get to sit at the foot of the table.*
*To avoid confusion one end of the table is called the “head” and the other is referred to as the “foot.”
*A similar version of this post first appeared on an old blog on November 29, 2012