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Day 27 of 30 Days of MD Topic: Transitioning to a Power Wheelchair This is @handicptnamerica’s story: For me using a power chair was something that was a possibility, but so far in the future that it didn’t need consideration. I could walk. I was slow, couldn’t manage grass, uneven terrain, steps, curbs, or virtually anything that wasn’t an even level surface. I fell a lot, twisting ankles and breaking a bone or two, but so what? I was walking. It first hit me 10 years ago that I was going to eventually need a power chair when I started seeing a PT from a local therapy pool. I was at an MDA clinic and she said, “On paper, it doesn’t make sense. You shouldn’t be able to walk, but it works for you.” I took it as a compliment. In retrospect, it was a warning. She said I needed to protect my joints and bones, if I was injured I’d end up in a chair. I bristled and took it as an insult. Her words sat in the back of my brain flipping between annoyance and prophecy, then came Christmas 2012. I was going on a trip and in the night I tripped over a suitcase. I knew my leg was broken when I hit the ground. I needed surgery and a rod down the length of my shin. The thing I dreaded was happening. Once I recovered I started the process of getting a power chair. I wasn’t pleased about it, but I reluctantly accepted it. The day my chair was delivered I asked if it could go on grass. He said yes, so I took it out in the yard. At one point I realized I was in a place at my own home that I had never been able to get to. I started gardening not long after with some flowers. Every year I expanded my gardening, adapting it to my needs. I sold vegetables, then used that money to expand. Eventually, I designed a whole system that worked for my specific needs. Along with other vegetables, I plant at least 80 tomatoes and share it with my neighbors. I went from sitting inside passing time to getting outside and being part of my community. I’m in my 40s now and I’ve gone from never wanting a wheelchair to wishing I had gotten one 20 years ago. The thing I didn’t want to happen is the thing that allowed all that to happen. #MDAwarenessMonth #MDAwareness #30daysofmd
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