How has the pandemic affected your daily life? For the past 14 months, the mantra I heard in the press was all about how we should stay in our bubble, and how that has caused widespread depression. I don’t doubt that, especially for people who travel or are on the move a lot. I am wondering however about our community, those who by definition are mobility challenged because of paralysis. My guess is most of us don’t travel or get around as much as we did before paralysis, so my hypothesis is that we were not as negatively affected by the pandemic in this regard. I invite you to test my hypothesis by sharing your stories with everyone, here is mine.
Before paralysis, I had a demanding job that required regular travel around the country. Even on days when I just went to the office, I had a one-hour car trip in each direction, so I was used to being on the go. That of course changed dramatically after my accident. I am a C4 complete, so I went from being on the go to being in bed. Time went from being scarce and precious, to abundant and devalued. For the past 13 years I have pretty much followed the same schedule, getting up on Wednesdays and Sundays, while being in bed otherwise. For the first couple of years, I was a bit more active because we still had two children living at home. Once they went off to college and life however, opportunities to get up spontaneously decreased, and a more predictable schedule settled in. Offsetting that however was the increasing access to game changing technology, particularly Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Coupled with a newfound passion that was my 501©(3), the element of time shifted once again from too much of it to not enough. Between working at my foundation, writing blogs and books, taking online courses in subjects just because I can, becoming the chief Internet researcher of all things for our household, watching movies of interest, and reading interesting books, I have held a full-time gig while being my own boss. So, when the pandemic came along, my schedule was not much affected. There were two things we’ve had to scale back on over the past year however, and that is going out to eat and seeing our grandchildren in person. On the other hand, we’ve been able to patronize most of those restaurants via take-out, and we have probably interacted more with our grandchildren than before over the phone or on WhatsApp.
Don’t get me wrong, I received a vaccine at my first opportunity, and I am ready for this thing to be over, but I have not let it dictate this year of my life. Paralysis dictates what my body can do, but only I can dictate what I let it do to my mind. After all, if I can mentally overcome a devastating diagnosis like quadriplegia, Covid 19 is just a speed bump! Let’s hear from you.
Slice of Life series articles are those that share the special experiences of those living in a wheelchair in a way that is witty, informational, poignant, and even inspirational. Do you have a story? Share it with us at email@example.com