Sunday, May 16, 2010
I went to church today. There were many firsts involved: The first time in public in a wheelchair, first car trip, first time I went to someone instead of them coming to me.
Whenever we move to a new city, we always go church shopping. We found a great church in Oxford's Faith Lutheran. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, the music is lots of fun and the Sermons are always thought provoking. Logan, the church's pastor, is a wonderful man. He came to visit me several times at home and in the hospital since I got sick. It felt good to celebrate this next phase of my recovery at his church.
I got home Thursday afternoon and felt like an alien in my own home. It wasn't the changes in the house; new, wide doors and lower cabinets to help with accessibility. It was the change in me. I am not the person I was when I left the house 32 days ago.
People have been asking, "How does it feel to be home? " Usually I tell them that it's good to be home, I am glad to be here. Those things are true. What is also true is that being home is a frustrating: My wheelchair is a little too large for our narrow hallway. Getting in and out of the bedroom and bathroom is tricky. It is also difficult to learn how to use the new equipment I brought home with me. I'm still shocked by how weak I am. And I am totally dependent on Adrienne and Alex to help me with everything.
On Friday night I had a meltdown. After two days of helping me do my transitions from wheelchair to bed or commode, Adrienne was in a lot of pain. Her back was sore from all the extra work. She needed to go to bed and rest. At around 7:30, I started to panic. I felt like I was trapped in the bed. The harder I struggled to control my feelings, the more intense they became. When Adrienne asked me was wrong, I burst into tears.
I didn't want to be weak. I didn't want to depend on her to get me out of bed. I didn't want to hurt her. I begged God to show me what I needed to do to change my life. Was it my pride that put me in this wheelchair? Had I failed some test? Was I guilty of not working hard enough? I cried harder and harder, searching for something that I could undo that would bring me out of this bed and on to my feet again. Just like I used to be.
Realizing that I needed more help than she could provide, Adrienne suggested calling Pastor Logan and asking him to come over. Knowing that I could not think my way out of this cave I had gotten lost in, I agreed. It was as if I looked up and saw a tiny point of light; this was a well not a cave. There was help and help was lowering a ladder to rescue me.
Logan heard my fears. He was compassionate and supportive. He reminded me that Jesus was everywhere. That means that Jesus is with me.
So, how do I like being home? There's no place I would rather be. I still have my friends and family and my faith to take me through today. And today was a good day: I went to church, I rode in a car, I ate three meals a table, I sat my wheelchair for 6 hours, talked with family, visited with friends, and depended on Alex and Adrienne to help me with what I couldn't do myself.