Month: September 2014

Making Accommodations

It occurred to me this weekend while MiniSir was away being a soldier and I was looking after Little Grunt by myself that I don’t do things “normally”. More accurately, that I can’t do things “normally”. My mum keeps asking me if I have put Grunt on the floor on a blanket to help him learn to crawl, and every time she asks the answer is “no”. Not that I’m not helping him learn to crawl, but rather that I just haven’t done it the way it’s “normally” done.

Since the accident, I’ve learned to do things a little differently than most people. Physical tasks most people take for granted are more than a little painful for me, like getting down on my belly on the floor, for example. Not only can I barely get back up, but lying on my stomach at all is extremely hard on my back. I used to be a stomach sleeper before, and now if I spend 5 minutes lying in bed like that I seize up. It takes another 5 painful minutes to transfer to my side and then my back before I can get up. So getting down on the floor with my son is just not ever going to happen. Instead, I put him in the middle of the bed and get down face to face with him to encourage him to crawl. We have tummy time together there too, where I can lay on my side beside him. It’s supportive for me, and softer when he decides he’s had enough of being on his tummy and starts to smash his face into the covers.

The bed itself is special too: it’s a full mattress width higher than most beds. The delivery guys questioned my request to make it so high, but it is easier to climb up into it and slide down off the edge than it would be to struggle to get up and out of a lower bed. It’s a solid wooden frame too, and according to my husband it’s killer on the knees in the middle of a dark night, so if I need a bit of a boost up onto the mattress I can use the side rail as a step.

But it’s not just in the bedroom that I have to make accommodations. I sit differently in a car seat now. I have to elevate my feet several times a day or they turn purple and get fat. I can’t go more than a half-hour wearing heels, even if most of that time is sitting down. I have limited stamina, arthritis in pretty much every joint in my body, I have to manually check my legs after I shave them because I can’t feel if I’ve nicked myself in the process, and every single piece of my wardrobe has been replaced in the last 3 years.

But the point of this post wasn’t to be all, “oh it’s awful for me”, it was actually this: I have become so accustomed to doing things differently, to making accommodations to my injuries, that I had to really think about why I don’t get down on the floor with my son. And then I had to wonder why my mum always seems so disappointed when I do say “no”.

The weird truth is, I’m so used to living and dealing with all this that my family doesn’t even see it anymore. Things that I can’t do seem to slip their minds. I know it’s because of all the things I can and have done since the accident, things the doctors were unsure I would ever do again, that the small day to day things I am still unable to do get glossed over; in our house they do too. And while this is a good thing, it does take me aback every once in a while when people expect me to do something and don’t get it when I can’t. I guess it’s up to me to be more vocal, to be my own advocate. All right, world, here it is:

Yes, I’ll try it your way, but if I can’t do it, let me try it mine.



(This is Dedicated) To The One I Love

4 years ago today I was preparing to leave a job that had spent the last 2 years and 9 months slowly crushing my soul. I had just gotten a new position somewhere else and couldn’t have been happier. That summer I house sat for a friend who spent her summer working in the military at CFB Suffield, and she emailed me late one night and simply said,”I have found the man of your dreams”. It’s hard to beat an introduction like that. I stalked him on Facebook, found out he was interested in a lot of the same things I was AND he was cute! We traded notes and then phone numbers, so I was also texting with this guy that I really liked, and had been for the last month. Trouble was, he was living in Medicine Hat, Alberta (which I had had to find on a map). But the good news was that he was coming to Kingston for a course and we were planning to meet for real then.

3 years ago today I was lying in my hospital bed in the recovery ward at Medicine Hat Hospital planning my wedding. I had moved out to Alberta to be with the man of my dreams, and while walking to work one Friday morning was struck by a 10-ton, bulletproof truck. This man had dropped everything on the busiest military weekend he had for the whole year and raced to the hospital, and then later the same day driven to Calgary to be with me. He stayed by my side every day, making sure I was comfortable, reading to me and feeding me ice chips. He didn’t protest when I told him that the only thing I wanted to do when I got better was marry him. Little did I know it at the time but he had already put the deposit down on my engagement ring. So there I was, booking the Mess in Kingston where we wanted to get married: “How does a year from today sound?”

2 years ago today I was having an anxiety attack as I watched Kingston get hit with the most severe weather it had seen in a long while. We were catching the tail end of a hurricane and it decided that my wedding day was the day it would roll in. They say rain on your wedding day is good luck, but I thought this was a little much. And then, during the ceremony, the clouds lifted and the sun came out, like a blessing from above. It was the perfect analogy of how the two of us had spent our last year together, and one of the happiest days of my life.

A year ago today I was throwing up. We had just found out we were expecting. It was scary, and we hadn’t told anyone yet. After every doctor I had seen telling me I probably couldn’t ever conceive after the accident, we were petrified that something was going to go wrong. So every morning when I woke up sick we heaved a sigh of relief that maybe, just maybe, it would be all right.

Today I woke up beside the man of my dreams and our miracle baby. After four years of turbulence, this morning was perfect, utter bliss. He kissed me good morning and we whispered “happy anniversary” to one another over our son. As he left I realized one thing: it’s been heaven and hell combined, but it’s all been for this one beautiful reason.

Happy Anniversary, sweetheart. Here’s to many, many more years of mornings like this one. ❤️