Waves of change

I have heard a lot of people talk about, OK complain about, being ‘stuck’ at home. One recently said they hadn’t been outside, meaning the world at large rather than their garden, for two weeks. I don’t want to belittle that at all, it is tough, especially for energetic children. But I do want to bring a little perspective. January 2018 I was taken into hospital unable to walk, about a week later I was returned home to a hospital bed in our front room. We had no ramps, no wheelchair, no hoist. I was bed bound for several months until a kind friend bought a temporary wheelchair and the church built a ramp. It was a few months later I got a custom assessed NHS wheelchair and hoist. Even with all that equipment it is by no means unusual for me to spend a week in bed now. Because I don’t feel well enough to transfer to my wheelchair.

Being limited to a house is tough, you will be feeling that. Being limited to a bed is tough. When the lock down first happened I was tempted to say ‘welcome to my world.’ I am sure many people in a similar situation to myself echo that sentiment.

Our Church is having to run its services remotely via video link on YouTube. We are really enjoying the fact that it feels like community. Normally we make it to our Church about once or at most twice a month. Folk have asked why we don’t listen in via the web to services on the other weeks. The reason is the feeling of disconnect. But now that everyone is listening at a distance we feel part of it. Instead of the internet connection reminding us that we are apart, it enables us to be together. I don’t know if that makes sense?

Not seeing friends and family, missing family celebrations is very hard. I have missed weddings, Christenings, birthday parties, funerals and other family events over the years. I know what missing out feels like. Now that no one can meet up it’s not the same because there are no events happening or if there are they are via video. To just see family on video is tough, I am always so glad when I get to visit family or they visit me. Face to face is wonderful.

This must sound like a one up on being miserable. But really I was only putting the current situation in perspective of what it’s like for many of us on a daily basis. Remember this after the lock down which is after all just a few weeks. It will end for you, it does not end for many others. In a way this can serve the same job as when people try out a wheelchair or put a blindfold on. You get a glimpse into limitations and the effect on lives.

I would like to offer some helpful advice to those of you who are new to being locked in. Attitude is the biggest key to how we feel. Fighting against the limitations lead to frustration and pain. I liken it to the way you deal with a massive wave in the sea. If you try and stand up when a giant wave comes at you, then you get knocked over and winded. If you either dive through it, float over it or go with it then you will not be flattened or winded. Yes, you will change position and probably end up on your bottom. But you won’t be upside down spinning and trying to catch your breath. Go with the difficulty rather than fight it. Allow new ways of coping to naturally show themselves after you have had the old ones washed away. They say change is painful, yes it is. But it is more painful when you resist it. It’s easier to get through this difficult time if you stay positive looking for the good that will come of it. I speak from experience.

Of course if you are locked in with kids…. Hey what can I say. Seriously though, whatever the situation, on your own, a couple, with children, there is a way to cope. Remember that waves are massive destructive forces, but you can float over them or dive through them. Go with the flow on this, don’t let it flatten you.

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Author: Mike Nevin

I decided to write about the funny side of being cared for. I am a full time wheelchair user with daily carers. It's my experiences with my carers that inspired this blog.

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