About three years ago I had emergency back surgery. I’ve had back problems since my twenties but I suddenly developed something called Cauda Equina and ended up in an emergency room. I was prepped for major back surgery by six am the next morning! After the surgery I lost all feeling down the right side of my leg, my right foot and all the reflexes in my right ankle. This made walking difficult and I had to slowly build up my strength again but thanks to my amazing surgeon, I no longer had any pain. It could have been much worse. I could have been paralyzed from the waist down, so I was very grateful to be where I was. Not long after surgery, I refused to stay home feeling sorry for myself and let this get the best of me, so I rented a wheelchair and when I wanted to go shopping or do things that required walking long distances, I hopped in and either my best friend Suzanne or one of my daughters would push me when we went out. I came to realize a few things while in the wheelchair:
1. I connected to less Spirits when I was out in public because being in the wheelchair allowed me to make less eye contact with people. This was great. Finally, all those years of struggling in public to maintain my own thoughts and not always be connecting to Spirits and this seemed to work.
2. I was able to relax and be more in the moment. Not worrying about Spirits or if I shouldn’t give the messages to people as their loved ones came in.
3. Sometimes it’s okay to let other people help you when you need help. We can’t always be in control. Let love flow both ways in your life. Give and receive it.
Recently, I have gone back to using a wheelchair when out in public because of my sudden onsets of vertigo. Most people would stay home and wait for the spinning I’ve been suffering with to subside, but I just can’t seem to let vertigo, back problems or anything else win. If I want to do something I will find a way to do it, and that seems to help me get though it. If there is a way ..I will find it. (Sometimes this doesn’t work in Dave’s favour, lol). Anyway, yesterday I wanted to go and look at some of the local nurseries for plants so my trusty side kick Suzanne came along for the ride.
While sitting in my chair waiting for Suzanne, who was ordering us some dinner, I watched as an elderly woman walked by. Her sweatpants where much too short, the back of her hair was sticking up all over, the colour of her jacket didn’t match anything else, including the pink socks she wore with her Nike runners, and her purse was clearly from the 70’s. You could tell the women was cognitive and able but well into her 80’s. When she saw me looking she smiled a big smile and continued to head into the nursery, very happy and content and looking forward to her evening at the nursery.
Then I watched as a little girl walked by. Her jeans where much too short and she wore a tutu over her pants. Her hair was sticking out all over the place, she had chocolate on her cheeks, dirt on her hands and her shoes were on the wrong feet. She walked along and sang and played and danced to her own music she clearly had playing in her head. Happy, carefree and in the moment.
I continued to scan the people around me and noticed that everyone between the little girls age (approximately 7-8 yrs old) and the elderly woman’s age (75-80 yrs old) seemed to care an awful lot about what they wore and how they looked. One woman even fussed nervously as I looked at her, possibly worried that her dress or hair was out of place.
What happens to us after we leave childhood? And why do we find that “I don’t care what I look like” again when we get older? And how can we have it now?
That’s what I wondered as I sat in my wheelchair previously worried about what people would think or say if they saw me sitting in a wheelchair. Suddenly I realized that as children and elderly we have small egos. We don’t care what others think nor do we allow others to determine what we wear or who we are. As children we live in the moment and as elderly people we seem to know we have only so many moments left so we live the same way.
I vote we all find this freedom much earlier then in our elderly years and take on the new found attitude that the dancing girl and the mismatched Grandma have. If you love it ..do it! If you like it ..wear it! If you want it ..buy it and if you feel it ..live it! If you can do it ..do it!
Today I’ve woken up to the world slightly spinning again ..Don’t worry though, I’ll be rocking my wheelchair with my best friend Suzanne and taking on the day as planned and I even may wear pink socks while doing it!