Tag Archives: wheelchair

A Week In The Life

It’s been an interesting week. Last Thursday, Scarlett fractured her arm on the playground while swinging with her friends at a birthday party. I wasn’t watching her, because I don’t watch six-year-olds play at the playground when my friends are all drinking wine and facing in the opposite direction. It was truly a lovely party, until the moment when my child was screaming bloody murder that she needed to leave right then, and would stay for absolutely not one moment longer, except for what’s that you say, a cupcake? Yes, I will take that on my way out.

I was planning to just take her home, but something about the way she was carrying on told me that this situation was pretty serious. It’s hard for me to tell if an injury is really an issue or not, as I can’t usually get close enough to see, and Scarlett has enough drama in her personality that it is often unclear what is real and what is pure performance. This time, though, it seemed painful.

We left the emergency room three hours later, and on Monday we got her official bright pink hard cast, which she will wear for six weeks. As I said on Facebook the day after the accident, the worst part about it is that it creates more work for all the people who are helping me, meaning Rob, my sister, my assistants…basically a group of people who are not looking for more responsibility. But such is life, and of course I am also impacted by her fracture, because I now find myself waiting longer for help, because she is the priority. Read More>

The Unclean Machine

Scarlett woke up this morning and got dressed in Parmesan cheese. That probably looks like a dictation mistake, but it’s true. She ate her breakfast of leftover pizza, wearing nothing but her underwear, and by the time she crawled onto my lap to listen to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, she was covered in tiny flakes like pungent snow, and so was I. And really, what could be a more auspicious start to the day than being sprinkled with secondhand dairy dandruff? When Scarlett flounced off to brush her hair and change her clothes, I just sat there with my winnings.

When she was younger, my daughter used to hand me all of her garbage to take care of. And as far back as I can remember, I would direct her to the nearest garbage can instead. She was three years old when I got a wheelchair, and when she tried to give me her garbage then, I would say “Mommy is not a garbage can”, and shoo her away. At six years old, she’s good at cleaning up after herself, and yet, I feel like I’m always holding something that is hers, covered in something she was eating, or in sudden possession of a lap full of sticks and flower petals because she “needed them for later!” Read More>

Out on the Road

When we moved into our new neighborhood last year, I looked at the hills around our house, looked down at my wheelchair and thought Hell No. I took one harrowing walk with Scarlett “around the block”, which took 20 minutes and included several encounters with cars blocking the sidewalk, forcing me to wheel down short, steep driveways into the street.

Scarlett was riding her bike about a half block ahead of me the whole time, and if that sounds ok to you people who live on perfectly flat streets, let me just say that it was really not all that ok. I’m from a suburb of Chicago where we went sledding down hills that weren’t as steep as my San Francisco street. That first “walk” resulted in no injuries, and only one suggestion from a stranger that I attach a leash to Scarlett’s bike, but I was seriously sweating.

That was in my first wheelchair, a lightweight cutie that couldn’t handle a whole lot of climbing. When I got my new wheelchair, it was time to try again. I wanted to head out with my daughter, explore with her, just be alone with her for a while. But I was freaked out. Read More>