Three years ago I was having rehab with a remarkable physio. I’d spent 8 months flat on my back waiting for, having and recovering from two spinal surgeries and he was helping to teach me to live my new normal. Nothing would ever be the same again, but he gave me the confidence to be a better version of me, if not physically but at least mentally. He was one of the many stars of the NHS who helped me rebuild myself again.
My physio encouraged me to not think about what I couldn’t do anymore, but how I could do things differently. He appealed to my problem solving, determined side and he really believed in me. Over a period of weeks he had me doing normal things most people take for granted. Hanging the washing out, loading the dishwasher, pushing my small son to the end of my road and back in his pram and sitting for incrementally longer periods. It was all exhausting, but the few months I spent under his care cemented the foundations for how I now live my life.
Although I don’t allow my disability to define me, every physical move I make is carefully calculated and internally risk assessed. The numbness in my feet and legs means I have to focus extra hard when walking down the stairs, I can’t really lift anything heavier than a couple of tins of beans and taking a bath or a shower means lots of health and safety checklists have to be scrolled through in my brain before I get the shower gel out.
Currently my bathroom doesn’t have any adaptations, but I know that at the very least it could do with a couple of sturdy grab handles. Not being able to feel the soles of my feet (everything feels like I’m stood on a sponge) means that baths and showers pose a slippery threat I won’t be aware of until it’s too late.
I know that when the time comes for us to upgrade our bathroom that a walk in shower with a seat would be very useful. There are lots of companies such as Premier Bathrooms who offer stylish bath suites and walk-in showers these days which I’ll be checking out when the time comes.
There’s nothing I can do to get the feeling back in my feet and legs. I know that rest helps if it suddenly gets worse, but how I am right now is the best I’m going to get. I’m pleased that my fantastic physio worked hard with me and pushed me to the point that if you didn’t know my medical history, you would probably think I was completely fine. And I am completely fine with that.
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