Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Bugs and Barriers

Alas, the pain relief from the procedure lasted two days...and I graduated to a wheelchair today. I am pleased, though, that my next appointment is next Wednesday, which is three weeks sooner than originally planned (but I had to be a very squeaky wheel to get that). And I guess surgery is the next option.

I do not know how people with chronic pain learn to live with it. The pain colors everything I do; dulls my thoughts, damps my enthusiasm, and makes me cranky (not that anyone really notices that I'm cranky, but I FEEL cranky). Not only is it difficult to find a comfortable position no matter what I do, but it's difficult to get from one place to another. Despite the handicapped access laws, there are still barriers that I never noticed before.

Our parking garage is shared by two buildings. Handicapped parking spaces for employees are situated next to the old building; I work in the new building. To get to my building, I have to use an elevator and then a glassed-in walkway which goes from the 2nd floor of the old building to the 4th floor of the new building...so the walkway is an incline, and not a gentle one. And there's a corner to get round right in the middle.

It's a workout to go up it in a wheelchair, especially since the glass double doors at either end are stiff and were hard to open when I could walk. What is really going to be fun, though, is getting back to my car. I can just see me splatted against the glass doors like a bug on a windshield...

8 comments:

Leann said...

I'm sorry to hear the pain has returned. I can understand and relate. I have pain in my hips that won't go away, no matter what I do. Can't sleep, stairs are a challenge, and I have to conciously think about what I'm doing.

None of us realize the difficulties of being "handicapped" until we are in that situation. I can't imagine what someone in a wheelchair deals with on a dialy basis.

Hopefully you'll be here tomorrow and won't be that bug on a windshield!

Anonymous said...

Jodie,
Hi, I was just cruising around my sister's site (Leann) and was reading your blog. I enjoyed it because I too am an RN(in a birth center) at a local hospital and can totally relate to a lot of what you write.
I too work night shift and most of the time feel like some kind of vampire. Sleeping until 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon and trying to fit the rest of the day into the few hours before my kids get home from school.
Anyway, enjoyed the reading. Hang in there.

Gone Away said...

Hopefully a cure is in sight, Jodie and you will be able to be rid of the pain for good. It doesn't seem to affect your sense of humor though... ;)

Keeefer said...

You'll be up and around in no time.

But for now enjoy being cranky. snap at people, bash their ankles with your chair, reverse and bash em again.Take door wedges and wedge the glass doors open, then come belting down that incline screaming ferociously and blaring an air horn.......none of this will ease the pain or endear you to your colleagues, but what the hell. Ya gotta wheelchair you have to abuse it

Jodie said...

OK, I'm getting an airhorn on my way to work tomorrow...

Ned said...

I think the airhorn sounds like a great idea and something you can use later, such as when you are recovering from surgery and need someone to fetch you something.

Often I think buildings incorporate facilities for the handicapped to stay in code and don't use common sense. My building has the handicapped parking halfway across the lot and revolving doors. There is a door that opens flush to the walkway but it only opens from inside. The other door that opens from the outside has a step up of three inches at least. I can't imagine how anyone in a wheelchair would get in.

Jodie said...

Ned, maybe it's due to Homeland Security doing their part to prevent wheelchair terrorists. :D

Harry said...

I thought crocs got young Keefer.

Ever notice when you hurt something bad, say like get a cut on maybe a little pinky finger, that all of a sudden that finger wants to run into any and everything around that is hard and immovable?