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Monday, May 24, 2010

square feet

Some where I must have missed the notes that indicated how much square footage I would need to house two motorized wheel chairs, two manual wheel chairs, two hospital beds, a hoyer lift, standing machine and tables. Tables high enough to allow wheelchairs to fit under them, strategically placed throughout my home to ensure eating and other activities would also be accessible. Not to mention the space that it would take to maneuver around two teenage bodies with out bumping their limbs on furniture. In my efforts to be super single mom preparing for the future I some how had not managed to include enough space on my list of necessities. How could I have been so pathetically thoughtless in preparing us for the future.

I watched as my youngest approached our back door leading out to the ramp that would take him into his backyard. Slowly and cautiously he worked his way through the narrow passage through our kitchen. The doorway seemed hardly large enough to fit his chair through and just as if he had become one with the chair he escaped the entrance with out a trace of scuffing wall or wheels. In all my efforts to make our home accessible we still lacked space. My oldest son Zach and I had laughed only weeks ago about perhaps needing to eliminate all furniture and use folding chairs to allow more freedom for Josiah and Cody. Now, I was faced with my next biggest challenge of all, creating an environment that can contain the footage necessary to keep my two youngest sons thriving. A home that would allow them to move freely, safely and not be so isolated to sections of the house. I was faced with finding ways to give them more independence as DMD progressed.

My list of lifts, ramps and widened doorways was only beginning and yet I found my self overwhelmed by the adaptions our next home would require to ensure Cody and Josiah would be safe and able to move from room to room with out being carried. Lifting was certainly now an issue of safety for both of my sons, as well as my self. Only a month ago while spending the weekend at their fathers home, Cody was dropped by his father when he was being transported from wheelchair to bed. We were lucky Cody only required 4 stitches to the back of his head, angels were truly watching out for Cody that day. I winced at the thought of another injury. I have been very fortunate when the boys were in my care our incidences had only been that of minor bumps. As my sons grow in size so does the hardship of caring for them. Lately it had become a common occurrence of bumping a leg on the stairs or doorway. Even furniture now seemed to pose a threat if positioned to close when lifting my sons.

Today I was feeling especially proud that I had not bumped Cody at all this morning while transporting him from his upstairs bedroom to his awaiting wheelchair downstairs. Now that he out weighed me it took every ounce of strength I had to lift him. The stairs connecting our multi level home also had become my enemy. Cody thanked me this morning for sparing his limbs from the impact he was beginning to expect daily. It almost seemed odd for me not to spend my morning apologizing for a bump or two. A friend asked me once about the kind of pain a child with Duchenne might experience. At the time I did not mention bumps and bruising. It was apparent though that these too are a very major concern. When lifting a person with limbs unable to move freely they are often at risk of injury. I felt empowered today though, we started the day off with out added pain. If I could only master bump free days every day I thought to myself. The manual and notes I joke about that are not in existence to my knowledge perhaps are something I am to write. I laughed to myself. After all it seemed adapting had become my ambition.

So now it seemed our new home was in fact becoming even more of a reality as we come closer to our closing date. In thought, I visualized the space we would gain. I beamed at the ceiling lifts I imagined I could have installed. Looking around our present house, silently I prayed that it would sell soon. Hoping it would not add financial concern to the stress I was beginning to feel from planning our relocating. It seemed years ago as I became a single mom purchasing a home larger than the square feet we had was not even feasible. Some where some how I had yet managed another milestone on my own. This was a risk I have to take for my sons. Giving my sons the chance at living in a home that could possibly address all their increasing needs gave me reason to only push myself harder to make this dream into reality. The opportunity to keep my children from feeling like cargo was something I felt strongly about. If binding us financially was the only way I could make it happen this too I would put into the hands of a higher power.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rita,

    I'm so excited for you and your boys. We also just bought a house and after only living here two weeks, it's amazing the difference we already see in how our son can maneuver through the house and how much easier it is for us to take care of him. Having more space relieves a bit of the pressure for our whole family because we're not right on top of each other. I too never realized how much room all the "stuff" took up...someone should add that to the "Welcome to DMD" book :-(

    Christina Adamson