Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Two Good Hands

What I wouldn't give to have two good hands! Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I'd just broken my back in my car accident instead of my neck, making me a paraplegic instead of a quadriplegic. It still would've been a complete life-changer to go from being able-bodied to being completely disabled and forever wheelchair-ridden, but I just can't help but wonder what my life would be like if I had the use of my arms and hands. I'd be able to live a completely independent life and that would be pretty amazing.
A few months ago a new reality-type show called Push Girls debuted on the Sundance channel and it follows the lives of four woman in wheelchairs. Three of these women are paraplegics and one of them is a high-functioning quadriplegic (she doesn't have full dexterity of her fingers, meaning she can't straighten them out, but she does have full use of her arms). It's amazing to watch these women because they're so independent! They drive their own sporty, little cars, they live on their own and are able to care for themselves. Watching this show has made me wonder what my life would be like if only my legs were paralyzed and I were able to live on my own and be independent. What would my social life be like? Would I be married? What sort of job would I have?
Oh, what I wouldn't give to have the use of my arms/hands! If I could pick one thing to be able to do for myself again, it would probably be doing my own hair and makeup! Don't get me wrong, my sister Chandra does a phenomenal job on doing my hair and makeup for me but if I were able to do that for by myself again that would be amazing! Chandra is engaged and will be moving away after she gets married next June. I CANNOT  tell you how much I'm dreading that! I will miss her for tons of reasons, of course, but I'm wondering what will become of me, appearance-wise?!! I've already resigned myself to the fact that I just won't look as nice when she's not here to doll me up anymore. Sad, but true.

There are other things people have to do for me that would be nice to do for myself again, too. Things I'm pretty particular about, like feeding myself or brushing my teeth. My younger sister Chandra has brushed my teeth just about every day since my accident and she's by far the best at doing it because she knows just the way I like it. (Just thinking of anyone other than my mom or Chandra brushing my teeth is absolutely horrifying! I'm sure I could train someone new and eventually have them learn how I like it done, but you have no  idea how difficult this sort of instructing/training is. It's much easier said than done!)

And to be able to do something as simple as to scratch my own itches, or move the hairs that get in the way and tickle my face! Talk about pure torture! It's more difficult than you'd think to not only direct someone in the right direction of where to scratch, but how to scratch. I don't allow just anyone to help me with things like scratching itches, either, unless that someone really knows me well and is familiar with my care. I would rather suffer with an irritating itch instead of going through the frustration of trying to explain the scratching process.

Two good hands come in so useful and make all the difference! You can have my legs if I can have my hands!


Tina said...


You always remind me of the things I take for granted! Thank you!

Oh..Congratulations on your new calling!

Your Utah Friend,


Julie said...

Heather, I honestly don't know how you cope with no movement in your arms & hands, it must be awful.

Reading your blog makes me grateful for all the blessings that I have & often when I'm having an extra-tough day I think of you & realise that what I'm going through is nothing compared to what you face every day.

Thank you for your wonderful example. Best of luck with your new calling:)

Best wishes from the uk.

Anonymous said...

Maybe God will work another miracle in your life and give you your hands back. I hope your dreams come true, so that you too can have your little sports car, marriage, job, etc. if you so desire. Best of luck with the teaching! My Sunday school teachers always glossed over the sexual purity lesson, unfortunately, so I'm still curious what other churches' stance on it is.

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog... especially when you write from your heart.....

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather-

You do more with your heart and your head than a lot of people do with their hands and their legs. You can move mountains just by sharing your story...congrats on your new teaching role!

saa said...

You make me realize how ungrateful I can be,at times when I'm having a hard time with my autistic son.I always open your blog and read throught it .Always gives me new strength to cope with things.God bless you

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