April 15, 2012
Waiting for guests to arrive for a jam. Thinking. Forgetting that I’m a crip is usually a good thing, as long as I don’t hurt myself. But sometimes, it causes me disappointments.
I tweeted today, “Now set the dye on two floral items I painted. Green god! Then, long bath, next monthly old timey kitchen jam! Then teach. Great day!”
But there was no leisurely nurturing bath. Ok, there are bigger problems in the world. But it is really difficult being a shut in. It is lonely. And nurturing myself taxes my inventiveness, there are only so many things you can do at home as a cripple, even less if you’re low income.
Mind you, I do not want to wallow in my problems. But I do not want to be in denial about them, either.
The bath: I cannot manage a shower, and a bath is difficult, sometimes painful. My doctor prescribed a daily caretaker to help me do things like bathe. Typical American health-care bureaucrats turned me down.
So bathing is quite an operation. (Don’t judge crips for being grubby.) Even a “quick” wash takes a long time.
Nevertheless, sometimes I can manage a pleasant bath, with time to soak.
Today, I forgot I had disabilities, forgot I’d already done too many things to also relax in the tub. In other words, after what I had accomplished, being in the tub quickly got painful.
Relaxing in a tub is usually too strenuous for me!
At least I am a clean crip.
I need to complain, vent a second more. Because it is not just the bath. It is a series of events all day. Many of the most basic functions can only be executed by carefully planned time-consuming measures. One simple task complicated, then another, then another, snowballing into what constitutes a crip’s life.
What positive attitude can I glean from this? I can affirm the idea that I am lucky to be stubborn enough to do all this.
And I can recognize that I am not the only one with this sort of struggle. And it is not just people with disabilities. Many folks live with invisibly complex challenges and the disappointments thereof. I am not the Lone Ranger, I don’t have to feel poor me and nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen.
The other thing I can glean? My isolation has impelled me to draw and paint, new skills which give me great joy.
One more goodness for me to affirm: The jam was great! A kitchen full of love and joy. We even had someone playing spoons and someone else playing jaw harp. And many other parts of my day have been good. It is vital I enjoy those, vital to forget – or at let not dwell on – being a crip. I will not let myself be defined by my disabilities, least of all in my own mind! Yes, as my tweet said, it is a great day.
Now, to go rest before I teach that class! I do enjoy my naps. Hmm, maybe I will lie down outside, I bet my cat would join me.