Appreciating Just About Everything

Good Things

Palm trees before…
Photo by Diane Taylor

I’m basically a positive person who sees most glasses half full vs. half empty. So what is good about a broken ankle?

First is the kindness of so many people. I’ve had offers of everything from loaned medical equipment to volunteer mopping of our tile floors. Another friend never fails to tell me to get plenty of rest. (No problem.)

Second is the opportunity to really look around the home environment. I have seen things like beautiful reflections in our pool in the early morning, the debut of glorious yellow roses and the before-and-after of Thursday’s palm tree trimming. As I’ve said before, palm trees are beautiful and thrive in Las Vegas, but they need yearly trimming and the cost reflects the dangerous nature of the job. I’ve also found a use for one of our bar stools. Ironing from a sitting position in a wheelchair is very awkward, but ironing while sitting on a high bar stool works just great!

Palm trees after….and they will fill out.
Photo by Diane Taylor

He Loves Me
Thirdly, I know my husband loves me because in the past weeks, he has dutifully loaded and unloaded a folding wheelchair, a walker and my five-pound handbag for outings and doctor’s visits. I think he has also very sweetly said something about God and Jesus Christ each time he’s lifted the heavy stuff.

About Wheelchairs
Speaking of wheelchairs, they are mighty handy when you need them. Did you know some forms of the wheelchair date back 6000 years in China? In 1595 a special wheelchair was built for King Phillip II of Spain, called an “invalids chair”. In 1894, the first patent was issued in the United States for a wheelchair design featuring a wicker-backed chair with two large rear wheels and two smaller front wheels. In 1916 the first motorized wheelchair was invented in London. In 1933, engineer Harry Jennings built the first folding tubular steel wheelchair built for a paraplegic friend, Herbert Everest. Chairs today still have the Everest and Jennings label. All I can say is …. thank God for wheelchairs.

An ancient drawing of King Phillip in his “invalids chair”.

Love Those Restrooms
Also, I am suddenly very aware of how important wheelchair accessible restrooms are. Back in 1990 when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was on the front burner, I nodded and said that was nice. But in 2013 when I am temporarily wheelchair bound and wanted to go to a casino and use a casino restroom…I suddenly became VERY grateful for those large stalls. Frankly, I was a mess trying to use a handicapped restroom the first time with footrests still attached to my wheelchair. I could barely get in the stall and then had a hard time getting out of the chair and hopping over the footrests. And oh yes, just closing the restroom door was an issue. My problems, I found, could be solved by removing the footrests before entering the restroom, but suddenly I’m thinking: What did wheelchair-bound people do before accessible washrooms? If it were me, I would just be staying home, or if I ventured out, I would be praying that never would I have a “rush call”.

Plugging In
The wheelchair I used when visiting the casino is different from the electric wheelchair I have been able to use at home. The home chair has been wonderful, but it adds one more “charge” to my home routine. I MUST remember to charge the chair battery or I won’t get around. I MUST also remember to charge my phone which serves as my emergency calling device should I have some sort of home accident when my husband is not around. Then there are the two cameras and the iPads whose batteries need regular charging, and I can’t forget the Lifeline Power Bank which stores extra power for the phone and camera in case I discover they are juice-less. I worked for a company in Chicago that provided products to electric utilities, and I remember our owner often saying his business was stable because, “No matter what changes in this world, electricity will always be needed.” He was so right.

Vegas Entertainment

Although my first restroom experience was at a casino, I have been able to go out and enjoy Las Vegas entertainment where restrooms, fortunately, weren’t needed. Friends know I wouldn’t miss Kelly Clinton’s one-woman show at the Suncoast or her husband, Clint Holmes’, monthly show at the Smith Center. Last Monday, I even returned to the scene of the crime (the parking lot where I tripped) at the Bootlegger Bistro. My husband and I love to have Monday night dinners at the Bootlegger and enjoy Kelly Clinton’s open mic night. This past Monday, Kelly played the “full version” of a video that had been made for her one-woman show. Kelly is a singer and comedienne and I loved the video, so included it with this column. Think Super Bowl 2013.