Said you’re a lucky man
Some folks got fortunes some got eyes of blue, What you got will always see you through
You’re a lucky man
|Lou Gehrig (June 19, 1903 – June 2, 1941) |
The last week was a tough week for me on many fronts. For starters, the constant rain was no big help. Cold weather appears to be my biggest enemy (I can assure you the hot weather is not any friendlier), which was is closely followed by wet, stormy weather. Last Tuesday, I returned to St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center for my power wheelchair fitting and test drive. This process began over 4 months ago, when I first went for my initial assessment. At that time my walking was becoming more difficult, and I had experienced several falls. I finally agreed to go for the evaluation, after arguing with the occupational and physical therapists at U. Penn Hospital for over a year. When I first walked into the evaluation, the physical therapist looked at me, gritted his teeth and rolled his eyes. He took a deep breath, and went on to explain that he highly doubted that insurance would pay for my power chair, since I was still walking. I could not believe my ears. I finally show up to do this after a year of debates with my clinical team, and now the evaluator is telling me that it is probably a waste of time. Well, after 4 1/2 months and at least two additional requests from the insurance company to my doctor asking for additional information and justifications, the power wheelchair has finally arrived.
Insurance pays: $23,000
My co-pay: $4500
Not bad for a convertible
For the next few days I gave the chair little thought. When Friday rolled around, I actually began to get a little excited about the chair. All those positive reasons for having chair, which I thought about a few days ago, had started to sink in. My first real experience with the chair occurred this past Saturday. Tracey and I were traveling up to Edison, New Jersey for the Abilities Expo 11. The Abilities Expo is a three day convention, where companies are able to demonstrate their products and services for the disabled community. It was here that I became truly enlightened. As we walked (Tracey walked, I rolled) around the convention floor, I began to realize how lucky I was. I saw dozens and dozens of children in wheelchairs, some as young as two or three years old. All, with smiles on their faces. I saw adults, in their 20s, 40s, 60s and beyond in wheelchairs, some who were obviously in wheelchairs, all of their lives. I saw numerous parents and caregivers, pushing wheelchairs containing children with severe physical and mental disabilities. I felt luckier about myself as the day went on. We met up with our new friend Dana (the ramp lady from Great Adventure) and shared a lot of laughs. Here I am, sitting in a power wheelchair, something I was dreading since the day I received my diagnosis, and I was feeling lucky.
Lou Gehrig's ended his speech that day by stating, “So I close in saying that I may have had a bad break, but I have an awful lot to live for.” I finally have some idea what he was talking about.