myhollydays

A glimpse into the world of the handicapable.

Archive for the tag “marriage”

Oh what a night!

I’ve been so busy reading everyone else’s blog, I forgot to write in mine. I guess I’ll give it a shot today.

I had one of the most interesting experience last weekend. Chris had promised that we could take a trip to Barnes and Noble last Saturday. We packed up the baby and set out to the long trip (a whole ten minutes) to BN.

We arrived and got the baby out, then realized in horror that the baby was sitting in a pool of poo. His little legs were kicking in it and all the while my baby boy was as happy as could be. He isn’t disturbed by much…and clearly dirty diapers/poo pools are included on this list. His little hands went from the little puddle of poo… straight to his…gulp…mouth! I’m gagging. Chris is disturbed. Caiden.. squealing with delight. We contemplated going back home, but I didn’t want to risk him ingesting this mess…so into BN we went. Poo and all.
I split up the job…Chris would take Caiden and I would take the baby seat. Both equally and disgustingly poo filled.  I had never been so frustrated in my life. The seat was bulky, stinky and hard to maneuver. The restroom doors were awkward and heavy. I was clearly struggling and people would see me and turn around without offering assistance, encouragement or the like. Sigh. Anyways, I made it to the sink and set up camp. Luckily, I carry baby shampoo in the diaper bag…HOWEVER I forgot to put the wipes in the bag. The counter was covered in poo, I was covered in poo. And I don’t want to get started on what remnants of Caiden had been exposed to this poor bathroom… and as ladies (this is Highland Village, mind you…) were leaving the stalls, I couldn’t help but notice..I was being judged. A lot! Who could blame the innocent bystanders that skipped the hand washes in fear of contamination. I wouldn’t want to wash my hands while the little girl in the wheelchair with a baby seat (and no sign of a baby) washed out poo and sloshed brown water every where. By the way…I ran out of paper towels in mid washing…and resorted to a onsie…what a sight!

When I finally completed my task to the best of my ability (I did ask God for his forgiveness for the choice language and glares I inadvertently let slip), I met up with my husband,  collected my half naked baby and fully clothed husband (in case that wasn’t clear) and allowed the seat to air dry in the car.

I realized that Caiden was still a bit dirty (I hadn’t packed wipes, so I can only imagine what Chris did to get this poor baby clean) and went back into the bathroom and (much to the dismay of the BN staff) I set up yet another camp and “bathed”poor Caiden. After ten minutes of repurposing burp rags into bath clothes, using old blankets as towels and dressing Caiden in an outfit I had luckily packed…we were ready for some book shopping!

My husband was covered in dried baby poo…for the rest of the outing (which included book browsing, cookies and a short stroll) and never once complained.

No matter how stressful the situation became…and it was STRESSFUL… We worked together and got what needed to be done…done. :). We ended the night reminiscing about our adventure after showers and and a baby bath. At least we could laugh about it…now!

I married the perfect man for me. God gave me the perfect son for me. I am truly blessed.

My family!

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What was I so worried about?

Caiden is a little over 5 months now.  He is so happy, just smiles all the time.  He is also just a laid back kid, nothing seems to faze him too much.  He is a social little bug!

Since the summer began (2 weeks ago!), I get to stay home with Caiden and just hang out with him.  I LOVE being at home with him.  I get to see him try to crawl, give me the MOST DRAMATIC frowns, and give me the happiest squeals and giggles.  I am also VERY protective of him.

I think the reasoning is that, well, first off, I’m a mommy.  Secondly, I feared (okay, I admit, I still fear) what others would say or think of him having a mommy in a wheelchair.  I get the vibe at times that some people are not too pleased that I made a conscious choice to get pregnant.  I could have “spread” my disability to him, or made his life harder than it needs to be.  WELL…to be honest…who’s life is NOT hard?  Seriously…!

However, the thought still stays in my head.  I keep thinking…well, I grew up like this (you know…not walking) and I’m used to the stares, the nervous smiles and the “OH @#*&$ how am I supposed to handle this situation” looks.  Chris (the hubby) married me knowing he would have to deal with the above types of people.  He is used to it.   I am quite in awe of how brave and self-confident he is about the whole situation.  It never bothered him, even when others were worried for him.

BUT…I brought a baby into the equation.  Caiden wasn’t really born into it (not really), and he didn’t choose this lifestyle or his mommy.  So, I fretted (as any normal mommy would do) about how others would treat him, what other people would say to him, or how others would treat me when he’s around.  I know I can do anything I set my mind to.  If you give me a challenge, or just tell me I can’t…well, I will do anything in my power to prove you wrong…and then some.  Still, you have people out there who do not know me well, and will still try to limit me.  Not really on purpose, but trying to be the good Samaritan, or trying to “help”.  It’s condescending.  Plain and simple.  I do not need to be taken care of and I usually don’t need assistance…unless I specifically ask.  =)  I don’t want Caiden exposed to that type of mindset.

Yesterday, for the first time ever…Caiden and I went out to a place that wasn’t with my husband or family members.  I took Caiden to the store.  Just me and Caiden.  I was so nervous and scared.  I wasn’t nervous because of the transferring in and out of the car, or being able to carry him around, that’s EASY PEASY!  It was how I thought people were going to react.  I thought people might stare at me or at Caiden and judge us. I thought people would be rude, or disrespectful.

I got out of my car, put Caiden in his front carrier and we rolled in to the store.  This is the store that Chris, Caiden and I usually go to every week.  It was so intimidating at first.  But everyone cooed and smiled and played with Caiden and greeted me in such a respectful manner.  The employees were so nice and friendly.  The customers were hilarious.  Chris was right…they weren’t judging, they weren’t disgusted.  They wanted to help.  They wanted to see what they could do to make things easier.  Why was I so worried?  I forgot, most of this world is actually…good.  =)

God knew what he was doing when he gave me Caiden.  We are a perfect match.

So, that’s one fear confronted….so many more to go.  But you know what?  I’ve got time.  =0)

I married a “walkee”…

Say it with me...COMMUNICATION...it's not a bad word...or is it?

Communication is so vital in a relationship. When a person says one thing, the other would read between lines that don’t exist. For instance…
“Oh, you look nice today.”
“What are you saying?! Do I NOT look nice all the time?”
Or they really don’t mean what they say.
“Oh…my favorite sword…you broke it. It’s alright.”
REALLY…he’s thinking…YOU BROKE MY SWORD…HOW COULD YOU? IT WAS ON PURPOSE! ADMIT IT…YOU WERE JEALOUS BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T HAVE A SWORD! NOW WE BOTH DON’T HAVE SWORDS.
(This conversation never took place. All events, words, conversations were completely fictional and the work of Holly’s imagination. Any events similar to this conversation is purely coincidental.)
What happens next? If you’ve been married or in a relationship before…well, you know what happens. Hurt feelings…yelling…gnashing of teeth…yadda yadda yadda…

My point…

Having a disability is one thing, but being married to someone with a disability is completely different…especially if you don’t know anything about disabilities in general (except things that are told to you by a friend of a friend). When Chris and I first dated, I don’t think it crossed his mind that dating me would be any different than dating an able-bodied girl. I never stopped to think about his perspective because he made our relationship seem so easy.

March 14, 2009

There are many compromises, give and take and reliability in our marriage…we are not perfect by any means (we argue and fight…who doesn’t?). But when it comes to getting things done…say, for example: I may not be able to do something (taking out the trash…putting up dishes, etc.) instead, I’ll find things that I can do so things won’t always have to fall on him (for instance; load the dishes into the dishwasher, cook, clean, clean out the stupid lint trap from the dryer even though it’s sticky and messy and I hate doing it, but I’ll do it anyways because I love him…oh…right…focus!). It doesn’t apply to house chores only…but in everything we do. We just make it work, because we want us to work.

I was very fortunate to have dated and married a guy who states exactly what he wants (or what he’s thinking at any particular moment). He tells me what he needs, or what he’s sick of…or what he likes. Sometimes what he shares has hurt my feelings. I know he is not trying to hurt me, so I try not to take it personally.
He is just being honest with me and wants me to be aware of how he feels. There are times when he is just thinking out loud; he’s concerned about me, or us, or the baby. I’m grateful (most of the time) because I know what to do to help, and sometimes that means he doesn’t want help, he wants me to listen, but at least I know what’s going on in his head.

I’ve also learned that I can’t hold him back from what he wants to do. If he wants to climb Mt. Everest…so be it. I will just sit back at the cabin at the foot of the mountain and wish him luck! But I won’t tell him he can’t because I am not able to.

In college, as our relationship became more serious, he worried about our future together. What would it be like? What would be required to take care of me? What are some things about me that he would have to learn?

Questions often plagued him, and as each one popped up, he would always come to me and we would talk about it. People would tell him things they heard about people in wheelchairs, and Chris would discuss it with me and we would confirm or deny the “rumors” (seriously…I’m so grateful for the internet other times I could just strangle the person that posts an opinion but call it a fact!).

I don’t know everything (you’ll never hear that from me again!). There were times when he would come up to me and say “I heard that people in wheelchairs (insert the hearsay), is that true?”. Well, I’d be stumped and have no idea. I know, I know…shock and awe…right? You would think having a disability would lend you the expertise and knowledge of that disability and automatically you become an expert. NOPE! I’m still learning as I go.

It was a long process in our dating life to get to a point where he was at ease with the level of care he would have to provide (which at this case is minimal).

He still loads my wheelchair in and out of the car (depending on who’s driving), and carry me up/down stairs at the movie theaters/concerts/etc. if we didn’t have handicap seating. This is the level of care he provides. I am completely independent and do not want his help. (So, if you notice he isn’t pushing me up a hill, or loading my chair into MY car don’t give him a dirty look. I’ve already told him I want to do it myself…again…dignity and pride! Actually, the real reason is so that I can keep up my upper body strength. Plus, I really don’t need the help.). =)

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