By Guest Blogger Kathleen Harris Causey, Coming Home Causey
You might not notice it at first. I know I didn’t. You think to yourself, as you stare at your newly catastrophically injured person lying in the hospital bed, and wonder how so much of life can change in an instant: “We can do this. My person is alive. We will make it and it will be wonderful. Even better than it was before.” You watch inspirational YouTube videos, invest emotionally in the Paralympics and Warrior Games, and find all relevant Facebook communities.
But disability seeps into your everyday in ways that you probably can’t articulate, even when you’ve been living with it for a few years. Or three, like us. Even when everyone else new in your life is living with something similar. It’s about where your dishes go – usually exposed, on the counter like clutter, because the cabinet is too high and he needs to be able to reach them. Figuring out where to fit the coffee mugs and glasses – some down low next to the spices for him, and others higher up where they usually go for you.
It’s when you learn that a range-top microwave is not safe, or that where you need to keep your medications makes them accessible to your crawling, growing child. It’s about space under a sink for a wheelchair to fit, or torn up cabinets in an apartment that you will have to pay to repair. Strange marks that appear on all the walls and doors where prosthetics and wheelchairs and other things rub, as you just try to get inside and prop things up when it’s raining outside. It’s not only forgetting your phone charger in the hotel room, but the prosthetic limb charger as well.