After almost 10 months of back and forth with the insurance company, medical equipment provider and referring specialists, we FINALLY received Giselle’s wheelchair – the glorious Convaid Trekker in Sassy Purple. *queue the applause and standing ovation*
I’m sure every person involved in this process is relieved that Giselle’s mom is finally leaving them alone and their voicemail and email will be clear once again.
We arrived at the mobility clinic and I looked at the wheelchair (that looks more like a stroller to be honest) carefully and admired the structure of this adaptive equipment. It’s amazing to have access to such amazing equipment that’s comfortable and accessible – a luxury not afforded to previous generations. All I could do was feel grateful and blessed as we sat went through the demonstration and adjusted all the parts to fit Giselle comfortably.
But after a few days, the adrenaline of finally having this wheelchair started to fizzle and I began to feel anxious about this glorious adaptive equipment. Don’t get me wrong, I was and still am very grateful and excited – but a little piece of me just felt as if this wheelchair was a reminder of all the milestones missed and the long road we have been on.
Yes – these are STILL the stupid thoughts that race through my mind from time to time and in retrospect I’m embarrassed that I even allow myself to feel that way, even for a moment. Just when I think I’ve got my circus-like emotions in check, I am brought back to my knees to start over and pick myself up.
Humbling to say the least, but real life nonetheless.
But the truth is – raising a child who has complex sensory and mobility needs can take you on an emotional obstacle course filled with grief for all the could have beens, gratitude for all that is, and hope for what is to come. The daily reconciliation of these emotions is exhausting work that goes unseen, but it’s the biggest obstacle I face as her mother.
I am my own worst enemy.
But just as quickly as those thoughts raced through my head, I was beautifully reminded of how good God has been and still is to us. The sweet whispers of His great love flooded my heart and peace came flooding in. It’s because of my trust in God’s bigger picture that I am able to find clarity. My daughter is not “bound” to a wheelchair or to her diagnosis. It is me – bound to this idea that she somehow needs to be as typical as possible, when she has been created to be so much more than I have even begun to unpack.
This new piece of equipment can represent many things, but it’s up to me to define it. I have choices, we all have choices because perspective (as I reiterate every chance I get) is everything. I can choose to see the limitations OR I can choose to live in the joy of all her triumphs.
This life is not easy and although I didn’t choose Giselle’s diagnosis, I still get a choice on how I respond everyday. Bitterness or Gratitude?
A the end of the day, it’s not about me and my ridiculous emotions that feel scattered on most days. It’s about Giselle and giving her every possible chance to experience life at its fullest. Wheelchair or not, she has a remarkable life and there is no equipment that can diminish her value or purpose. She was meant to fly, and she will do just that – it just may require some hardware.