10 Days Without Legs

Day 10…

I have a confession to make — I took my son trick-or-treating last night after he should’ve been in bed just because I wanted some free candy. It doesn’t look good for a dad to walk up to the door at 9pm by himself, so what better way to “collect” than to have my two-year-old do the asking. It get’s even better — my son is allergic to dairy products so most of the candy he can’t eat. I’m telling you — it was a great night for daddy!

I would have taken him out earlier in the evening, but my wife wanted to go to Chipotle and take advantage of their $2 burritos. I don’t know if you have ever been to Chipotle before, but it’s good — I mean really good. Don’t worry, I was in my wheelchair the entire time and here’s a picture to prove it. As you can tell, my son Noah is more than comfortable on my lap especially when I’m in the wheelchair. I’m thinking he will be pretty disappointed tomorrow when I can no longer ride him around.

I won’t be disappointed. I’m more than ready to get out of this thing. Last night at the restaurant is a great example of why I’m excited to use my legs again. I was wheeling my son and I into the restaurant, and an employee nicely held the door for us. The only problem was that the threshold was too high, and my son and I almost flipped over. The guy holding the door tried to help, but the front wheels kept getting stuck. A random stranger ended up giving us a shove, and that gave us enough momentum to get over the hump. It was not as fun as it looked.

That has been one of my biggest frustrations with riding in a wheelchair: there are so many places that look like they are handicap accessible, but in reality it’s hard for a person in a wheelchair to get in and out of the store, office building, or restaurant. Here’s a challenge for any of you business owners out there — walk around your store and make sure it’s easy for people in wheelchairs to get in and out. Pay special attention to the threshold at the entrance of your store, and make sure there is not a lip, crack, or steep incline to get through the door. You have no idea how much people in wheelchairs appreciate easy access!

One other pet-peeve that has come up, are all the people that take up handicap parking spaces without needing them. Just because you don’t like long walks does not mean you need a handicap sticker. Leave those spaces for the people in wheelchairs or that have trouble walking — you know the people that actually need them!

Anyway, 10 Days Without Legs has been quite an adventure and I’ve learned a lot about what people in wheelchairs go through. I’m really glad that organizations like Joni and Friends provide chairs for people who need them because I can’t imagine what the past 10 days would have been like if I hadn’t had a wheelchair. Not being able to use my legs is already difficult enough, but losing full-mobility (not having a wheelchair) would have made it impossible. I would have sat around unable to get to work, unable to go to church, and unable to help my wife. It’s amazing how many opportunities a wheelchair can provide. I can’t say it enough — wheelchairs are a vital part of helping people affected by disabilities because they provide one of the biggest things all of us take for granted — mobility.

My challenge today is for you to click on this link and figure out a way to join Joni and Friends. It could be a one time donation, using your truck-driving skills to transport wheelchairs, or some other way that works for you. Imagine what it would be like to lose the use of your legs, and then imagine how nice it would be to have a wheelchair. In developing countries, wheelchairs are hard to come by and most people that need them don’t have them. Check out Wheels for the World, and consider being a part of their mission today.

Just to give you a heads up, I’ll be taking a break from 10 Days Without starting tomorrow and going through Nov. 19. On November 20th, I hope to have an entirely new set of segments lined up. In fact, I will probably ask for your help by having you vote on the next 4. Be looking for an update to be posted in the next week or so. The best way to stay updated is by subscribing to this blog. Enter your email address into the box to the right of your screen, and each new post will go directly to your email. The list is not shared or anything like that, you will only be emailed each new post.

Also, don’t forget about the 10 Days Without Facebook page, you can check it out by clicking here.

 

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