Tuesday, September 13, 2016


The photo to the left represents freedom. Freedom for me. It might not look like much, just three little pieces of varnished hard wood. Nothing fancy. And it's not very large. At it's highest point it is a mere 30". It is 14" long and 10" wide. And it weighs a whopping 7 pounds. It's not much to look at and probably would garner a second look from most folks. But it offers a little bit of independence--ever so much--that makes my heart sing.

It doesn't take much these days. I have had to learn to adjust to limitations. They define much of my life now. I cannot stand on tip toe, climb a ladder, kneel on the floor, sit cross-legged...so many things I can no longer do with my foot and my leg that I took for granted. Retrieving any sense of autonomy takes thought and ingenuity. I can reach many things--up or down--with the help of my hand-held grabbing tool. I can step up onto and down off of curbs if I take my time and concentrate all my energy on balancing on my cane. I have learned to sit on my butt and scoot around into the hot tub or onto our boat. I can sew if I use my left (less dominate) foot to run the pedal. Incremental steps from semi-paralysis to resuming many of the activities I could do before. If I could just reach up a little higher...

And so, I found my new little wooden friend. It was sitting brightly in a driveway at a yard sale. Normally I would have hardly given it a second thought. But I had recently been to the orthopedist where they had taken x-rays of my foot. In order to get to the level needed I was proffered a metal stool with a handle that I could use to leverage myself up onto and down from it. I had done this before but never thought of how useful such a gadget could be in my life. Until I found my little stool. Sitting there, waiting for me, as if it had been created just for me.

Now it sits at the ready just steps from the kitchen. My little stool has helped me reach those bowls and platters that I previously had to ask someone else to help with. We don't need them so much any more, my stool and I. It has liberated me. Baby steps...

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