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Getting a Walker at Age 5
It was actually a sunny morning. The sun peered through my window waking me up. I kicked off the covers and began to stand up. Before I could even catch my balance, I made contact with the ground. Panic rushed through my veins. What just happened, I thought. I tried to get back up but my legs felt like jelly and were shaking a little.
“Mom, Dad, come quick!” I yelled across the house, “I can’t stand up”.
“What do you mean?” My mom replied.
“I…I…can’t feel my legs.” The rest was all a big rush. My body felt limp as I was carried to the car and driven to the hospital. I never really understood what was going on. The only part I remember was being laid into a wheelchair and being pushed around.
I was put into a boring white room in a boring white bed with equipment and desks all around me. The only piece of color besides the blinking computers was a beige couch in one corner of the room. Time wasn’t an issue there, I wasn’t aware of how long I was there or what I did each day. I thought I was in the hospital for weeks but after I left my mom said I was only there for a few days.
One day the doctors came into my room and put me in a wheelchair. It was my first day at the hospital so I didn’t know what was about to come. The doctors put me in a wheelchair and led me to a narrow room with lots of cables. They lifted me up, put me on a bed, and told me to relax. There was a table next to me with a piece of latex and needles. I was 5 and so I thought nothing of needles. One of the doctors picked up the latex and snapped it against my skin.
“Did that hurt?” One of them asked.
“Not really,” I replied. They hit me again harder this time.
“How about now?” He asked again.
“A little bit” I lied, because I didn’t want to look like a baby. They repeated this process two more times until they asked a different question.
“Which one hurts more?” Then they took the latex and snapped it really hard against my skin. Then before I could recover from the pain, they took a needle and stabbed it into my arm.
“Ow!” I screamed. I couldn’t hear them respond because I felt dizzy and without my own realizing, I passed out.
The needle turned out to be anesthesia and the latex was just a distraction. The rest of my days in the hospital were boring and crazy. While I was knocked out, they put an IV in my hand so everywhere I went, I trailed a huge tube behind me. Luckily there was a playroom right across the hall, so when the doctors weren’t giving me a cat-scan or trying to “fix” me, I could go play with the toys they had, after all I was only 5. The room was pink and in the shape of a circle. There was always a bright TV on the wall but it had no sound, only words on the bottom of the screen. There was a dollhouse with barely any furniture, but that was alright with me. When you’re in the hospital, in a wheelchair, everything counts.
Eventually, I was allowed to go home. I still couldn’t walk but I was improving. My mom packed up the little things that I had brought to the hospital, and a nurse helped me into a wheelchair. I was pushed down the car and my dad put me into the backseat. When people spoke to me, it was always with pity. “Oh you must be so bored” or “Oh my goodness how do cope, you brave little girl.” These words never came to mind. I never felt immobile. I didn’t even know what was going on. My granddad tried to explain in to me, but a kindergartener can only understand so much. I was just trying to live my life. Before I knew it, I was home again and living on my bed.
A few days after I had come home again, my family came to visit and a walker was delivered. My mom brought it in and explained how it works. I held onto the handlebars and stood up. My legs were giving out so I leaned onto the walker.
“Mommie! Look, I’m doing it!” I called. My mom came in and started clapping. I walked out to the rest of my family and showed them what I had learned. I heard a chorus of “Wow, look at you!” and “Great Job” and “Good for you!” I beamed because I was finally learning to walk again.
That same day, I actually walked on my own. One foot in front of the other. It was something so simple yet so hard for me to do. Every step I take I realize how lucky I am to be able to walk today. Count your blessings because you never know when they could come crashing to the ground.