Monday, August 07, 2006

A Drive

Yesterday we went for a drive!  That meant transferring to a car which we have done in class but not on our own. It made for some interesting moments.  Mike did well but let’s say that I was obviously not the best student when it came to remembering how to take the wheelchair apart!  Of course, once I’d figured out how to disassemble everything…wheels off, arms off, anti-tippers off, seat cushion and back off, seat frame folded back…I had to maneuver the frame into the trunk (rigid frames do not fold up).  I found out that it won’t fit in the trunk but if you breathe just right, it goes in the back seat.  

We stopped at the house where the boys have been living but didn’t go into the house.  It was a treat to have our neighbours drive up and say hi.  (Thank you, Huts, for being the perfect neighbours!)  Would it be any surprise to know that we then stopped at the mall!  Needless to say we parked far away from the door so that we could have plenty of room to “stumble” through our transfer!  Getting the wheelchair back together again seemed much easier.  

Getting into the mall was no problem but did you ever notice how close some stores place their racks? Trying to wheel between narrow spaces becomes a challenge.  Did you know how easy it is to lose someone when you’re used to searching for a 6’1” person exploring the aisles? Some things are easier.  For example, before the accident, Mike might try on 20 pairs of pants and not find a good “fit”.  He claims that because he doesn’t feel the “fit” now, he’s not so concerned.  Bonus!  However, stiff or hard seams can cause a pressure sore.  Snaps, buttons or extra flaps can pose a problem.  Just another perspective!

Mike thoroughly enjoyed driving in the car.  He said the thing he will miss the most about driving himself is that he won’t be able to hang his elbow out the window because he’ll need both arms for the hand controls.  So he made good use of being a passenger and worked on the right arm tan yesterday!  You know that we will have conquered the car transfer when we actually park in handicapped parking and don’t look like amateurs dismantling the wheelchair!


Mrs. Shirley said...

These daily challenges certainly give a perspective into the life of those with mobility aids! I cannot help but think that you are advocating for others who face those barriers by educating us! I recall taking a class on clothing for people with limited mobility - there is much to consider and that does not occur for many of us. Another challenge you are meeting with grace.
Warmest affection.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say HI . Its good to hear you are starting to get out.

Take care,

Anonymous said...

Mike & Family:

You are never far from my thoughts and prayers. Brenda, you are such a hoot!!! I love your "blog" comments. In a uniquely "Brenda" fashion you provide such a vivid picture of the reality of a extremely difficult and life-changing situation - earmarked with humour and wit. It's not hard to understand why Mike chooses to see the light side of a very difficult journey . . . you and Neil model that so nicely for him. I know the Lord is blessing all of you with spiritual prosperity (which you also model for Mike) in these very busy and intensely focused days. God's faithfullness is so rich.

Barb Fair

Anonymous said...

hey hot stuff, just wanted to say hi and very glad to hear that you are doing much better and i will come see ya as soon as i can keep up the good work buddy


Anonymous said...

Hey Mike,

sounds like an awesome adventure! Keep hanging in there,
Britney in MI

Anonymous said...

Hey Barkers!

Just wanted you to know that we're still thinking of you all & praying for you. Mike, it's good to hear that you're improving & we will continue to pray that God will be glorified through all of this tough stuff. That He will touch your body & that you will know His presence every moment of every day. I love a couple of verses in Zephaniah 3. Here's what they say;

vs. 16 & 17
"On that day they will say to Jerusalem, 'Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing!"

We trust you'll know that quiet love & His mighty power to save!

With love & prayers,

Goerge & Linette Stanton

Anonymous said...

Hey mike,

hope you have a totally awesome day!!!

Britney in MI

noreen said...

quick hello to say the updates are great!

i am in edmonton on the 20/21st and hope to pop by to say hello ... take care, noreen

Scott - a designer? said...

im glad mikes been able to get around and get out. It's really encouraging how well he's recovering, it makes me want to be a better person.

Anonymous said...

mike, that is so cool that you are going to be driving again.
i was thinking about it.....
it is gonna kinda be like driving with a video game remote (attached to a steering wheel)

(i was just practicing driving yesterday.....still haven't got my license yet...)

one day getting in and out of cars will be like opening a door. (no extra thought process needed)

(and i guess for your mom assembling and disassembling a wheelchair will become just as easy as well)

last time we were at your house i remember going through your closet looking at all your nice shirts..... you may not feel the "fit" on your clothes anymore, but i am sure you will still have cool clothes.

blessings on you and your family.
say hi to your mom and dad and mathew.

cousin Thomas

Susan said...

You have all come such a long way! You all rise above every challange and you keep your positive attitudes. Very encouraging to other people who have struggles but may not talk about them. Your openess into all the lives you touch by this blog is unbelievable!
Thanks for keeping us updated and for hanging in there.
Truely you are special people!
You are in our prayers and hearts!
God Bless you and continue to fill you every day with his grace and love.

Brenda Daniels said...

Wow! Sounds like you have been keeping very busy and the progress you are making is great. I'm sure in a few weeks and more practicing you will all be able to laugh at your first trip to the mall. Mike you are meeting each new challenge with determination we are all so proud of you--we can all learn from your efforts. Always in our thoughts and prayers
The Daniels

Chelsey P and Jeff D said...

Hi everybody I have some bad news
Mike’s fundraiser banquet might have to be cancelled due to lack of ticket sales. I’ve talked to so many people who want to come…who say their coming, but no one is buying tickets. If you know ANYONE who wants to come please call them immediately, we really want this to be a success!
You can buy your dinner tickets at the Lac La Biche Inn. 40.00 per dinner ticket (prime rib)

P.S If in the end it does have to be cancelled those who have bought tickets will be fully refunded.

Anonymous said...

Hey mike,

Again, congrats on the retail therapy. It's definitely awesome to hear of you cruising Canada. Keep on smiling!


DaveKerwin said...

Awesome, outside exploration, that is huge!

handicap van conversions said...

Thanks for the info on the everyday challenges wheelchair users encounter. I wanted to add in a link I found to a very informative video by ADA on handicap van accessible parking: