August 5th, I took a fall and injured my left knee. Twelve days in of recovery and I’m told to keep my knee straight and elevate it as much as possible. Which is easy because it doesn’t bend on its own very well right now.
So why the need to pull out the blog writing today? A week ago I had to attend a meeting to start the new school year. The building was old. I’m hobbling into the building, thank goodness they had a ramp to accommodate the 4 steps that I would have had to take, and make my way to the third floor. So I’m walking with my cane, to keep me stable, and trying to open doors to get in. Have you ever tried to open a door with only your left hand? It’s awkward as you end up crossing your body with the door. Okay..so, I make my way through the main door, into the elevator and up to the third floor. Great, another door into the office suite. Why isn’t there a button to open the door automatically? I make it in and get to my meeting. I’m good, put my leg up on an adjacent chair and take in all the information.
Then, it happens, I have to use the restroom. Ugh….back out the door, easier pushing it but not by much. Again, would love an automatic door button to make it easier. I get to the restroom and see three tiny stalls. Not ONE accessible stall. WHAT?! How is that even possible? What year is it? I plop myself down and take care of things. Thankfully, my husband had gotten me the cane the night before. The cane was my savior in that tiny stall. I was able to lift myself and my bum leg up but it wasn’t easy from a standard height commode. I hobbled back to the meeting room appalled that the district I worked for had no restroom accommodations. Maybe they do…maybe it’s tucked away in another part of the building. I do know that no one offered it to me. I hope there is one on that floor somewhere….
I will heal, My leg will bend again. But things like this are what people with physical challenges handle every day. I try to hold the door open for people as much as I can. I try to accommodate needs as much as I can. I hope I’m not failing. This little experience has really sparked something. Never take for granted, walking across the living room with a cup of coffee and my phone. Right now, I can do it in my house where there are plenty of “feel your way” helpers around the room and I can tuck my phone under my chin but at work, I must wear everything I need in a backpack or purse. Leaving the house is a chore. Carrying a lunch box and getting down the four steps that lead to the drive, I have to make sure I don’t have other things in my hand or I can’t manage the stairs with my cane. So things get left home. If I can’t carry it on me, I don’t need it. Not practical but it will have to do…for now.