Weeks later, my first solo wheelchair excursion offered a reminder – the simplest tasks can be overwhelming in the center of the storm.
Assignment: Go to the basement therapy gym and return. Sunday. Rehab corridors mostly deserted.
Nemesis: The elevator.
The call buttons waited directly in front of me. But with my halo brace and lack of stability I couldn’t reach forward without falling on my nose.
I turned to sit beside the buttons. How do you push a button when fingers don’t work?
I could use my thumb a bit. Zeroed in on the “DOWN” arrow. Stabbed. A few misses. SUCCESS! I heard the elevator begin to move.
Two chimes, but it wasn’t the car in front of me. I heard the doors open behind me as I struggled to back up. Too slow.
The elevator waited a few seconds, declared a false alarm, and moved on. I turned just enough to see the doors slide shut.
I rested as shoulders burned and arms ached. The elevator returned, and a man in hospital scrubs emerged. Do you need a hand? Hold the door for you?
No. I didn’t want him to watch me struggle. I flailed my arm to wave him on.
Ready for another attempt, I rolled beside the controls and stabbed at the button. My fumbling thumb hit the “UP” arrow. Oh, well.
Quick! Back and turn. I heard the car moving. Back a little more, and I was in position directly front of the doors. The bell chimed once, but the other set of doors opened! I frantically turned and inched forward. The doors closed while I sat several feet away.
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It’s a story of frustration. And, be honest, it’s a little humorous.
The question, though – where’s Jesus in the midst of discouragement and hopelessness?
It gets worse. And funnier.
To be continued…