I have been climbing stairs.
Having guests for the weekend should not be difficult in a three bedroom house. When we bought this place we were looking for an accessible home. It would be a few years before I would be in a wheelchair but we determined from the get go that we'd be able to have any visitors we wanted. So a house with everything on one level and a ramp into the place was put high on the priority list.
This was fortunate for when I became disabled there were no modifications that needed made to the place.
Something we bought for someone else was given to me instead.
But upstairs we have one bedroom and two offices. The other bedroom is downstairs. We'd had Joe's office downstairs but, though he's not disabled, carrying boxes of books up and down stairs wasn't fun. Besides we didn't often have people stay. So the office moved upstairs and the guest room downstairs.
So when we had guests this weekend we could move the bed upstairs or we could stay downstairs. I decided, against Joe's protests, that I would do stairs this weekend and we would give our guests our room. I have been having trouble walking recently and decided that this would be a challenge for me. Joe was clearly worried about this ... probably the vision of him ending up carrying my, um, plump body up the stairs frightened the hell out of him.
Yesterday I made it down the stairs - but coming up was touch and go. I felt weak in my legs, I felt like toppling over. But I made it. I had to sit down and regain my breath from the climb but I did it. I felt like an inspirational cripple suddenly. Alert the press! Against All Odds, Dave Climbed Stairs.
I'm clearly sitting at the computer writing this so it goes without saying that I climbed the stairs again today. This time though, it was easier because I had confidence. Without fear gripping my throat I could breathe. I'm feeling quite smug. Impressed with myself. I am my own disabled hero. How convienient is that?
I know it doesn't change things in any real way, I know that I'm still going to need the wheelchair when out and I'm still gonna have the problems with my feet. And, in my heart I know that I'm never ever going to do that again.
But I climbed stairs.
When it mattered, I could.
And I did.