Did any of you ever read The Princess and the Pea? Well, if you did, remember how she feels the pea under all those mattresses? That’s what having CP is like for me. I can feel everything. I can tell dad or my actual wheelchair mechanic what’s wrong with my char(s) usually. I can differentiate what’s wrong with me physically… usually. When I got my newest chair: I was required to, under the Affordable Care Act, get an upgraded feature; so I could get the chair I needed. I chose the tilt feature. I wasn’t enthusiastic or happy about the prospect.
When I finally got my new chair: wow was everything different. Ugh, I was in overload. Then I tried the tilt feature: Woah didn’t cover it. I said some colorful words. I don’t cuss much, so everybody at my provider, in the room, was cracking up (including my parents). I’m sure my face was a sight because I felt my eyes get huge. Then my face got red from embarrassment. I asked how to lock the tilt down until I could figure it out.
That was over two years ago: I practiced and practiced. No matter how much I practiced it was still too much. I finally got mad at myself. I ride roller coasters no problem. Why is this too much? I dug deep. I asked for prayers. I prayed. I asked for help from my brothers. I kept practicing. I sang out my fears. Yesterday, I had a teeth cleaning. My hygienist, whom I love, had told me they have other patients (with tilt features) whose teeth she cleans in their chairs. I knew that would be easier, on me and my parents, if I could just figure it out.
I went to the dentist (headrest, nerves, and all) determined. The tilt is no longer scary. I/we did it. I felt like jumping up and down, but I didn’t. I did send some excited texts afterwards, though. I hugged both of my parents tight. Together had done what it does, again. I’m more than a little relieved. My favorite president said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” He’s right.