Viewing life differently after hospital stay

As my dad helped me onto the wheelchair, the nurses greeted me and said: “Take care, ya.”

I was in hospital for surgery to remove an abscess from my inner thigh.

The unfamiliar surroundings felt weird as I was wheeled through the corridors. The first ride on the wheelchair felt like the Planet of the Apes ride in SkyWorld Genting – exciting, yet oddly embarrassing.

Being in a wheelchair had an immediate impact. It was the realisation that I was now dependent on others, followed by a wave of frustration. The feeling of being pushed, of being small, and incapable of moving freely, clashed with my usual independence.

“I’m someone who has to do things by myself,” I reminded myself, feeling annoyed that I couldn’t move on my own will.

The discomfort grew as even something as basic as going to the restroom became a challenge.

My ‘ammah’ and I went to the bathroom. The space was enough for a wheelchair, yet transferring myself onto the toilet seat was hard.

The abscess in my thigh made it even harder and painful to move, and the freshly cleaned floors increased the risk of a slip.

Sitting there, battling with the difficulty of pulling myself up, washing my hands seemed like an impossible task.

At that moment, struggling with the simple daily act, an awareness hit me deeply. If being in a wheelchair for two days was this challenging, what about those for whom this is a permanent way of life?

I felt for those who live with this daily challenge without the support, love, or care I was fortunate to have.

I thought of the strength of individuals who face this challenge independently. Their struggle is often not noticed by the world.

This experience offered a glimpse of how it felt to be small, unnoticed, and dependent on others.

It built an appreciation for the challenges faced by those living with disabilities and an admiration for their courage in navigating a world not always designed for their needs.

However, being pushed in a wheelchair is way more different from being on a gurney. But friends, that’s a story for another time.

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