Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Best Walk Ever

Every now and then I find a video I really want to share. I found this one on YouTube. It's by Sean Kelly, who is a C3, 4 quadriplegic. It's one of those 'slice of life' videos made by a person with a disability that gives a first-hand view of the world from his wheelchair.  It's full of real joy because, as Sean describes below, going for walks is something he can do independently...and Brodie the dog who goes along with Sean, also has a great time.

via YouTube

A video of Brodie and me taking a round trip walk from our house to Eisenhower Park which is approximately a mile loop and set to some great music.

I've been a quadriplegic for over 13 years and I'm in just about the best position for somebody who can't move anything below their shoulders to be in. I stay with my parents who take on my care at night and my best friend who I've know since we were 16 is my daily caregiver.

Shawn; my caregiver has an Australian Shepherd-Border Collie that comes over every day. He is a very smart dog. He is not a service dog but he does improve my quality of life just by being around. The excitement Brodie gets when Shawn brings my wheelchair into my room is awesome to see and it makes me feel like I'm doing something good for him.

Brodie is almost 3 years old and we've been enjoying our walks for most of that time 3 to 5 days a week. It's great to be able to get up and out of the house by myself even if only for an hour. Being a quadriplegic doesn't allow much private time since I need somebody to do everything for me except speak and chew my food. So try to imagine how good it would make you feel to do anything by yourself if you are or were in my position.


Anonymous said...

I wanted to comment, partly to let you know that I read your blog but rarely have anything to say because you generally say it all.

The description above this video, however, does make me curious. Wouldn't having a friend as a caregiver be awkward? It seems as if it would mean that the quality of care he receives would be dependent on not upsetting his friend. Is that wrong?

Ruth said...

Glad you left a comment- because I found your blog. Interesting posts on there,I hope my readers check it out.

Anyway, you ask a really good question, one that deserves more than a brief answer so I may do a post on it. For now, I'd say that having a friend as a caregiver certainly requires forethought, but has worked for me in instances both where the person was my friend before he/she was a caregiver and after he/she became a caregiver- it has to be a friend with whom you have good communication and can be honest about your needs - and theirs and also honest about boundaries. Not only can it get to be about not upsetting your friend, but it can be a problem where they burn out because they dont want to say no to you.

I think this requires a blog post. Hope that somewhat answers your question for now - have a good weekend!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for explaining. I look forward to seeing a full blog post about it! :)