Think about it, what two parts of your body could you NOT live without? I'm talking about basic survival, such as the ability to be self-sufficient and be able to take care of most of your own needs with minimal assistance.
The two that I couldn't live without are my eyes and my hands. If I lost the use of my legs, I would most likely be confined to a wheel chair. But my hands would be able to maneuver the wheel chair around, and my eyes would enable me to see my world and know where I was going. My eyes would also alert me to obstacles or dangers. If I lost my hearing, I would still be able to communicate using my eyes and hands, mainly by typing or writing notes. This would also serve my needs if I lost the ability to speak.
It's something to think about. You never know what can happen in life. I was in a restaurant the other night and there was a young man (maybe 30's), who couldn't use his legs or arms. He was in a wheel chair that he was able to maneuver through the use of a blow tube. He needed someone to feed him and hold his drink to his mouth, but other than that was very average in appearance, no outward physical signs of any injury other than a bandage around one of his hands. I don't know the history of why he was in the wheel chair, but it made me think about what functions I would need to feel independent. I would hate to be dependent on someone to function from day to day.
It is difficult enough to watch a grandmother, grandfather, parent, or other beloved person in our lives lose their abilities to function because of age or illness, but to see someone in the prime of their life having such dependencies on others is almost too much to bear.
I couldn't imagine not being able to drive, cook, type, or make my jewelry. I remember how I felt after having open heart surgery 5 years ago. When I was finally able to go home, I wasn't supposed to do anything. NOTHING! I couldn't even make my own cup of tea because I wasn't supposed to be doing anything that would cause stress to my chest area where the incision was. Thankfully this only had to be for the first week. Once the numbness started going away I could feel tension and exertion and knew when to stop what I was doing. But the first week, even just raising my arms above my head to get a cup from the cabinet was risky. I didn't have stitches or staples, I was taped. They did this to minimize whatever scar I might get, and it worked!
Anyway, I was thinking about this on my way to work this morning and had to write about it. I think a lot of people have sympathy for those who are dependent for care, but don't fully stop to consider how they would feel if it was them. I know when I had to have someone do for me what I was used to doing for myself, it made me feel like an invalid. Like I was incapable or inept and I did start to resent it at times. It got annoying that everytime I would get up from a chair to go in the kitchen or bathroom, I was asked by everyone there where I was going, what was I doing and did I need help. I know they were just looking out for me, but sometimes it's just downright embarassing for an adult to have to explain that they are getting a drink of water or have to use the facilities. I have learned from that experience that if someone with a disability, or someone who is "challenged", needs assistance, they will ask for it. I stand by to help if I am asked to, and I make it known that I will.