Blog 39        7 Million Steps

Getting me Thinking

Every day I walk I realise how much this journey has replicated Josh’s recovery and our experiences with it.

I would never suggest that I will ever fully understand what someone with a spinal cord injury goes through every moment of everyday, but I am learning so much more about the effects of the injury the more I walk.

Earlier in the week I was walking on a country road there were trees on either side making it difficult for drivers to see me, the shoulder although wide was very damaged in need of repair. I had to watch every foot step and concentrate on traffic as well. I wondered how someone in a wheelchair in a similar situation manages, so much of where I have walked, especially in the smaller towns are not wheelchair friendly; even many of the larger cities aren’t very wheelchair friendly. Poor paving is such a challenge for me, it would present a hugely increased risk for someone managing a wheelchair.

The freezing weather, although easier for me to walk by the end of the day my legs / knees, feet are so significantly more tired and obviously feeling the effects of the cold even though I am well rugged up. Someone in a wheelchair in these freezing conditions must feel like they are being tortured at times! Especially the freezing temperatures on their extremities. Just planning a schedule around weather is so difficult!

Restrooms another issue for me especially in remote areas. I have visited restrooms all over the route and find few truly accessible bathrooms. Even in the RV parks we stay in, Kelly struggles to find properly designed bathrooms. They are either pre-ADA or poorly designed. Kelly has only found one truly accessible bathroom in all the RV parks we have stayed in – KOA Choctaw, Oklahoma.

This is a poor indictment of RV parks, especially considering our aging population!

In Shreveport Kelly has noticed the sidewalk “curb cut outs” are noticeably lacking, adding so much difficulty to someone navigating a wheelchair. In her opinion this is the worst she has experienced in any of the cities we have been through..

So the journey of discovery continues for me, having Kelly with me helps me think through the issues I am constantly coming up with.