My physio Linda took me to have my first 'spin' in the chair, and at first it was fine, I was so relieved that I could move around by myself and not having to ask someone to wheel me or take me somewhere, then for a moment it sunk in that this could be life forever now, in a wheelchair. This horrified me to the core and then just like that I uncontrollably broke down, Linda tried to calm me down, she hugged me and told me that as horrible as it had made me feel there were so many positives to having this year and she said that there was every chance that I'd be walking out of this hospital but that until then I'd just have to rely on this. 'It'll be cool' she said cheekily. She made me see that although it felt like the worst case scenario from here, everything from here on out would be positive and much better.
I took her word for it, because surely if anyone's going to know, it was going to be her. She gave me a few minutes to compose myself then we headed back to the gym where she set me up an assault course to test my reactions on the chair out on. One of the great things about the physio team here is that they tried to make the process as fun as possible. They would regularly set little tasks and challenge all the patients to a mini competition. This was great and was the one time where I revelled in engaging with others on the ward because I was able to empathise with that feeling of having felt like we'd achieved something and even though it was individual goals, it still felt like team work and I loved that community feeling that was there - it wasn't forced or contrived. It was naturally and a basic human function wanting to help others achieve their goals, whether that be through giving them encouragement in their exercises or sitting and doing exercises together.