So far, this entire move has been incredibly exhausting and physically draining, drastically weakening my muscles. My reduction in strength makes this small to mid-sized house and everything in it feel more substantial and, in fact, simply impossible. The size of the house contents and my weakness give me a peek at a challenging road in my future. We have all heard if you do not move it, you lose it. Unfortunately, I did not move it and inevitably lost it, creating a sad setback of the century.
After a 77-minute drive from the Orlando Airport with minimal conversation, Lisa stopped outside a pleasant-looking home. She asked if this was the correct residence, as this was the address I provided to them. I clarified that I had only seen a few pictures, but it must have been mine since the garage door was rolling up from the remote opener. It felt strange to be in a new home and a new state because never have I seen this house in person.
A friend of a friend named Callie arrived just as we did, and she pulled into the garage that I had just opened. Without haste and plenty of urgency, Lisa quickly unloaded me and my luggage and put both into the garage. She said goodbye and left like she was late for an appointment, as it was her last trip of the day. Before I got into the house, I faced my first struggle: getting into the house. When you are in a wheelchair, though, depending on your abilities, every step is like climbing Mount Everest. There was a 4-inch step with an extremely short ramp, meaning it was too steep for me to self-propel into the house.
Callie was the first in a crew of four women scheduled by my mom to bring home-cooked meals during my first few days. Thankfully, she was willing and able to push me into the house as the ramp was too steep, making it the first time I faced excessive height in this house. As Callie and I moved through the house, it felt strange because my brain and body were exceptionally exhausted, as if I had tried to do trigonometry for a few hours. My brain was sluggish, and my body felt lethargic, making everything distant like a movie dream scene. It was too early for bed, but I needed a 15-minute power nap to reboot my mental system so I could last until bedtime, but no luck today.
Callie wanted to help me unpack and put things away where they would live permanently. She began to put things away in my new dresser, although something caught my eye about my new sleeping quarters. My bed was extraordinarily tall, so there was no way I could get in the bed tonight without mountain climbing gear and a sherpa. Callie eventually left me to enjoy my new humble abode with a full belly and food for tomorrow. I knew I was not alone and would soon meet neighbors and many other friendly people, but the house felt cold and lonely right then.
Later that night, I went into my bathroom to brush my teeth and get some acetaminophen. My sore muscles needed a team of Swedish masseuses, and I needed someone to turn off the jackhammers in my banging brain. As I rinsed my mouth out, I leaned to spit into the sink, and my chin was barely high enough to reach the sink, making this vanity way too tall. This bathroom countertop was the third item in my new house that was excessively tall and out of reach for a guy 4-foot tall in a wheelchair.
The following day, I went into the kitchen to make a bowl of cereal and saw some challenges I would face in this house. Today would be a struggle because my bed was too tall to sleep in, so I continued to be cognitively sluggish. The kitchen was not ADA height, which I expected, yet they pushed everything sitting on top of the counter back against the wall. Although it looked neat and tidy, this situation ensured everything was out of my reach, making another too-tall situation.
As the game of double-dutch continued, the chance monster waited until now to jump in and begin causing confusion and chaos. The truth is that this entire move has been a roller coaster of one step forward and two steps back. I have had four solid months of exciting ups and some truly disappointing downs. However, a plethora of exceptionally tall things will take time to readjust and remodel for a positive living experience. I also need to start physical therapy to create an exercise regimen that will help me get stronger to aid with every aspect of my life.
The rubber band is going to snap soon. I can and will feel it.