IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS

Ok, Ok…I know it sounds cliche, but do not take the little things in life for granted. Things we as Americans and other privileged countries do without even thinking about or see as “necessary”. Showering is one example of this. Why is taking a shower taken for granted, you may ask? Well back in High School, I was in a full body cast to help straighten my spine. Actually, over the course of about 3 months, I had a total of three casts. After the casts, I had a fiberglass and metal back brace that, thankfully, was removable.

It hurts to relive this, but in order for my back to be straightened out, I had to be stretched out about 3-4 inches. Like, literally stretched. As in being strapped to a table, having my arms and legs tied to a pulley, and the doctors cranking the pulley little by little. Damn did that hurt! Actually the first time I went through it, I started shaking violently and came close to passing out and convulsing. And I promise you that’s not an exaggeration.

So while being stretched out, I had a plaster cast wound around my torso. It felt weird as it hardened. But as I had a full body cast, it was impossible for me to shower. I couldn’t get the cast wet. I had to rely on sponge baths on a stool, which my parents helped me with…which was awkward.

In between casts, I had maybe one shower between each. So not being able to shower for basically 12 weeks straight? Yeah, it SUCKED! Again, it’s the little things we do every day and take for granted.

Fast forward years later, to the year 2015. I graduated High School barely cast and brace-free in 2009. In 2015, I had a pacemaker put in due to an underlying and congenital heart condition. So the day after I went home from that, I passed out and fell on my left arm. My funnybone, as well as my elbow, were both shattered. So I had surgery on my arm. To this day, I still have metal and screws in my arm. I attached a photo of the X-Rays.

Thankfully, after a little under a week in the hospital for my arm, I was able to go home. But, again, had a cast on my arm. Thank God this time it was a flexible soft cast as opposed to a hard cast. Even still, I couldn’t get the cast wet. So I had to shower literally with my left arm out of the shower with a plastic bag wrapped around it.

After that cast came off, I had 56 staples in my arm to close my wound. I could shower with those, but had to be careful as it was a very tender area. I still have a scar running the length of my upper left arm to this day.

So in closing, be thankful for what you have and are able to do. Small, everyday things can be a Godsend. Showering, having a real bed to sleep in, even having a close family…these are things we rarely think about or are thankful for. Having been shower-less for weeks on end, I appreciate the hot water hitting my body every time I shower. Do you agree with me? Thanks for reading!

-Tom


Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

One thought on “IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS”

  1. Yes since I had open heart surgery. I needed sponge baths in the hospital which were awkward. Needing mom to help me due to my two orthopedic surgeries on my both ankles. Knowing that I have to go through that again is not a happy thought. I am grateful for the hot showers I get right now. I am hoping this ankle surgery will be the last one.

    Like

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