C. Accepting and asking for help v independence
On this issue my advice is unlikely to be helpful. These days I’m an independence nazi and tend to only do what I can do on my own. This means there are many experiences I do not have, and as a result I do not recommend this approach.
I recommend you become as independent as possible in your daily life, but if you want to do some outlandish things that require help then do it. You just need to plan for them, work out what help is required, whether you have the time and the money, and whether you can find enough willing helpers. These days swimming, sailing, snorkeling, parachuting, flying, and many other things are possible for quads, if you have the time and money, and the willingness to accept the help you need.
I am very pleased I have been single-minded about achieving independence. It means I have had nearly 30 years of getting up and going to bed when I want, and going wherever I want without asking for help or permission. As a result, I feel I have had a richer life than I might have otherwise.
However it also probably means I may have had a less rich life in some respects. There are some places and events I have not attended, and some activities that I have not participated in, just because I did not want to either ask for, or accept, the help I would have needed.
Also I suspect my friends and family are bit more unclear about when to help and when not to, and that I am less likely to ask for help when I should. In particular I think when I have had a partner there has been a lot of confusion around roles such as carer, home help, and lover.
I don’t think I am unique amongst quads in having these problems in relationships. My independence obsession just probably puts a different spin on an issue that is there for all quads.
CLICK HERE for a video of wheelchair user going paragliding with help
CLICK HERE for a video of an incomplete C6 quad going scuba diving with help
Here’s what the experts say
CLICK HERE for an article by the late jeff shannon which outlines this issue perfectly
CLICK HERE for info on the exciting things some people in chairs do with help on the D-ability site
Rule number 3 – Its your life. Do what you can to make it as rich as possible.