Telling it like it is
“No carer again Mum?” asks Teina’s son as she wearily ponders a third consecutive day confined to her wheelchair.
Teina Boyd was a patient in the Burwood Spinal Unit seven years ago. The Cantabrian was a recruit for the New Zealand Police when she fractured her neck at the C5 vertebrae. It changed her life in a moment. Her honest reflections give us a real insight to living life with a spinal cord impairment.
I know my new carers is scared to drive in the rain. After crashing last week, I should’ve known she’d be too scared to drive in this storm.
Here we go again, another night trying to sleep in my wheelchair. Another night of no bowel cares or stretches. Another night of extra painkillers to make sure I don’t go dysreflexic. Another night trying to reassure bub that I’m fine.
And then looking down I realise… I’m going to have to go to work in the morning wearing what I’ve got on now. Grey trackpants and a hoodie. With little margaritas all over it.
Uuuuuugh…I let my forehead hit the table in front of me.
“No carer again mum?”
Turning in surprise, I reactively lift my arm for him to scoop under…” Hey bub! you’re home early. How was your day?”
“Good,” he stoops down to hug me. “Is it just us again tonight?”
I nod as he stands up.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah of course, small things to giants, right?”
“Yeah. I guess so… But it’s still shit for you. Want a coffee?”
Laughing, I accept his offer, knowing full well that he’s buttering me up for Uber eats and a sleepover later on.
We chat about family while he makes us hot drinks, then he heads off to the other end of the house to get changed, leaving me with my thoughts.
What day is this now… Day three stuck in my wheelchair with no carer?
It’s starting to get a little risky now. My body really needs to go to the toilet and get some pressure relief. I might have to swallow my pride and call one of the other girls.
Read more of Teina’s story in our latest edition of Spinal Network News here
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