inMotion Magazine

Finding Answers 35 It’s impossible to share my story without including the fact that hundreds of people were praying for me when I was sick. Doctors told my husband Mike that my chances of survival were extremely slim and that I would more than likely die. His faith wouldn’t allow him to accept that. We believe in prayer. God heard those prayers and He answered them, which is why I am still around to share my story with you today. God has given me the grace and courage that I need to carry on. Without God, I would still be in a wheelchair. Today, I use prosthetic legs. I don’t use prosthetic arms because I feel like I can do more things without them. I have tools, like a cuff that I wear so that I can eat. I have a strap on my wrist with a stylus attached so that I can type, dial the phone, turn pages in a book and do many other things that having a finger would allow me to do. The second most critical part of my healing was my husband and my three children. Without a support system in place, I would have struggled enormously. It’s very difficult to take care of yourself when you don’t have hands. Mike is my rock. He helps me dress and shower, which is difficult to do with short arms and no hands. Mike prepares my lunch and the snacks I need throughout my day. Everything he does for me enables me to be independent throughout the day. My children, who are all in their twenties now, fill in all the gaps as far as the things that I need help with when Mike is at work. Together, we are a well-oiled machine. What types of other solutions help me through my day? When I was still in the hospital, a church member donated a bidet for our home. For those who don’t know what a bidet is, it is a toilet seat that has a wash and dry feature. It’s been a lifesaver. We use cloth material made in the shape of a loop so that I can open things like doors, drawers and the refrigerator. A rubber hose works for opening the car door. I have a tripod attachment on my steering wheel so that I can drive. I simply rest my arm in the tripod and I can drive. There are no special features on my gas or brake pedals but I do have extenders on the buttons that control the electric windows, gear shift and seatbelts. Otherwise, the rest of the car is normal. Basically, we all have some type of challenge in our lives. If it is important to us, we can make it work. Simply by God’s grace and a little ingenuity, we have been able to carry on as if life is normal. My biggest tip is that preparation is key! If I have an activity scheduled, then we just make sure all my tools are in place. I rarely go anywhere alone unless I have a plan in place. If I have a last-minute situation, I can always find a friend or a customer service representative to help me. All you have to do is ask for help. Whether it’s to open the door or get help with my credit card, people are kind to always assist. I have started a blog that talks about my daily life and interesting adventures. If you would like to read more, please visit me at The Wallace family (L to R): Michael Jr., Mike Sr., Megan, Wendy and Matthew