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All my life I’ve been interested in other peoples’ dreams. While I always thought it was too impertinent to ask, I’ve especially wondered about people with physical limitations. Are people who use a wheelchair able walk in their dreams? What do blind people experience in their dreams? Dreams are the open door into the most personal recesses of the mind, but there is a direct link from the physical world to that subconscious realm. If the mind can help the body be better, what effect does the body have on the mind?

I’ve used a wheelchair temporarily a couple of times in the past when I’ve been recovering from surgery. A few weeks ago when we were in Las Vegas for the Christmas holiday and my left hip was self destructing, I rented one just to help me get around. I’ve now purchased my first wheelchair. (I actually ordered it on line from Amazon while I was still in Vegas and it was waiting for me when I got home.)

On one hand, it’s great for mobility (especially at the end of the day when I really get sore). On the other hand, it’s a tough mental barrier to cross. But it’s a nice chair with all kinds of adjustments and I’ve got it fitted out with a cup/wine holder. (I haven’t figured out how to paint the flames yet). I told my husband that it was weird to be able to move across the room and it not hurt. In spite of the ego misgivings, I’m glad I have it because there are times I need it and I’ll really need it as I recover from hip replacement surgery in two weeks (January 28). Right now it lives at home because it’s too heavy for me to lift in and out of my car, so my cane gets to go out with me.

I’ve been using both the cane and wheelchair since the Christmas trip. A couple of nights ago, I had a dream where I was going all over this building between meetings and I was in the wheelchair. Never had a wheelchair dream before. The dream was about the people and the meetings, but there was a definite wheelchair theme involved. I remember thinking that I was glad I was in the chair because I could never walk so much. But as I went about my business, I would run into the obstacles — like narrow doors and stairs and things that are difficult or impossible to negotiate in a chair. I think it was a very real reflection of my life here and now.

I’m not sure why the chair showed up in my dream when it did. It hasn’t visited Dreamland since (although the hip pain doesn’t allow me much uninterrupted sleep in which to dream). I’m glad of two things: (1) that I have a great tool like this to help me get accomplished what I need to do every day and that (2) it is (hopefully) a temporary situation until I recover from surgery in six or eight weeks.

If you want to know a real superhero, then just find someone with a chronic illness that also has to deal with the complexities of navigating life on four wheels instead of two feet. And there are real superheros out there including people like you who care about others — which is the first and foremost quality of any superhero. So, superhero, thanks for checking in … and sweet dreams.