Life with a disability is not only a “comfortable” wheelchair and trained caregiver. Some of us turning our heads away when seeing a boy with CP on his wheelchair trying to adjust his body to a more comfortable position. We are pretending not to see his face changes when a spasm of pain shoots through his body. Often he can’t do anything about it because his whole body is trapped in solid grip of straps and plastic shell of his chair. We feel sorry for a friends husband paralyzed from neck down after devastating car accident, thinking that it will never happen to us. But it does happen. You child was born with a CP, you were in a ski accident and your whole life is upside down. You go for months of painful therapy, you may learn how to live with it if there is some improvement trying to make your life as normal as possible.
I’m not disable but for many years I’ve been working with people with disability. I’m a Watsu Practitioner for one of the biggest non-profit organization in Colorado. I work in warm water therapy pool, providing Watsu therapy for people with CP, TBI, stroke, Angelman Syndrome, Autism Spectrum disorder, people with back problem, and people with arthritis. Our pool is the only pool in Denver Metro area where three Watsu Practitioner working with disable population. Some of our people are with us for many years, some are with us until they improve. You may ask, what is Watsu, how different is Watsu from other therapies. Well, Watsu is amazing water base therapy where Practitioner using water and her or his body, is moving patients body in warm water with gentle stretching and massage. Many times I saw peoples face lights up with a smile when their spastic arms and legs relaxes under my touch, when their pain decreases, or when for the first time in years they can walk straight. Often I heard— I did try so many thera-pies, but Watsu is the only one therapy that ’s actually works.
We fell good about ourselves, building mountains retreats for disabled, or spending hours with disable children, creating beautiful crafts, and that’s great. At least we are doing something. But we can do more, much more. The power of Watsu and warm water is life changing therapy. For many, water is just a recreation, playing and goofing around. Then your life changes due to catastrophic event and you are left without hope for the future. Months of hospital bed and therapies helped a lot but what next. Then a friend told you about the water. And here is the place where by making small steps at the time, you are able to rebuild your life, maybe not the same what was before but often away from pain and wheelchair.
Our pool is closing. It’s an old pool, needs some repairs, but there is no funds. We were offer some hours in one pool and couple of hours in other pool, but this is still not enough. How I can decide who is going with us and who has to stay behind. We are on crossroad now. We need to create our own place, place were we will feel safe and at home. Place were we will make our own deci-sions without worrying that one day, some one will decide for us, that we are no longer needed.
Three great, hard working women of Wheat Ridge, are willing to lease a piece of their land to us to build our own pool. Nothing fancy, small building with above ground pool, we may call home. I have a small group of people who are willing to work with me and help me to make it work. The land is business zoned and in great area, close to our existing pool. I have some retirement savings I can start with, but since this is not much, I hope to find generous people who can help me with this project.
Our place will call Flowing Water Watsu Aquatic Therapy, and will be open for anybody who need aquatic massage, Watsu.