It was hard on me as a mother to realize that my baby girl was not going to be able to walk normally. Most of the doctors had given up hope and told me that it is better to put her on wheel chair, especially after I went through cancer and had to undergo radical mastectomy on my left breast. It was a tough choice for me. I was finding it difficult to carry her (she was a heavy baby) after my surgery as it was painful on my hand and also on the chest, but at the same time I realized that if I put her on wheel chair then she would never walk again. The comfort would make us both give up on the effort of making her walk, which was not easy.
After giving it a lot of thought, I decided that I am not going to put Farheena on wheelchair. The question everyone asked me was, ‘who is going to carry her? It is OK when she is a baby, what when she grows up?’ I knew that I had no control over the future, so I decided to do what I had to for today. I would carry her and make her walk alternatively as long as it was possible for me. When my strength would fail, I would decide what to do with her.
15 days after my mastectomy, I carried Farheena all the way to BCH&RC (Bangalore Children’s Hospital and Research Center – which unfortunately is no more) for her physiotherapy. She was not yet a year old back then, but yet I had to stop at five places and take rest before continuing to the hospital. I knew I needed time to do this, so I went ahead and bought a pram for her. So we went out for walks, hospitals and shopping by tagging Farheena along with us on her pram.
Soon I recovered from my surgery and Farheena outgrew the pram we had bought for her. As she did not have wheel chair, she had started walking with support by the age of 3 years. I started to carry her and make her walk a little everywhere after that. It was quite tough, but I knew I was doing the right thing. Someday my girl would be able to walk with a little support. The hope and dream gave me the strength to carry my girl until she was 8 years old or more. Not my husband, brother, father or sister could carry her even for short distance, but I could manage her for nearly a mile.
Though Farheena has a gait and she needs help to walk on rough roads, she has been able to manage independently in school and home now. With a little help she can walk nearly a 1 km now which is something no one expected from her back then. I take great pride when she walks inside the school and climbs stairs with her bag without asking for help from me. When we go out, Rayyan is a great help in managing her, helping her cross roads, walk the rough footpaths and help her climb the steps. I have slowly backed off from supporting her, because I know someday she has to manage her life without me and I feel she is going to be all right.
I heard lot of myths from people that I am going to end up with hanging uterus, crippled back and many other maladies because of carrying her as women are not supposed to carry weight. Nothing has happened so far, other than a bit of lower back pain which could be due to my own weight gain. I made my decision and stood by it, though at times things were so difficult that I was on brink of giving up. I remembered the words of Walt Disney then who said ‘The difference in winning and losing is most often… not quitting.’ Today I feel we have won the battle…
|With passing time, carrying Farheena around became effortless for me|