Witty advice from a man who refuses to allow his wheelchair to be a prison.
A broken body doesn’t have to result in a broken person, says Thulin. After awaking from a coma following a stroke, the author had to learn to use a wheelchair. The transition wasn’t easy, but Thulin discovered the “wheelchair life” can be better in many ways than the walking kind. It all starts with a person’s mindset. “More than anything, your attitude will form your future,” he writes. “Form a good one!” To help others facing a similar journey, Thulin offers a lighthearted yet inspiring collection of tips culled from his own experience. There is no central narrative; rather, each page contains one to four instructional nuggets. Some are practical, stressing the importance of wheelchair maintenance, physical fitness and hygiene. Others call for a can-do spirit: “Live the best life possible with the abilities you have today. Don’t wait for tomorrow’s abilities.” Readers are encouraged to be independent and adventurous, to learn how to drive a car and to participate in wheelchair sports when possible. Thulin also touches on relationships. He aptly notes that a wheelchair is not only a new experience for the person using it, but for family and friends as well. Self-pity and poor manners are unacceptable. “Few things are less attractive than a cynic in a wheelchair,” he says. Even the book’s physical characteristics bear the mark of someone who understands the logistics of using a wheelchair. Compact and flexible, with easy-to-flip pages, the book opens comfortably on a person’s lap. Regrettably, Thulin doesn’t include much biographical info, which would have added a human face to his poignant words. Nevertheless, his message of perseverance can be embraced by anyone, regardless of ability.
Humorous and uplifting, this is a call to lead a vibrant life, whether you walk — or wheel — through it.