Not been able to work for two years anymore, my employer had to fire me from my job. All efforts to reïntegrate had failed and others where employed to do my job.
My work was rather specialized, and needed technical skills.
The business I worked for is called Geweermakerij Elspeet, a gunshop for hunting and targetshooting supplies. Not really a big shop but it demands rather versatile qualities to run the business well.
Shop and repairsection; selling and buying; import en export, national and international contacts; repair- and customizing jobs; giving instruction and information.
A small team and lots of work to do means stress on a regular basis, much to remember and multiple tasks to do at the same moment.
From my technical abilities wasn't much left after the accident because of my hand- and arm problems. Very frustrating for me. My hands would't do the things anymore I wanted them to do. after some time I refused to take a piece of work in my hands anymore, just not to get frustrated.
I could't bear the concentration and strain of a short working period. After a while I got that "cotton-wool feeling" back in my head.
My resignation has been in mutual understanding and agreement. I visit my collegues at the Gunshop often to see how they're doing and how business goes.
Apart from working in the gunshop I had a also had a job as a freelance teacher in the training course for legal aquired Gun dealers licences. The same problem of the lost of my abilities happened here as well, with the same frustrations. So I had to quit this job after 14 years of teaching the future Gundealers as well.
I got into my job from personal interests and hobby. Through the years I spent so much time and energy in this nice and interesting work and had lots of fun doing it.
Then destiny decides it's over just because of an accident caused by a careless half-grown boy who doesn't know how to drive a car. In one short dramatic moment the whole future in my work has vanished. What to do?
I don't see myself in a regular "office job". But don't have any idea what I can do in the future.
I first have to end medical treatments and rehabilitation to establish a stable endsituation. After that I can see what disabilities and capabilities are left.
At the moment I'm only able to do a small part from what I could in the past. Quality- and quantity wise. I have to rest regularly otherwise I get tired of everything, and I do not like it anymore. That's something I don't want.
So my criterium nowadays is: I only do things I like and which give me fun. Otherwise I don't do them anymore!
We liked to camp very much during vacations. Just a simple tent without much luxoury.
What we did'nt know after the accident was how canmping would work out with disabilities. Summer of 2003 all was different from before. We decided to pack our camping gear in the car, children and dog too and off we went. Testcamping with our usual gear: One does not know for shure if one doesn't try!
I could wear my prosthesis short times only so had to do lots of things with my crutches.
In the end Mieke and the kids made the camp and I sat aside, frustrated. I liked to do this so much!
Whithout prosthesis is difficult to manage on a camp site. But in the tent crouching is easier than with prosthesis on. But moving on my knee was painfull. Also crouching with prothesis attached hurted my knee. So moving around in a tent keeps giving pain problems anyway.
We knew we would encounter problems but didn't know which...; knew we had to do it another way but didn't know which...
What we did know after the camping adventures was that our old way of camp wasn't possible anymore in the future.
As a test, and to have a vacation after all, we boroughed a camper from friends and had a short trip just to try. This is much better for me, with or whithout prosthesis it is much easier to move around this way.
So the decision is made after our investigations during this summer of 2003. We definitly have to buy a camper for our vacations. And I, as a die-hard camper never would have thought so in the earlier days: Co with a camper behind his car.
After the next vacation we'll report more about our camping adventures. But then in a camper.
I'm exploring my possibilities every new day again. I know it won't be as in the past anymore. But what is left... I don't know.
The first fifty years of my life I have been busy to explore my limitations. And after all this time I somtimes still exeeded my limits (and liked it)
But now, with new limitations many posibilities have changed because of the consequences from the accident. My knowledge of how far I can go is altered. I have to begin from the start with many things and did so already the last years. A challange for sure. But I have to be patient and careful. Which was never my strongest point anyway!
As far I can estimate my future, I'll like to practice karate again. I will try when my stump is healed and my prosthesis is in order to do so. Also running 10 k's a few times a week is a whish.
There are new challenges, like scuba diving which I think would be teriffic to do.
Walking the famous yearly four-day walking march event of Nijmegen is a dream to do.
At home I do jobs like coocking, errands, vacuumcleaning.
But the weekly errands for food and drinks are rather exhausting on cruthes. So at home I meet my limitations as well.
Carpenting, constructing or paintwork around the hous is hard to do. Same with working on the motorbike. Every time I have to get tools or something else I forgot. Can't take the nescessary things with me. No, this all is too frustrating for me untill now to get pleasure from. I expect this will get better as soon as I can wear my prosthesis properly.
I've always been an impatient person and all these things that do not work out make me angry. No fun.... so I won't do it this way.
Confrontation with death, balancing on the ridge of life... sounds dramatic. My accident has caused a change in my life in thinking and relativation.
Death as an abstract concept has become "touchable", "coming soon" and "for me too". It's not scary or terrible anymore. It will come when time is due. That will be the moment that everything is perfect and is as it should be.
Means that many things have lost their importance.
Ambitions, financial dreams, expensive things.... they all depend on being satisfied. If satisfied, everything is expensive, beautiful and important. Everything you choose to be perfect, all by yourself.
Satisfied with not able to change people and things, that can't be changed.
Enjoying the things and events as they are. Seeing the beautiful side of things and people without focussing on imperfection.
You can't teach a pig to climb into a tree. But you can learn from it how to enjoy rolling over in the mud and be lazy.
I just wrote down a few thoughts about phylosophing about life that came into my mind in a few moments. But there's more, much more. Ready to discover self for everyone.
No need to fall off from your motorbike to find it..