Ian RuderOn the surface, there’s nothing remarkable about the adjustable-height table that sits near the foot of my bed. The stainless-steel frame and faux wood plastic surface look like pretty much every other rolling bedside table I’ve seen. Except for a little warping on the top and some ingrained rust and dirt on the H-shaped base, it appears to be in good enough condition to pass for new-ish. It’s only when you try to roll the table that it betrays its age.

Instead of freely swinging in the desired direction, the casters dig into the floor and resist. Thick mats of dirt-encrusted hair block any movement and grip the floor like claws. The hardwood is streaked with black skid marks showing our previous battles.

I can’t find replacement casters, and the smart thing to do would probably be to scrap the old table and get a new, better one, but I can’t bring myself to do it. We’ve been through too much together.

The table has been with me from the beginning. When I came home from rehab 21 years ago, it was sitting there in a box. I actually remember opening it and assembling it. Not that getting a hospital table is particularly exciting, but it definitely drove home that living with an SCI was my new reality.

Every other morning since, I’ve rolled under the table and settled in for my morning routine. That’s around 3,800 morning r