Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Think I’ll Call her Mary-Lou: Getting A Wheel Chair

image Since I opened the door to publicly blog about my chronic illnesses, I have decided I might as well kick the damn thing down.    I have been resistant to  completely owning the status of a disabled person and getting a wheelchair.  Getting the rude commentary and stares every time I am out with my cane was enough to make me resistant to taking the next step.

On my recent trip to Walmart (yes I know they’re evil but once again I live in a small town) to shop for new patio furniture, I found it incredibly difficult to walk around the store.  I kept having  to go and find a seat and what should have been at most a forty-five minute expedition took literally hours.  I spent the next three days on the couch barely able to move, my body racked with pain and my mind filled with regret.

image I entered a small depression as I realized that if I couldn’t even toot around a Walmart how limited the coming summer would be for the boys and I.  It is bad enough that I cannot even sit at the park with them for any extended period of time but the thought of being restricted to my porch while they play in the front yard is positively depressing.

A few days later the unhusband talked me into going to Zellers (big box store similar to Walmart).  In the front they had a shiny courtesy power wheelchair for shoppers.  I stood in front of it shaking and thinking about my past experience at Walmart.  I didn’t want to go through the physical pain again but was I strong enough to get over the looks that come with riding in a motorized wheelchair.  Well I did it.  I threw caution to the wind and got on board.

It was the best decision that I have made in years.  For the first time in forever I could keep up…I COULD KEEP UP.  I tooted around the store in little to no pain and did what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it.  I have to say that it was the most liberating experience that I have had in forever.  When we were done I didn’t want to give up that wheelchair.  I realized that if I actually owned one I’d be able to get at least part of my life back. 

I know that I am not going to get better.  No matter how many milligrams of prednisone or various other drugs they pump into my system, Fibromyalgia and Sarcoidosis are here to stay.  They are painful diseases and quite invisible to most people but if I want to have some semblance of a life I can no longer allow my pride to get in the way. 



So there she is.  Since I have a habit of naming inanimate objects, (for example my laptop is Suzy) I am going to name her Mary-Lou.  I have no idea how I am going to afford to get her yet and doubt that I will have her for the summer but one way or another, I am determined to get a wheelchair to get some part of my life back. 

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