For over a year I’ve been using mobility aid, sometimes just on outings other times indefinitely. I’ve learned that accepting help from mobility aid, is the best way I can remain independent … even on my worst days.
I stopped driving back in February, and it’s the longest I’ve not been behind a wheel in over a decade. When I stopped driving, I kinda said goodbye to the independence I had always been used to and I became more and more familiar with the walls of my home. Nerve pain when driving had become a huge thing for me, it was as if the position I sat in instantly triggered the nerve pain and that’s never fun, especially when driving! Back in February I’d had a huge Fibromyalgia flare up and with the medication being ramped up so often – I really didn’t fancy driving whilst on them.
Things have been getting harder with my mobility for most of 2020, and even short walks with a crutches or walking stick have lasting and painful consequences. A short walk can exhaust me for days, to the point I have little energy to do much other than lie there in pain and lift my head to acknowledge it. As normality slipped further and further away from my grasp I made a decision, an internal decision and if I could get my head around it – there was only one other person I needed to get on board and that was hubby (because he’d be the person pushing me)!
My husband is the most understanding person I have ever met, and when I tearfully told him of my decision and asked if he would support me – he never paused for thought he was straight on board. The next day hubby drove me to collect my brand new wheels, no not a new car … but my first ever wheel chair.
A wheel chair does not mean that I lack the capability to walk, I can walk – a wheel chair is a symbol of freedom and independence in which I can get out of the house, see the world, do the things I want to do … and reserve energy. It’s a life line for the days when I have absolutely no spoons, but the sun is shining and my husband is off work. It is a new mobility aid for me, and one that I am so thankful for.
I’ll always try and challenge your perception of what chronic illness or disability look like.
My chair is second hand, and it’s far too big for my frame – but for now it does the job when I don’t have the energy to do it myself. I’ve already had some amazing adventures in it and some hilarious accidents; and I never knew how much upper body strength was required to push yourself around.
Maybe after another surgery and some full body physio I can start looking at building myself up, moving away from certain mobility aids and living a life less consumed by chronic pain. Yet in the here and now, I am so thankful for those wheels, the sunsets they’ve allowed me to witness and the many changes of scenery.
Some days I don’t need the chair, most days I’ll have my crutches by my side – but other days when I need a little extra, extra help – it’s their folded up and ready to go.
Right now it really is the little things in life – at least until after surgery number 4.
I hope you are all keeping well.
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