Sunday, December 9, 2012


I've been learning many interesting lessons about a self-powered wheelchair (the "wheel it yourself big-side-wheels" type).

I moved from my transport chair/walker to the full-on wheelchair for a few reasons. One of them, speed; my walker-walking speed is excruciatingly slow. Another, bladder side effects... MD says that it's a very well known/common occurrence for walking any distance to, oh let's call it "loosen" one's elimination system. That, I definitely don't need. I'm still good for short distances (I do all the moving about at home without anything except the wall or conveniently-placed furniture), I'm quite relieved that I don't need a walker "within the walls" at home; but out in the Real World, it's another matter.

Something definitely not in the "manufacturer's specifications" for the wheelchair is that I can actually use it as a walker, for short distances. Lock the brakes "on," you got yourself a walker that can double as a wheelchair, when that's what's necessary. Not as good a walker as my walker/transport chair, but if you need a walker not a wheelchair for a short (short!) distance, and you're not at all in a hurry, it works. Well enough.

It's much easier navigating the world with a walker rather than a wheelchair. Most of the world has nothing to do with ADA-friendly, much less wheelchair-friendly. I'm learning all sorts of lessons about getting through doors, across thresholds, navigating across sidewalks and through parking lots, thanks to my charming new friend the wheelchair. Then again, traveling the M.S. Highway, one never really goes seeking "surprises;" they spring up all the time.

Three destinations are calling me today... One, the bed. Two, a magician friend of mine is lecturing at the Magic Castle (as a member, I get to go to such things), but where he's lecturing is very wheelchair unfriendly, and especially bathroom-wise horribly unfriendly... I'd have to crawl up a flight of about eight steps to make it to the bathroom that I couldn't make it into even with the walker... this bathroom is just plain dinky.Three, a former student of mine, a divine French horn player, is giving her master's-degree recital also this afternoon. Churches tend to be more wheelchair friendly than most places, but I'm definitely not good for long stretches of sitting, even if the music is worth listening to... which, with this person at the helm of the horn, is going to be totally worth listening to.

This one's going to be easy, unfortunately. The winner's probably going to be... the bed. I gotta tell you, this saddens me. It's one thing to deal with "I can't decide between two things I'd really like to do" and another to face "I think it'd be prudent for me to go lie down. NOW."

Not like not being able to do [long list of things I used to do that have been removed from my life by my condition] isn't annoying. Saddening. But being stuck in "I have to go to bed... NOW" is different.

I'd probably be really pissed off if I didn't need to go lie down. NOW...

And pissed off at my own condition is something that doesn't happen often. At all.

And maybe... maybe it should. Wouldn't make any difference to the litany of limitations... but it might be better for me to actually get mad, once and a while.

1 comment:

Muffie said...

I don't have enough strength to wheel myself in the wheelchair for any length of time. So, if I'm not being pushed, I can't use the big wheels. My scooter was ideal -- but it kept breaking down from being plunked into the trunk. Sad that I have to pre-plan every move nowadays before I can decide if I'm going somewhere.

By all means, get mad, get very mad, at your condition. Blow off steam and let this beast really have it!