Wheelchairs are NOT the enemy?!?!

Over the years, my views on wheelchairs have run the full gamut.  When I was a little kid, they looked SO cool and were FUN to play in/with.  (Wheelchair races, wheelies, etc)  As I got older, and was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, the threat of being confined to a wheelchair terrorized me.  The keywords here are THREAT and CONFINED.  All I could focus on were the things I wouldn’t be able to do, instead of the additional things that using a wheelchair could help me do.

I’m not saying that I am excited about being in a wheelchair AGAIN, or that you should rush out and buy one, but after having to use a wheelchair many times over the last 20 years, I can FINALLY acknowledge that in some ways it makes my life easier.

Some examples include:

  1.  Airports-  Using a wheelchair allows me to continue traveling.  My legs have become so much weaker over the years that even a “quick run” to the grocery store wears me out and makes falling more likely.   The long lines and distances at the airports would make it very difficult if not impossible for me to fly.  I have written numerous times about traveling in a wheelchair via plane and train.  Air Travel with MS- Use the tools available, Just the Facts Please, and Your mission should you choose to accept it are a couple examples if you are looking for more information.
  2. The Risk of falling is minimized-  I can’t say that the risk is eliminated, (Have you met, Grace?) but it is definitely smaller.  Full disclosure here-  I launched myself down the steps of my parents porch the other day because I got  impatient and was resisting the help that was offered.  😦
  3. I can move faster.  I’m not talking about using a power wheelchair, although you really can haul ass in those.  I’m talking about general everyday tasks.  I “roll” faster than most people can walk.  In the beginning, I didn’t have much in the way of endurance.  My arms got tired quickly. The more I push myself though, the stronger my arms are becoming, which in turn is making other “everyday tasks” easier to do.

Finally, and best of all….it allows me to hold and move with my twin grandsons.  Again, I don’t have the risk of falling with them.  I have an “auto rocking chair”, which they think it’s cool as hell.  When I am rolling around or backing up, I make noises like a race car or a construction vehicle backing up… Beep beep beep….

Thanks for reading along today.  What are your thoughts on the use of wheelchairs?  Can you think of any other way they can make your life easier?

 

 

 

21 thoughts on “Wheelchairs are NOT the enemy?!?!

  1. When I was diagnosed almost 20 years ago, I fear I would be in a wheelchair within months. I am trying to listen to the doctors and stay on medication to delay the day I face a wheelchair. If I know you, you are doing well and handling life in the best way. You are an incredible person with so much strength and determination. I have miss my Grace time!!!!!

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  2. Your wheels are not the enemy, but I bet they could also be a suitable weapon in rolling over your enemies! It’s hard to accept when there’s something that helps us that we don’t like, and don’t want to like because shouldn’t ‘have’ to have it/use it. Finding those reasons to acknowledge the benefits and uses and ways in which that thing is not the enemy is such a good idea, and you’ve given a really good insight into the role of the wheels in your life. Just keep rollin’ < this should be the new “just keep swimming” motto 😉
    Caz xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have use wheelchairs for years. I can only walk bout 50 feet without fatigue setting in. With a power wheelchair I can be out all day and travel miles (25 miles is my wheelchair range). It gives me the freedom to enjoy life. Because it keep me from being fatigued – I have that energy to get up, walk to and load into a roller coaster still. Plus I can put both my Grand sons on my lap and cruse with them (at a “Slow” speed – “Grace”). You do what you have to do for quality of life. I may not be able to do the things I used to enjoy – however, I have adapted to a new way of life and new things to enjoy.

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  4. You give me such perspective, Grace! I am still fighting with using the cane, but reading about your experience with the wheelchair helps me focus on the things the cane will make possible, rather than what it takes away. Thank you, Beautiful Lady!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know if I have ever told you, but I have often questioned myself if I would have the balls to try to walk with a blindfold on. (First I have to work on my balance) I’m sure it would still not be the same as you experience, but I do think “trying on” your symptoms would make ME appreciate my vision more 🙂

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      1. Oh Grace, some of the most amazing moments I have had during my time here have been with you and because of you. Time and again you have reminded me to be brave, to stick around you have reminded my why I write and helped me keep writing. I know I am a master of the disappearing act, but you are in my heart and have my gratitude. I am so often surprised at how similar our journeys are, even though what we experience physically may be very different.

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      1. Ty Wendi! I have developed this obsession with tearing my cast apart. ( seriously) this one is only a week old and it started with me pulling a few strays…now I have begun pulling chunks… we will see if it lasts 2 more weeks

        Liked by 1 person

      2. oh no! I had to laugh because this is something I would do! 🙂 it would start innocent enough and then move to see how much I could remove and still have it be functional! 🙂 maybe I should send you some knitting needles to keep your hands busy.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a transport chair as I don’t have the energy for the wheel one or the funds for the motorized one. I have severe neck pain and riding in the chair sends it flaring. But I’m thankful to have it to go to the Dr. Chronically Siobhan has been doing some great reviews on motorized ones lately. She’s in Australia but I can’t imagine they’re much different.

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