Meet ‘Aunt Sally’, my new wheelchair. She’s very light, responsive and easy to use, well as being a most fetching metallic blue.
So how did I end up here? Well, as you will know if read my blog regularly, I have been experiencing an increase in symptoms (I have M.E. and fibromyalgia), my fatigue and pain has restricted the activities I’m able to engage in significantly. But throughout the course of my illness it has never occurred to me to get a wheelchair, I mean I can walk right? Only really disabled people use one, and anyway I’m just putting it all on for a bit of attention (believe me there is still a little part of me that thinks like this).
However, the turning point was a Saturday evening, a few weeks ago combined with registering at a new GP practice and having a review.
Mr Weaving Heart whisked me off to see the Highland Military Tattoo, over at Fort George, just outside Inverness. We knew it would be demanding for me so I rested up for a couple of days prior to going and my thoughtful hubby packed various blankets, coats, waterproofs so I would be as comfortable as possible. He bought ‘disabled’ tickets so we would be able to park closer to the Fort and made sure I had my stick with me too.
Despite all of this, and the sterling efforts of the Tattoo personnel, it still involved quite a lot of walking and sitting in hard plastic seating for over a couple of hours. The actual Tattoo was amazing, I would heartily recommend it to everyone; for two hours I had no thoughts about how I felt, I was completely absorbed in the performance.
Afterwards was a different matter though, I was in a lot of pain and completely wiped out. While we were there we observed a few wheelchair users and I’d felt a little envious of them. I raised the topic with Mr Weaving Heart the following day, expecting him to tell me not to be ridiculous, except he didn’t. Instead, he spoke of how he’d thought for a while that I needed one, but he hadn’t wanted to upset me.
So after a bit of research, combined with talking through the course of my condition with the new GP which always brings it home how much my life has changed, ‘Aunt Sally’ (I always name my fibre equipment, why not this?) has come to live with us.
Oh my word, it’s completely changed my life. Really. We’ve had a couple of shopping trips, one on a very fatigued day where without it there would be no chance of me leaving the house, as well as a few walks out with the dogs. Rather than feeling embarrassed or invisible, I’ve felt empowered and have a real sense of freedom. It’s very comfy, I can wheel myself a short distance, which isn’t nearly as tiring as walking, and randomly my Mother-in-Law is over the moon (it turns out she’s also thought I would benefit from one for a good while)!
Finally, rather than reducing the amount of exercise I get, I think it’s increased it. The trips out using my chair are not replacing walking, instead they’re replacing times I would have spent resting. It’s so good to be able to get out more and join my husband and dogs on a few of their walks. I’m very fortunate as we do live somewhere quiet and safe, I’ve only encountered kindness and thoughtfulness from others towards me and I suspect it would be a little different in a big city. My next goal is a scooter, watch out Helmsdale!
Lastly, I came across this recently and want to share it with you. Enjoy your day.