Thursday, December 19, 2013

My Brand New Pair of Wheels...

I grew up in a family where inflammatory arthritis was the norm. The women had RA, the men
PsA. My great aunts were very much older than me and their disease was much less controlled than mine was at the time. I remember looking at my Aunt Lil in her wheelchair and telling myself I was not going there, ever.

For most of my life I have shunned wheelchairs and walkers. I didn't mind crutches or my knee walker but even talk to me about using a wheelchair and you would immediately put me on the defensive, I had no problem using my "NO" then. In fact, there is always an argument when I leave a hospital stay because they always make me take a wheelchair.

When both my foot and hip started bothering me I realized if I ever wanted to go out again I was going to have to get used to using an electric cart. Somehow this does not equate wheelchair to me, maybe because it has an engine and I can run people over if I'd like.

I finally got to the point where I needed to have hip surgery and I had too use crutches. If you have RA, just the thought of hobbling around on crutches makes you cringe. I could bare 20 pounds of weight on my surgical leg which is like resting your foot on the ground. An hour after the surgery I was up and crutching my way around the hospital floor (cruel and unusual punishment). Needless to say by the time I got home from the hospital the next day I thought my arms and everything connected to them were going to fall off.

Surprisingly, I planned ahead and bought myself a wheelchair (I know, I couldn't believe it either). When I slid my tired hiney into that chair and rolled myself across the kitchen without having to crutch over there I almost cried because it was so easy. I've read many blogs that say wheelchairs aren't torture but give the user the ability to do things they wouldn't normally be able to do. They say you just can't understand until it happens to you, yep, their right. I love my new wheels, I even learned a few tricks in the short time I was in my chair.

Now I have it for the next time I need it, I also have an electric scooter so I won't have to miss family trips to museums or other places where I would normally need to do a lot of walking.

There is another saying that goes a little along the lines of this..."you can't teach an old dog new tricks"...I'm glad this old dog can still learn.

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