Aug 16, 2011
My walking was affected by my latest flare, which has been going for a little over 3 weeks now. And the fact that I have been needing my wheelchair to get around has been causing me a lot of stress.
As I have been doing so much thinking, when I can make my brain work, a few things have become clear to me:
1. I am often so much happier in my chair. No, I am not happy that I need to use a wheelchair, but I am happy that I can do the things I want to do.
2. My stress about using a wheelchair comes not from my not being okay with it, but from concern from other people's "okayness" with it.
So, I am asking myself exact who and what am I worried about? My family? No, they get it cause they see it every day. Sadly, first and foremost I fear the disapproval of my own doctors. For example, when checking in with my PCP last week, I took my chair. As anybody with MS knows, the distance from a parking lot into a hospital to a doctor's office can be quite a long way. Could I have done it with a cane? Possibly. Could I have moved the rest of the day or the next if I did it with a cane? Probably not. However, when the doctor walks into the room her jaw drops and she asks in astonishment "You have your own wheelchair?"
Now, this is the same wheelchair I was in when I became her patient six years ago, but I guess that is beside the point. I have MS. I have had MS for more than 20 years. I have been diagnosed for more than 10, and this is not the first exacerbation that has affected my mobility in one way or another. Over the years I have acquired an impressive collection of assistive devices...including my sporty blue Colours Eclipse manual wheelchair.
I fail to understand the view that using what I need to continue living my life is giving up. Especially when it comes from my medical team. I want to continue going places and doing things, even if my legs don't. I would rather wheel myself around than be a prisoner in my home.
So, what was the purpose of this rant? I guess just to say to myself (and anyone reading this), what my doctors should be saying to me....
"If a wheelchair is what will let you continue to life your life rather than merely watching it pass you by, DO IT!