Multiple Sclerosis Community
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645800 tn?1466864555

Scooter depression

For a few months I have been trying to get a scooter for when I go out like grocery shopping. When I go shopping it barely start before my legs get very weak (dragging both feet, tripping on shadows, and the like), Cognitive problems (I've gotten so confused that I have had to ask for direction in order to find the checkouts),  and off balance ( I've had to sit down in an aisle for a while just so that I don't fall over).

So my PC finally sent me to the Wheelchair Clinic (Was last Monday) and the doctor is ordering me a scooter and power lift for transporting it for when I go out. At first I was excited about this as maybe I'll be able to get out more.

But this only lasted about 1 day. Then it hit me that I'll be using a scooter to get around.  Since then I've been really depressed about this.  I'm not even sure I will be able to bring myself to really use it at this point.  I've always been a very independent person and walked a lot of the time.  This started when I was in Junior High and would walk 10 mile each way so that I didn't have to take the school bus.  I would also walk 25 mile each way to go to the library each weekend. I also became a avid hiker and probably hiked around  60 -80 miles on weekends in the woods.

Needless to say this is a big blow to my ego even though I haven't been doing a lot (almost none) walking for years now. Hence the depression and I don't know what to do about it.

PS the scooter won't arrive for about 2 months.
24 Responses
5112396 tn?1378021583
Dennis, you've made such an important step to maintain your independence, one I'm sure several of us will make at some point. I can understand that it would be a huge mental adjustment, aside from anything logistical. When you went to the clinic, was there any discussion about perhaps a support group? I just ask because I imagine something like what we might face with MS (a progressive, sometimes intermittent and situational need for mobility assistance) is a quite distinct set of realities from those who are suddenly, permanently paralysed. I assume the latter would have support groups and I see no reason why the former (us) would be any different.

I can understand, in the abstract, that it would be quite difficult to make that first grocery trip with a scooter. But, Dennis, please please get whatever support you need (including us here) to help you make that step. It does sound difficult, but please don't let MS boss you around. The worst thing would be for your world to get smaller and smaller. It doesn't have to. That's not the same thing as me saying, "no sweat!" but just saying rally your reserves and fight like heck. We'll be here.
667078 tn?1316004535
With each adjustment to the disease there is a loss and with it grieving. It is hard.

751951 tn?1406636463
Yeah, what they said.

Hey, my late wife gained so much independence that she wore her scooter out, and we had to replace it before she passed away.  May you be so fortunate as to enjoy -- even savor - the freedom it brings.

Great conversation starter, too.
5887915 tn?1383382380
Hi Dennis,

I started using a Scooter back & Electric wheelchair back in 2003. It was a hard adjustment at first but once I realised that I was able to get out more & get more done it wasn't that hard at all.

I stopped using these aids for 5 years nearly but I am now in the situation again where I will need them in my life. I am having to buy new batteries & get then running again. It was some folks at the MS Society that said to me I need these in my life otherwise I am limited in what I can do when I go out. The truth is I am hardly going out & rely on family to get my groceries because I just can't.

If you can spin the situation around & try to think of what you are gaining in life "independence" rather than what you think you are losing "mobility." Ultimately I don't see you are losing anything at all because your mobility is restricted at times for many reasons. The scooter is just enabling you to get things done that you have been struggling with.

I understand the mind games your going through at the moment because I went through the same. Once you get the scooter & get out there doing things you previously struggled with you will have a change of heart I'm sure.

Just a word of warning though for some strange reason some people will speak loudly to you because you are on a scooter......apparently we are all deaf....who knows......just giving you the heads up on that one. My best response is to say "what's that I'm sorry I can't hear you" & usually the penny will drop lol. :-)

Take care,
572651 tn?1531002957
There is lots of good advice in the responses you received here. I hope you can take all of them to heart and then see how it applies to your own situation.  You have spoken openly about your counseling and the one additional piece I would add is you should consider making an appointment and having this conversation with a professional. Your past experiences tell you that depression can be a worse monster for you than the MS.

All of these changes/losses are difficult and having the scooter will initially be hard to view as a positive step.  I hope with help you can quickly come to that point.

hugs, Laura
645800 tn?1466864555
Thanks for all of the encouragement! I keep trying to think of the positives, but seem instead to be in a downward spiral of depression as the negatives keep out weighing the positives 2 to 1.

1) My dad had MS and I seem to be following his track record for this Monster. He developed MS at the same age, Got his first AFO at the same age, Had the same Sx as me throughout which is why I knew I had MS years before I got my Dx. He got his first scooter at the same age as me and within 3 years needed the scooter 24/7 to get around. I know that I'm NOT my dad, but it still feeds into the depression.

2) I've already been alone for over 22 years which I hate. If I live to the same age as my dad it will be another 20 years being alone. So needing a scooter, how much harder will it be for me to find someone? This is a very depressing thought to me and I have been talking to my shrink about this already before I even got the first suggestion that I should have a scooter.

3) I think I would look stupid using a scooter. I'm too young and good looking to need one. LOL!

4)  I know some Vets that are worse off then me but can't get the VA to get them a scooter. Major guilt trip for me to be getting one so easily. One Vet I know has been trying for 8 years.

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