Written by Joy Procida
Sometimes you just have those wake-up calls that kind of bring you back to reality for just a little bit. Here’s my story:
Jill and I are due for new scooters (which happens every 5 years). So, we got our evaluation set up to be seen by a physical therapist (PT) and a doctor to advise us what would be most appropriate for us and to also write up a script for the new mobility device. Well, our evaluation was last week. We got there early and spoke to the PT first. She was very nice and pleasant to speak with. She also had a pretty strong German accent as she is from Germany…….duh!
She proceeded to ask us questions and then it happened……reality was sinking in. What the therapist had suggested for the both of us was power chairs. Her concern was for long term benefits. She explained to us both that given our disability, which is limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, eventually we will end up compromising our organs and body frame from sitting in scooter-type chairs instead of a power chair (wheelchair-type). The reason being is that over time, we are not going to be able to have the muscle to carry our posture from having to sit in our scooters for long days and as most everyone does, will do what we need to accommodate for the lack of muscle. She also said that a power chair could provide relief from having to sit all day because of the chair being able to recline thus taking the strain off of the trunk for a period of time throughout the day.
All this news kind of hit home for me. Just made me realize that I’m not getting any younger nor am I going to get any better and the issues that I have with limitation will only to continue to get worse. Now, I understood what the doctor and PT were trying to say about getting into a power chair, but the issue for both Jill and I is that if we do that, then we give up quite a bit. If I get into a power chair, I’m pretty much just going to sit in the chair……I won’t be able to move like I do when I’m in my scooter and as a result of me not doing what I did, I’ll lose what I have quicker. Jill and I both agree that we are going to continue to use our scooters for as long as possible. When we can’t do it any longer, then we’ll go to something like a power chair.
So, I ended up turning that whole reality check into a positive. Just because people say this is what happens in “theory,” that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen quite the same way or even when it will happen, if at all. Yes, I’ll slow down physically, but so does everyone else when they get older. I may not be able to do what I could do 10 years ago or even 5 years ago, but people do slow down as they age. My 85-year-old mother is starting to realize and try to accept the fact that her body just won’t do what it did 10 years ago and it’s hard for her to accept. If it is one thing that I know, but still struggle with, is that accepting change (good or bad) and having a good attitude about it makes a world of difference. You move on instead of allowing yourself to carry all the weight…..like carrying a ball and chain around with you everywhere you go. So, no ball and chains, right? 🙂
You’ll want to check back next week as I will post my midterm project from my Drawing I class.
Life is good!