He has become a Craigslist master, finding free stuff in the ads that he needs to finish construction on our house. Not just bay windows, but hardwood doors, a complete closet system, even lumber!
And one of the things he recently found for free is a wheelchair. Granted, it doesn’t have its footrests, but when the humanitarian who was offering four free used wheelchairs learned that I have MS, he told my husband that he would reserve the best one for me.
Ever since we flew to Bellingham and used a borrowed wheelchair, I have realized how useful it is to accommodate us together. While I do have my scooter, a wheelchair allows him to stabilize himself while pushing me.
When I was diagnosed in 1991, I was told to go home and start preparing to be in a wheelchair soon. I even saved some ratty, Chuck Taylor Converse®️ high-tops to wear while in it so that everyone would know I used to be able to walk.
But as time went by, I stopped waiting for the possibility. And I believed what the doctor told me in 1991, that I could assume the severity and progression of my disease would be gauged by the initial five years after my diagnosis. Obviously wrong.
Now our new/old wheelchair is folded up in the living room corner, calling to me. I’m always worried when I am hobbling around that I will fall down. It’s tempting to know that I could be less stressed about it by sitting down.
The author Nancy Mairs who chronicles her MS in books like Waist-High in the World: A Life Among the Nondisabled, recounts that she had a serious fall on her head then decided she would “give up walking” before she “had another such mishap.”
However I don’t want to “give in” to the deterioration prematurely. And “sitting on your ass” is synonymous for being lazy. So how will I know when it’s time?