My wheelchair

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?

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