I learned soon that your stamina is like a bank account. You need to make deposits every once in a while to stay ahead. I learned little tricks like taking a shower, then resting in bed for 15 minutes, then getting myself ready worked well. I learned using the parking permit allowed me to use my energy in the store and not walking across the large parking lot. I learned with some tweaks to my routine I had a lot more enjoyable moments. My biggest obstacle was my pride. In the end I knew I owed it to my husband and my daughter to do what I needed to do.
This past summer I had my doctor write me an order for a wheelchair. It was a little extreme I know. This contraption thought of by most to be restricting was actually my key to freedom. I am so glad I made that step. The chair enabled me to surprise my daughter with a girls get away and we flew to Orlando just the 2 of us for a few days. As a family we purchased season passes to Six Flags. At the Arthritis Walk I was able to participate and I didn't have to watch from the sidelines. I was able to go to a museum with my mom and daughter. And if I wanted to I could have gone to the casino with my husband like we used to when we first got married. My dad had open heart surgery and was in UCONN hospital which is a huge teaching hospital. Literally 20 minute walk from car to his room. I wanted to see him and was feeling really sick from my infusion. No big deal. I brought the chair and was able to see him almost every day.
Now I know, that if I'm going to be expected to stand or walk for a few hours, I don't stay home. I bring my chair. If I'm tired, no big deal because I just sit there and enjoy who's with me and what we are doing. This chair has allowed me to have so many memories that I wouldn't have had. Instead of standing there looking at my daughters smiling face thinking I'm about to curl up on this department store floor and nap because I am that tired, I smile back and she knows all I'm thinking of is her.
Now the fun part of this post! I was very very nervous about people staring at me. I knew it was inevitable. But I didn't like it. Then comes my friend Jaime. I complain to her and she gets an idea. Add her craftiness and her glue gun to my love of sparkle and pink and I am proud to share with you my chair. I have to add some missing bling that came off in the summer humidity but you get the idea.
This is the armrest. This was Jaime's idea. Came out really cute.
I have a Nissan Versa which my friends have named Zippy because it's little and I can just "zip" in and out of traffic. Jaime thought it was necessary to include zippy since she is my other form of transportation. And yes below is exactly what zippy looks like.
Pink glitter hand breaks of course!
This last one was my vision which Jaime brought to life. When my wheels spin, the stones catch the light and it's so pretty.
Now anywhere I go with my chair people are staring at the chair, not me. Instead of judging me and thinking I am lazy people turn their thoughts to the chair. They compliment and say "good for you for embracing this". Thank you Jaime for helping me change the public perception of those with a disability.