I AM SO STOKED, PEEPS!
My first-ever rollator (a walker with wheels) came in yesterday. This makes me crazy with happiness. Why? Well, simply put, I feel disabled without the thing, but with it, I feel able! You see, my leg neuropathy does not allow me to stand for long periods of time, or partake in many activities because I know after walking for a bit, I’ll be in too much pain to continue. So, I say no to things a lot. And an extrovert saying no to doing stuff with people sort of rots the soul a little.
BUT! Because I am a published author, there are conferences I must attend for learning and for self-promotion. I want to go to these events. And with this rollator, I can! Always having a seat with me is an enormous deal. Last year at Can*Con 2016, people suggested I sit on a window sill while waiting in line for a panel. That was a solution, I guess, but not a very good one. Also, I kinda hate asking people for chairs all the time. It’s going to be nice just to chill and be independent.
I’ve been using a cane for so long, I know I’ve been compensating and not working all my muscles properly when I walk. This accessibility device is going to force me to move it, move it! I have a goal of eventually walking in charity marches (like 1K, 2K, and eventually 5K). I don’t care if I come in last, either. It will feel good to be athletic again.
Also, I need the rollator inside my own home. I never realised that before. Huh. Discovering new stuff all the time.
The thought of not fretting in advance about how long I’ll be out takes a whole lot off my mind. If I’m shopping and I’m tired, I can sit for a spell. Same with walking outside. I can try longer distances because I know I can take a breather whenever I need to. In the suburb where I live, there’s nowhere for me to stop and sit.
The occupational therapist who assessed me told me that it was great that I had such a positive attitude in admitting I need the rollator. I told her it will open so many doors for me and that I was fed up of staying in the house, relying on rides, or the usual, which was saying, “No, I can’t do that.”
Going from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can do this and I can do that’ is like winning the lottery.
I have a disability. It doesn’t have me.
Oh yeah, this morning I saw a photo with two ladies fencing while using rollators. That’s a thing, right? Because I so wanna be a walker Jedi.
*rubs hands sinisterly*
Cait Gordon is an Irish-Canadian warrior princess and author of Life in the ’Cosm, a space opera about a little green guy who’s crushing on the female half of his two-headed colleague (Renaissance). Cait’s also the editor of the Spoonie Authors Network, a blog featuring writers with disabilities and/or chronic illness. She also likes cupcakes.