My Journey to Buy a Mobility Device
My journey to use mobility devices began when I could not get out and enjoy things like shopping, going to a park, or hiking.
Although sometimes it is an issue getting around my house, I was more concerned about the things outside of the house that didn't just leave me cooped up inside.
Trying them out
In 2005 I had a really big flare. I found myself with very little use of my legs to hold me steady. When we would go shopping, I would use one of the wheelchairs that the stores provided.
For the most part in my area, they were the manual wheelchairs. By the time we got done shopping, if someone was not pushing me, my arms would be worn out too! Along with my muscle weakness and fatigue, I could no longer sit up straight or hold my head up.
When my grandmother passed away, I was able to use her old walker with a seat. Though this was only for short-term use.
Using a walker with a seat
I experienced another flare that started just after Christmas 2019. Again, I found myself unable to walk without assistance. At this point, I no longer had my grandmother's walker. So, on New Year's Eve 2020, I purchased my own walker with a seat.
It has worked well up until now. But I am still having problems going shopping, getting out, and doing stuff. Currently, when we are out, I cannot travel on my own. I can only walk for about 5 minutes or so before I have to sit for about 10 minutes.
Problems at the shopping centers
Many of the shopping places have motorized scooters and manual wheelchairs available to use for free. But I have found that there may not be 1 available when I need it. Or, they're not in proper working condition and actually be dangerous to use
At some of the larger shopping centers, you can use the manual wheelchairs for free. But, they charge a rental fee on the motorized wheelchairs and scooters that can be quite high. And again, they still may not be available or in good working condition.
Purchasing a wheelchair
My husband and I had discussed on multiple occasions what we needed to do, but I also wanted to get my doctor's opinion. While talking with my doctor, she agreed that it was time for a wheelchair.
She offered to have me go through the assessment for insurance purposes. But there can often be over a 2-year wait to actually get a wheelchair. After talking with her further and explaining my situation, we decided to just purchase one on our own.
Now, I know that's not necessarily something everyone can do. But for us, the timing was right. We had just gotten an unexpected refund for almost the exact amount cost.
We are currently awaiting the delivery of the wheelchair! This has been a hard decision with many mixed emotional things going on. I felt like I was giving in ... like maybe I just had to try harder to go without a wheelchair.
But I know that's not the truth. Then, there's the excitement of what kind of freedom will I have. Both of these thoughts mesh together!
Have you found it difficult to discuss your diagnosis or symptoms with loved ones?