A New Era. Day 86 of hospitalization

So it’s here. The day when I’ve transitioned into a power-chair has finally arrived. And quite honestly, it hasn’t had the emotional impact I had expected. I actually feel quite good about it, which I did not see coming whatsoever.
I had been bracing myself for a feeling of grief. I thought it would be like knowing that someone you love is about to die, bracing yourself for it as best you can, but when it happens you realize there was no possible way to prepare for the sadness, the pain, the loss of that person from your life.
I kinda felt that way when I got my first mobility scooter. I’m guessing that was close to a decade ago now. I was running Gateway at the time, and the boys from my street outreach team, who are now great life-long friends, drove me to the shop where I bought it. We got it back to Gateway, drove it around a parking lot a bit, I let the boys drive it as hard and as fast as they could, we had a ton of laughs, and then I parked it in my office in front of my desk.
I could still walk then. I could still even ride my bike. But I was feeling the claws of MS taking hold of me and so bought this thing for days when I needed to be on my feet for longer periods of time; things like going to a mall with my family or taking a flight somewhere and knowing I couldn’t walk the long distances through airports.
But most days that scooter just sat unused in my office right in front of my desk, where I had to see it every time I sat down in my chair. And the grief of it, the emotional impact, was unexpected and overwhelming. It represented a major loss to me. It was a symbol of what was coming. And it scared the shit outta me.
Fast forward a decade.
I’m in hospital. I can’t walk or ride my bike anymore. I get around by using my mobility scooter or a wheelchair. I’ve become much more educated and experienced with my own access issues and am now an advocate for issues around disability. My house is about to be renovated to fit my needs (once I get the permits…) and I’m working towards a quality of life at my new level of ability.
At this hospital there are 3 therapists that I work with each weekday that I have come to know and trust. I have come to refer to them as my trinity.

I honestly couldn’t be more grateful to have them in my life. I’ll be sad when I leave here in a month to no longer be working with them. They have (and continue to) helped me so much.
My OT strongly suggested that it was time to transition from a scooter to a power-chair. I resisted a little but went through the motions of being measured for the right chair, and now have it to test drive and fine tune any issues I may have. (I am actually writing this blog while sitting in it.)
And I LOVE it!!! It is making everything easier for me to do. The grief I had been bracing for did not come my way; in fact quite the opposite.
I guess I’m in a different place in my life than I was a decade ago. I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing.
So now instead of mourning being in this thing, I’m thinking of ways to bling it up.
Red Flames?
Bumper Stickers? (I want one that says ‘I peaked in high school’ if anyone sees one:)
And a name. I wondered about Black Beauty but that’s too obvious.
Einstein? Too lofty.
Troublemaker? Not bad.
Hades? Yes but…no.
Conquest? Tornado? Die Hard? Rocky? Tombstone?
So many choices. But I keep coming back to one name. This shall be the name of my first power-chair. And the winner is….

Fred

One thought on “A New Era. Day 86 of hospitalization”

  1. Joanne Biggs says:

    I hope that Fed will bring you freedom and access as you travel this new path. I associate the name with a family member who had many struggles but taught us all to love and accept what we could not u derstand. He brought simplicity, kindness and music with a glint of humour that I now recognize as a gift to our family, in ways I could not understand as a young person. So: here’s hoping Fred will be a faithful companion in days ahead. Blessings,
    Joanne

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