Well, the biggest thing I have to say is I LOOOOVE my new wheelchair! We are away at the moment and decided to bring it as we have no idea when we will and won’t use it, and while the obvious need is things like shopping centres etc, who knows where we will find it most useful. We were very comfortable with the idea that if I hardly ever use it then that is just fine, but yesterday we decided to just have a practice run both for hubby as pusher and me to just get a feel of it. And it was AMAZING!!
I had the wheelchair adjusted to suit me, and while many people in wheelchairs have no feeling in their legs and so their feet are tucked below them to protect them from being hurt and bumped, I found that position soooo uncomfortable, so when I ordered my wheelchair I asked them to please put the footrest on the outside of the bar not the inside, so that my feet are quite far forward, and to raise it as high as possible. I am not a tiny person but I don’t have very long legs either, and so my thighs rest on chair seats, and so when sitting for a period of time my legs often go numb. I just accepted it as a part of life, but my theory was that when in a wheelchair I want to at least be comfortable, so hopefully by raising my feet as much as possible, my thighs won’t rest all my leg weight on them on the seat. Well when I picked it up and sat in it, that worked out really well and I felt so comfy and safe!
But the bonus that I did NOT expect, is that when we went for dinner last night, I was planning on parking the wheelchair in the corner and then using it again to get back to our room, but what landed up happening was that we were way early for dinner so sat on the balcony and enjoyed the view while sipping on a nice drink, and so I just sat in my wheelchair next to his chair, and over an hour later my legs hadn’t gone numb! My best by far is sitting with my feet up high, which is rarely feasible when not at home, but this was a FANTASTIC second best! So I stayed in it while we ate, and then he wheeled us back to the room and it was sooooooo good!!!
I cannot tell you how pleased I am! There is no pool here warm enough for me to do my physio, so I did some long gentle walking for exercise and as I did so I was asking myself why can’t I just do this all the time?? And came to the conclusion that this is different to day to day walking and more like the short distance walking I do at home. It is one direction and simple and straightforward and I am concentrating. You don’t realise how much we twist and turn and stop and stand hop and so on as we walk in day to day life, which are all my problems.
I HATE formal exercise with a passion and have never done any in my life but I was very busy and that to me is the best exercise, but suddenly I can’t do the busy exercise stuff but it feels crazy doing “formal” exercises for up to three hours a day and then spending the rest sitting with my feet up or in a wheelchair! But the week before when I rested for the week, I realised how much I need to keep exercising and keeping my muscles strong and so I HAVE to do the “safe” formal stuff under water, but not the running around! I also mustn’t ever stand as that puts all weight on my LFI, which much of the busy stuff is, not to mention carrying things etc. So yesterday I went for a “long” walk and by that I mean VERY short and flat and watching my feet and terribly slow, concentrating on not hobbling, and not putting too much weight on my LFI. Using one crutch as much as I can to help my left foot but still keep my gate correct takes a lot of concentration. And I SOOO wish that I was just walking “normally” like I used to, but at the same time I keep reminding myself that I am SOOOO blessed to have that option each day!
And I mustn’t use that option as an excuse to not use my wheelchair when I know that I am going to be standing a lot, and now I realise that it is great for more than just when I will be standing a lot, it is also when I will be sitting a lot and unable to put my feet up! So again, something bittersweet, I had thought that if something required lots of sitting then I wouldn’t need my wheelchair, so this means I MAY now use it a bit more which is bitter, but it is sweet that on those occasions I will be soooo much more comfortable! For whatever reason I had always equated wheelchairs with sitting on a chair, which is better than standing but not as good as feet up, but now I know that there is a middle ground and I can sit with my feet raised!!!
Feeling very very happy 🙂