My Journey with My New Assisted 'Friends'
It was a hot day in July 2007 when I sat registered, signed in, and anxiously awaiting my turn in the spacious, bright lobby of a local neurology office. This appointment with the neurologist, that unbeknownst to me at that time was long overdue.
"Dianne Scott?" I finally heard the pleasant voice of the receptionist indicating it was time to get this party started. Incidentally, walking through the lobby, was the doctor I was to see. Hearing my name and recognizing me from several years prior, he told the receptionist he'd walk me to the office.
The first gift of imbalance
After his friendly greeting and asking how I'd been, I told him that I had a whole list prepared to answer that question! "Ok" he chuckled, then asked, "Why do you hold on to the wall when you walk?" That caught me off guard because I didn't even realize I did nor when I'd started.
I shared with him my leg pain, my fatigue, the numbness and tingling in my fingers and toes, the feelings of unsteadiness. Before I could finish, he began to ask about things that were on and off my list that were spot on to what I'd been experiencing!
He then had me take my shoes off and walk for him. Four days and an expedited MRI reading later, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
It was also the day I learned the reason, amongst other symptoms, I subconsciously 'wall hugged'. My imbalance and impacted gait prompted a script that day for my very first assistive device. Hence, my relationship with my fond Callie Cane began.
Falling for a new friend
Callie Cane and I started off kind of rocky because mentally, I had not prepared for my new sidekick. All in all, the two of us had a pretty cool run and hung out for several years before our relationship began to run its course largely due to MS's interference.
As our connection grew weary, Callie just wasn't providing the adequate support I'd become accustomed to. In fact, this rift in our relationship was the culprit of my falling multiple times. After discussing my plight with my doctor, he told me that it was time to consider my wellbeing. This meant cultivating a new relationship that'd yield me security by way of, quite literally, more to 'hold on to'. Consequently, my association with Wilma Walker began.
Although I missed the fun and easier times with Callie Cane, as Wilma Walker and I got better acquainted, I began to have good times and great experiences again. We got around and about pretty well together for quite some time before we found ourselves slowing down a bit.
Over the years, even with the support of Wilma Walker, living with MS caught up with me yet again. I found the need to add a new 'friend' to my life: Enter Wendie Wheelchair.
My friend on wheels
I've not said goodbye to Wilma Walker, but over time, our escapades have been drastically reduced. Though we still stand together, it's Wendie Wheelchair and I that get about together mobility-wise. To get from point A to point B, Wendie Wheelchair has gone from an intermittent trusted friend to my primary devoted companion.
From diagnosis to this point, MS progression has slowed me considerably, but not stopped me with the help of awesome assistive devices. That's what awesome assistive 'friends' are for.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. We want to check in. How are you feeling?