Showing posts with label wheelchair. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wheelchair. Show all posts

Mobility Matters

So we're planning on going to Kinetix again this weekend. It's a fun outdoor show at Busch Gardens in the center of the park. It requires a bit of planning to get there on time since there may be lines in the parking lot, bag checks at the front entrance, ticket scanning issues at the gate, and then of course the half mile trek back to the area where the concert is. For the able bodied person it takes at least a half hour to complete all those steps to get seated in time for the event with the fantastic party starters and dancers.

But now some friends are considering going too, and one person is not functionally mobile. It is a complication that could be remedied but there is some denial that there is an issue by the immobile party. I'm not being unsympathetic to this person, but the mobility problem is just an effect of some bigger health issues. We've experienced the issues of managing a person's ability to move around when DH was injured in a motorcycle accident a few years ago. It required a lot of patience and extra planning, and especially extra time. It also involves extra effort from the caretaker making extra trips to get equipment needed or securing proper seating ahead of time. But I didn't mind because it meant we could share time together doing things besides sitting around with a leg propped up.

From my experiences, the problem with dealing with mobility issues is that the affected party usually feels like they are  not really disabled and immobile, so they refuse help from strangers and their friends. They insist they don't need the wheelchair, or the walker or the cane to move about. So they stumble along in pain, whimpering from the stabbing aches and breathing hard like they are going to die. Or they insist that they are well enough to go along with the event and refuse to discuss accommodating their immobility. They know they are an extra bother and its true. But guess what, the caretaker or friends want to attend the activity bad enough, so they are willing to make the sacrifice to make sure the immobile party can attend to. Because unfortunately in some relationships if the hobbled one stays home, everyone must stay home.

My mother is dealing with immobility issues as she ages and has had some serious injuries from falls. She definitely needs assistance with her mobility. But she doesn't want to admit it. She feels like it is an admission of being old, which she is. She doesn't want to give up her independence and be reliant on others for her mobility. She wants to go for nature walks and go to the gym for an aqua class but these activities are beyond her ability now. She does not want to accept this. So she tries to go for walks outside by herself without a walker or cane, and falls. It is sad.

Mobility does matter. To all of us. But when you are immobile you need to admit it. Accept offers of assistance from friends, family and strangers to help you get through that heavy door, or up that ramp, or by taking their seat on a bench. You are doing no one any favors by being the difficult one who refuses to get in a wheelchair. If putting you in a wheelchair will improve the activity for others, then sit your butt in the chair and shut up. They will gladly push you around and if its a public event you might even get front row seats for the handicapped seating area. You will allow your caretakers to leave you seated comfortably at all times instead of panting and breathing heavy after you've walked 100 ft and can't find a bench.

The point being is that it's not all about you. Just because you can't walk doesn't mean you can't live. The world we live in today is very accommodating to people with mobility issues and you can do almost everything an able bodied person can do. So quit complaining and get the proper equipment you need to be mobile. Then live your life.