Well, that’s how I feel.
I’m having a hard time right now, because my grandmother refuses to use a wheelchair. She doesn’t want people to see her, to say things about her, she doesn’t want to look old and diminished.
And I feel terrible because I can’t find the words to tell her the wheelchair is a friend.
The wheelchair is practical, it takes you places you couldn’t go without it’s help.
The first time I used a wheelchair was actually a fun moment.
My disease causes fluctuant paralysis, and tremendous pain. At that time, the doctors had a wrong diagnosis and put me on a painkiller that was actually not good for my disease, and it increased the pain instead of killing it. Very usefull indeed. Anyway, when I wasn’t paralysed, I could walk but not far and the pain was huge. The doctors refused to prescribe me a wheelchair, because they didn’t know what I had. (Now we finally found out what was wrong with me, and the new medication is working so far, so I’m walking again, not perfectly and I can’t run a marathon, but I know I might need a wheelchair again someday).
So my mother rented one, with her own money. She didn’t know how to talk to me about it, but she finally did and I was so happy she did. I felt like a 3 years old again. Because seriously, I was sick of starring at the ceiling. I missed the sky, the wind on my face, people, things happening. So I got into the wheelchair, clapped my hands of joy, felt like a big baby and starting rolling and it was a new life. We visited museums and places of interests. People happened to be very nice about it, most of the time. I would call the place I wanted to visit, explaining what I could and couldn’t do, and most of the time it worked wonders. I was so happy to see the world again I didn’t care for the “sorry” looks. Yes people feel sorry to see a twenty-something girl in a wheelchair, but whatever, I was alive and hungry to put new memories in my brain. I’m not saying everything is accessible, not that it is physically easy to manage that heavy stuff. But to me it was better than the ceiling.
But my grandmother doesn’t want the wheelchair.
Should I just shut up and respect her wish ? What do you think ? What is your relationship with the wheelchair ?