Friday, January 6, 2012

Post 45 – Another MSA Accommodation

It wasn’t a Christmas present; its arrival during the Holidays was merely coincidental.

It seems that my 4-wheel walker – the same trusty appliance that has helped keep me reasonably upright for quite some time has been falling down (no pun intended) on the job. Even with the aid of the walker, I’ve been experiencing an increasing number of stumbles and falls, especially over the past few months. I’ve mostly landed on my left side – so far resulting in bruised and sore hips and elbows - but luckily nothing worse. Of course, it’s only a matter of time that my luck runs out and I do some serious damage, like a broken hip or leg, and sustain the side effects - like pneumonia - that go with them. After some gentle prodding from Fran and a difficult night of using a small-wheeled transport chair to go out to a local restaurant, I reluctantly agreed to look into a full-sized wheelchair.

My first , and what turned out to be my only stop, was to Craig’s List where I came across a light-weight Invacare “Patriot” model, supposedly in great shape since the owner claimed it was only used a few weeks. Before driving the 30 miles necessary to see the chair firsthand, I did a fast comparison check online and found the asking price ($125) was well below that of similar chairs in near-new condition ($650). So, with my daughter Deb at the wheel, I took a Christmas Eve day trip to Ft. Myers to check it out.

As advertised, the chair looked like it had hardly been used. I “tried it on for size” and was pleased to find the chair had originally been adjusted for a user about my size – only a little shorter – requiring an easy foot pad adjustment. Lastly, Deb was successful in sliding the chair into the back of our Hyundai Tucson. Fran, with my help if she lets me, should be able to manage. Within 10 minutes we were heading home with my purchase. Clearly it will take a definite change in current movement habits to make the change from walker to wheelchair.

My life continues to be one of an ongoing series of accommodations made to this damned disease: first a cane, then a walker, then next a motorized scooter, now a full- size wheelchair. I guess I’ve been reluctant to make each accommodation since I view it as another small surrender to the effects of MSA. It always takes me awhile until I finally realize – it’s all for my own good.

Finally, Happy New Year to All - especially to my fellow MSA travelers!