Friday, December 8, 2017

Situations, Wheelchairs and Judgements

Often times people with Ehlers Danlos need to have a wheelchair to help them get around. This is referred to as a situational wheelchair.  I’ve had to use one from time to time at the hospital when I go in to have IVs for P.O.T.S. There are just some days that I’m too dizzy to walk, or to weak to walk, or days that my lungs aren’t working well enough  to allow me to breathe deep enough to walk very far, or my pain level is just more than I can handle. It’s on days like that when a wheelchair would save my day. I do have a walker that I use from time to time, mostly at home and there are times when a walker is not enough for me to get around with.

So here is the chair that fits my needs: 

So, this is the chair that I am going to get, yes, the pink one!  

                            Electra7 HD (Heavy Duty) Lightweight Folding Power Wheelchair                  

A major issue for me in using a wheelchair is that I’m not able to wheel myself in the chair so I will need to have an electric wheelchair. Electric wheelchairs are expensive and something I cannot afford. I get irritated that I need a situational wheelchair but even more so that I can’t afford to get the aids that I need to navigate through life. There will come a day when I will be wheelchair dependent and I’m not sure what I will do when that day comes and I have no wheelchair.
I’ve shopped around for electric wheelchairs and I have found one that is the least expensive for what I need. It still is almost $3,000.00. Being on a fixed income I’m just not going to be able to afford that and it will be a long time before I will be able to save enough money for a wheelchair.

I’m sharing this not only because I’m open to suggestion of how to obtain this wheelchair, but also I’m wanting to share a short story version with you because in reality, it’s a big ole' long story of how being disabled can change your life in ways that you would or could not have ever guessed. It’s devastating when you realize that you can no longer have the life you once had but then when you realize that you can’t afford the items that you now need.

There are many situations that come up that I have to pass on because I don’t have the ability to get around to attend or to participate in because I’m unable to walk even the distance from the parking lot to the building. For me, a wheelchair would not only allow me to move comfortably around my house but also I would be able to have a bit of a life other than just going to dr appointments. There have been times when I have pulled up to a doctor's office and couldn’t find a handicap parking space and I’ve had to cancel my appointment because I wasn’t able to walk the distance needed to get into the office. It’s times like that where a wheelchair could save me from extra stress and having to pay for missing doctors appointments. Of course, there are many many situations where a wheelchair would help me.

All the time I find myself judging myself for needing assistance walking but the truth of the matter is that I often find myself breaking a bone or two in my foot from just standing up or I twist a knee or an ankle because of how Ehlers Danlos impacts my body and then I’m stuck using crutches which causes problems with my arms, elbows, and shoulders, and wrists. My recovery time from those injuries is increased two-fold or more which with a wheelchair that time would be cut in half because I could do, for the most part, complete non-weight bearing. When you have Ehlers Danlos you’re healing time from injuries is already four to six weeks longer than a person without EDS.

If you are a person who has EDS then you are very familiar with the judgments that not only come from others but the judgments that come from ourselves. It's easy to judge ourselves by what we see others around us doing and also by what we can no longer do as we look back and see all that we have lost as a result of what Ehlers Danlos can do to us.

I'm a heavy girl and of course I judge myself because of that and being in a wheelchair or having to use a handicap cart at the grocery store is hard for me because of the judgments that other's think about me, or maybe I just think they are thinking certain things, but either way having to need help with getting around is something that I am working on accepting.

Situations, Wheelchairs, and Judgments all go together for me as I deal with life with EDS.

So, Stay tuned and I will give you my review of this chair and how it changes my life!