Good morning all 🙂
I hope you’re as well as possible and not experiencing too much of that Monday feeling. I’ve just this minute polished off the last of my iced latte so I’m currently pepped up and ready to get this post written!
After my M.E diagnosis in early 2011, my health declined quite quickly. As I mentioned before, I had to leave sixth form which was such a tough decision for me. I remember the last time I was actually at college; quite vividly in fact. I recall finishing my last lesson of the day, walking the two minutes home and saying to my mum “I think I need a wheelchair”… A pretty bold statement but sadly, it was true. That short walk really knocked me out and I knew I had to find something, anything, to help reduce my energy loss. It would simply drain out of my body. I could physically feel it being totally zapped out of me.
Although I knew I needed some form of mobility aid, to actually get my head around the reality of it was incredibly difficult. The more I would think about it, the more I realised just how unwell I truly was; and there were no signs of it getting any better. So, with a bit of research and determination, we contacted the Red Cross as we’d been told that they loaned out wheelchairs for short periods of time, for people when they’ve broken legs etc. We were all of course hoping that this short-term wheelchair hire would be plenty long enough for my health to improve…and we all know now that that wasn’t going to be the case. Nonetheless, at that moment in time, I felt like some sort of progress could now be made. I was able to leave the house and get some much needed fresh air without having to expel my limited energy supply. Granted it still completely drained me, but to a lesser degree than my ‘pre-wheelchair’ outings. The wheelchair itself was one of those solid, tiny wheeled, pretty uncomfortable models. It got the job done but boy was it a challenge for my fragile body. Any slight lump or bump in the pavement and BAM I’m wobbling around all over the place. And, in an attempt to make things easier for myself, I gave my wheelchair a name: Brennan. Strangely it did in fact have some positive impact. I could say to myself that Brennan was taking me out rather than oh god I’ve got to sit in this stupid chair with wheels again.
I don’t remember the first time I used the chair, which surprises me. But then again it was over seven years ago! I do however remember having to go into sixth form to discuss my health with one of my teachers. My mum pushed me, which is something I’d have to get used to. Luckily for my anxious-filled self, the building was mostly empty as it was after lessons. But a few stragglers remained and I knew they were either staring at me or trying not to. I felt so exposed and vulnerable, but at the same time, I knew I needed my wheelchair. If I didn’t have it, I wouldn’t be able to go out anywhere, not even this brief two minute walk. And frankly, it was nobody else’s business.
After the loan period came to an end, I had come to terms with the fact that I would need my own wheelchair. I asked online friends for recommendations and decided to get myself a funky blue one. In a way, I was quite excited for it to be delivered. I knew it would be far more comfortable than my previous one as the new one had those large wheels which can be used to self-propel if you can manage it, meaning that it didn’t react to every little change in the pavement surface. And it was a pretty colour so my inner child was extremely happy. As before, my very own wheelchair deserved a name of its own; Blue Brennan. I know, I know. It’s a rip off of the last name. But if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it 😉
I think I’ll end this post here; just leave it as a factual, storytelling type thing rather than adding allsorts of feelings, impact on my mental health etc. That’ll be in another post, which will include good and bad experiences I’ve had whilst in my wheelchair, plus a variety of different thoughts and worries I’ve had relating to it. It could be a very lengthy essay, hence why I’m thinking it’ll need an entire post all to itself.
As always, be kind to each other and yourselves.