I’m starting to think that life mainly consists of learning to accept things we say will never happen to us. I’m sure you have your own examples – I have friends who swore they would always work, who now love being stay-at-home moms. I have friends who were sure they’d want to stay at home with their kids who would go crazy if they didn’t have a job outside of the home to challenge them. A good friend of my family got married, and both he and his wife are successful doctors who never wanted kids. They are now captivated by their three beautiful boys. Life takes us by surprise, and we learn to embrace what is meant to be, rather than what we meant to create.

I had all sorts of plans. I was sure I would work as a writer, I would get married and have kids and I would love cheering them on through their lives. I would be busy and active – involved in my church and my community. I would have dinner parties and card clubs and fill up life.

The day I had to quit working I remember telling a friend that even harder than letting go of the dream was knowing I wouldn’t be a productive member of society. I had to learn to let go of the picture of my life that was in my mind… the husband, the kids, the home with the parties. And I went from saying what I would do to declaring what I would never do.

I wouldn’t stop pushing to do freelance work. I did.
I wouldn’t let pain stop me from pushing through physical therapy. I did.
I wouldn’t rely on a cane. I did.
I wouldn’t go on disability. I did.
I wouldn’t … well, it doesn’t matter all the examples I give because determination only takes a person as far as their body and situation will allow.

My latest thing to embrace… my most emphatic declaration for a few years now… I would NOT get a walker.

I did.
Of course, I had no intention of relying on the walker… I find I always have to come at things with baby steps. I was simply going to get something that had a platform of some sort so I could get my laptop from one room to another. Walking with crutches makes carrying anything obviously difficult. I was able, for a long time, to walk with one crutch and carry a drink or a plate from one room to another, but it was getting harder to keep my balance doing that… and with the sudden nerve pains it was easy to get unstable. So there I was with wireless internet, and no way to use it because I couldn’t move the laptop to a comfortable chair.
And then I found the “rollator.” Which, by the way, I really need to find another name for. Because while I like the fact that I don’t have to call it a walker, I think rollator sounds like something that old Saturday Night Live character would call it. You know, the dude who changed everyone’s names… like instead of calling me Sara he’d say, “The Sara-nator!” Quite frankly, I’d rather call it George.
But, as usual, I digress. 🙂 I had gotten to the point where I realized I needed it for a carrying function, but I was still resistant. I even called my friend Susie to see if she would talk me out of it. She’s usually all about saving money so I told her what I was thinking, assuming she’d think of another way to get a laptop from point A to point B without spending a dime on a contraption. I called the wrong girl. Apparently she was rooting for a walker for awhile, but was afraid to bring it up because she thought I’d get mad. Which is only funny because I don’t remember the last time I got mad at her… but she was right, I really didn’t want it.
But I bought it. And now I seriously don’t know how I managed before I got it.
Oh sure, it helps me get my computer into different rooms [ahh… functioning laptop… how I miss thee] but I had no idea how much more secure I would be walking around my place. Being able to set things on the seat and always have two handles to stabalize me, being able to sit down regardless of where I’m at if the nerve pain hits or I get dizzy… it’s literally taken away my fear of falling. And the handy feature of the basket underneath the seat is priceless. Of course, the first thing I thought to keep in the basket was my camera [it’s now always at my fingertips], but mom’s suggestion was to put my Lifeline button in the basket since I never think to wear it. Good to know both of our priorities are met. 🙂
When Avery was here, I had just gotten the rollator – I mean, George – the day before so I didn’t get a chance to prep her for it. And it really does look like quite the contraption. We talked a lot about why I was walking with it and how helpful it would be. To be honest, I think I talked myself into it being ok as I was reassuring her about it. And when she left that night she said that it kind of scared her at first, but now she thinks it will be pretty handy, always being able to sit down when I need to and not worrying about falling. She decided it was a good thing.
And I have to admit [stop smirking, Susie… I know how you love being right] that I’m finding it pretty darn handy, too. George and I should get along just fine.