Coming to terms with a loss of mobility

I was a kid whose head was either in the clouds or a book! This tendency to be thinking one

I was a kid whose head was either in the clouds or a book! This tendency to be thinking one thing whilst doing another has led to a number of minor accidents – even as an adult!

Running round the side of the house in the dark, fell over the rake and finished up with a multitude of stitches in my leg; decided to go on the monkey bar with my gloves on (it was cold) and fell off breaking my arm; moving house, tripped over a pot plant and landed with a thump which broke the pot, but not my head – the bruises, however, were multicoloured and long-lasting; breaking a bone in my foot and the odd strained ankle, wrist etc. But not one of these accidents really stopped me from doing anything I wanted to do; I never missed a day of school or work because of an injury.

Like most of us, I’ve had the odd bad back and like you I’ve blamed carrying groceries that were too heavy; packing everything, including the kitchen sink, in my holiday suitcase, or deciding the whole house and garden needed a total makeover before the visitors arrived … tonight!

In August, however, the bad back would not go away with a heat pack and a good night’s sleep. Some nights the pain was is so bad I cried myself to sleep, despite taking what were supposedly “strong” painkillers. After a visit to the doctor, things seemed to get better and I chided myself for being a wimp. Then I bent down to pick a flower and my body crumbled under me. I gave it another week before making an appointment to see my GP but before that could happen, I stepped off a bus and finished up at the local hospital. Suffice to say, I now have a serious mobility problem. (No, dismissive – albeit overworked –  emergency doctor, I am not a hypochondriac old lady with time on my hands!)

So how am I coping? Well, that rather depends on the day. Truth be told some days not well! I hate dropping something and waiting for someone else to pick it up for me. This “I can do it“ stupidity means I bend down when I shouldn’t, even though I know the outcome. I hate pretending the shopping trolley is for purchases when actually, it’s to keep me upright, which occasionally it fails to do. I hate that I can’t finish the new garden I planned just before this happened and the material for the new beds is mocking me as it sits ageing beautifully. I feel fearful of walking on wet or uneven surfaces.

Then on other days I’m fine – me, myself and I are not really good at feeling sorry for ourselves. For the “why me?” – there’s a “why not me?” What makes me immune? Years ago I had a minor eye operation that required my eye be covered for a time. I attended THE EVENT of the year wearing an eye patch which matched my dress and which I decorated with crystals and sequins. The optimist in me decided this is how I need to manage my current situation. It is here, it’s not going away anytime soon, so get used to it and get on with it.

I have a walking cane which is brightly painted so I can pretend it is a fashion, not a health, statement. In a few weeks, I’m travelling interstate for a family function so I may just need another walking stick, this one decorated to match my outfit – sequins at high noon perhaps? Added advantage – I won’t have to walk miles in the airport, I can have a wheelchair – now that is a WIN WIN! (What are the odds that this time the flight departs from the closest gate to the airport entrance?)

Let’s face it I have the perfect excuse to buy new shoes – I don’t believe my specialist would be impressed if I wore 10cm high heels – and ladies you know what a bonus that is! At least I am still standing and there are so many people worse off than me. We all know about the person with no shoes who met a person with no feet!

There are more challenges ahead I’m sure, but I have an awesome husband who is treating me more like porcelain than usual; a family I can call on anytime and friends whose support is unwavering. Then there are the wonderful medical professionals for whose expertise I am so very grateful.

The sun is shining, the roses are blooming, there is beauty all around me; a lack of mobility won’t change the things which really matter.


Tell us, have you had a loss of mobility? Did it change your outlook or did you just get on with it?

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