Last Friday I had a consultation with a pain specialist at my local hospital.
I haven’t spoken to anyone about it as, well to be honest, it didn’t exactly go that well. I have been meaning to write this article for a little while, so now might be a good time…
Don’t get me wrong, my hospital consultation was lovely. The doctor was young, helpful and very understanding. She had a lovely way of putting things, whilst still ‘telling it like it is’, which is something I admire and really appreciate. But the bottom line for me was, in terms of my back condition, there really is nothing else that can be done. Surgery is not an option due to my cardiac problems, and I’ve exhausted all of the other pain interventions which might have worked (but didn’t). My doctor was very sympathetic, in a ‘nobody wants to hear this’ kind of way.
In truth, I felt a little sad, as I am an eternal optimist where my health is concerned, but I wasn’t entirely devastated. It’s not a terminal diagnosis or anything, and my lifestyle is restricted by my heart problems anyway, so it’s not like I was going to be an Olympic athlete any time soon (unless sleeping becomes an Olympic sport!).
In reality though, when someone (like this doctor) asks how much I can do, or what I actually do on a daily basis, the answer is “very little”. I struggle to stand or walk for more than 5-10 minutes without pain. If you think about how many things you do on a daily or weekly basis which involved being on your feet for more than 5 or 10 minutes, you start to realise how restrictive this can be. (Think shopping, cooking, cleaning, school run, going for a drink, meeting a friend for coffee, going to the park, watching the kids play football, walking the dog…)
Add in the fact that I have two very active children, and you start to realise how much I need to modify my lifestyle. Everything has to be thought out very carefully in terms of where can we park, is there somewhere to sit, will there be much walking, etc.
I explained to my doctor last week that, although no-one actually wants to be in a wheelchair, sometimes it really helps.
Strange though it sounds, it can be quite liberating!
Last year we won tickets to the National Pet Show, and the boys were so excited, but the only way I managed to get around was in a wheelchair. Sadly, the mobility scooters were all booked out, so I couldn’t be completely independent and had to rely on my family pushing me around. This was quite precarious when the kids had a go!! I had to decline a similar day out to the Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate with a friend because of lack of availability of mobility scooters. It’s a shame, it would have been a great event.
Whilst it is hard to sometimes ‘admit defeat’ and take to a mobility aid, it can mean the difference between being present at an event with your family and friends, or being left behind. We went on holiday to America earlier this year, and if it wasn’t for being given help with a wheelchair, I quite simply would not have been able to go. No way could I have managed to stand in the long queues or walk the distances involved in travel via large airports.
Hugo wants to go to Edinburgh Zoo for his birthday. There’s another challenge! We’d love to go to Alnwick Castle at the weekend. Parking there is often tricky if you want to get close by. Often my husband drops me off near the door of wherever we’re going, then goes off to find a parking space! If he’s not around, I don’t want to have to constantly say “no” to my kids when they want to go somewhere.
Now that I have been given the information that there is no further help for my back condition, I have no doubt that I will need to consider my mobility issues more and more. In the past, I have been ‘sitting back’ and missing out on things as I’ve been waiting for some kind of cure. Now I know that there isn’t one, I’m determined not to miss out on things anymore. As my heart condition worsens, this will be another reason to consider help with my mobility. I have therefore been sent this really helpful information from Fenetic Wellbeing to help me consider my options. Just in case this sounds like you or someone close to you, hopefully you will find this information on Fenetic Wellbeing Mobility Scooters helpful or be willing to pass on this information too.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post with Fenetic Wellbeing
If you have any further information or advice for me as I come to terms with my mobility issues, I’d love to hear from you. If you are willing to share your stories or experiences, either here, on social media, or privately with me, I’d love for you to get in touch.
Thanks for listening, thanks for being there. I know I don’t often talk about my personal issues, and I appreciate the opportunity to share them with you.