The week after I wrote about the thrills and chills of LGMD, my anxiety mysteriously evaporated. Perhaps the iron and B12 supplements I had started taking had kicked in, or my body simply needed rest, or maybe I had dispelled my fears by writing about them. In any case, it felt absolutely wonderful to be able to walk as fast and steady as a turtle again.
Getting a power chair no longer seemed essential, yet those three weeks of torment had chipped away at my resistance to owning one and I figured there was no harm in starting to explore my options.
So I arranged to meet with an OT at my home. After bombarding her with loads of questions and sharing my own ideas, she suggested a specific chair that might suit my needs and took my measurements. She said it would take several weeks before it was available for me to test. In the meantime, she wanted me to try a couple of mobility devices that could make me safer in my home and arranged to have them delivered within the next few days.
When I got home the following Friday, I noticed a Nexus Rollator and a Guardian Walker (with flip tray) had been delivered while I was at work. Although I was happy the supplier had come the day my cleaning lady was around to receive the delivery, I wasn’t too thrilled at the sight of the bulky contraptions crowding my small apartment.
When I tested the rollator, I found that it swivelled too easily, throwing me slightly off balance. Nor did I warm up to the walker, a dull grey eyesore, half wheels, half mini skis, spoiling the aesthetics of my colourful apartment. On top of that, it made an irritating rattling noise when I tried to pivot it. I doubted that I would purchase either one of these mobility devices.
I did, however, find the ugly plastic tray on the walker quite handy. Instead of taking my regular detour around the kitchen, holding on to the counters and stove, I could now cut directly across towards the fridge and load the walker with several items at once, eliminating the need to do multiple trips. It was also great for transporting the hefty omnibus of George Orwell novels, a gift I hadn’t got around to reading because of its unmanageable size. And late at night, when my exhausted muscles were just about ready to collapse from the day’s wear, it was a relief to lean on the sturdy Guardian walker as I shuffled along the hallway from the kitchen towards my bedroom with my freshly microwaved therapeutic beanbag loaded on the tray.
After a couple of weeks, the reliable walker had become as indispensable to my daily routine as my heated beanbag, which keeps my bed warm during the cold winter nights.
Meanwhile, the rollator parked in a corner of the room remained forgotten until two days ago, when, feeling a burst of energy, I decided to test it out again by doing laps in my living room. Back and forth I went, doing figure 8s on my laminate floor. While it helps me with my balance, I can’t lean on it the same way I can on the walker. As a result, I end up working my muscles a little harder. And unlike the walker, the rollator can be used on rougher terrain. I see it coming in handy if I want to do a bit of outdoor exercise.
I haven’t quite made up my mind, but I am leaning towards keeping them both. Of course, I’ll have to jazz up the walker to fit in with the décor…a project I’m rather looking forward to.