I didn’t realise how much I took my mobility for granted until I herniated my back last year. I went from being an active, busy Mum to being only able to walk with the assistance of a stick. It was quite shocking how quickly it happened and how much it impacted my life, changing it dramatically. You can’t understand, I don’t think, what it is like to lose some of your mobility until you have lived through, or perhaps live with someone who has lived through it. How you have to plan your day and activities based on your pain levels on a day by day basis and that each day is different.
I had to learn to adapt my life, very quickly. Admitting that just for the moment at least, there were things I could no longer do. I had to ask for friends to help with the school run for example. I could no longer drive long distances and had to plan activities around my pain thresholds. I remember the first time a stick was suggested to me as a mobility aid, how daunting and upsetting it was. That I was too young to use one, that by using one I was admitting defeat somehow by using one.
However, two weeks into using one I realised how wrong I was. That a stick opened doors for me rather than took them away. It helped with my pain levels and to walk further than I had been able to manage before. I had to turn my thinking around and see it as a positive rather than a negative thing. What I would say to anyone considering any sort of mobility aid is just that, look at what it can do for you, how can improve your life, rather than what perhaps you think it might signify. How it can improve your quality of life. While my prognosis in the long term is good, from now on, I will take whatever aid can help me, so that I can be present more in my life and able to do more for my children.
At the time I managed to injure myself, these last few months we have also been undertaking a huge project in our home. Renovating our hallway and the lounge and dining room. It’s been months of work, which most of it has fallen on my husband’s shoulders but we’re getting close to the end now, with the flooring due to be laid in the next week or so. One of the things I have wanted to do as part of this decorating process is greater a little nook for my children as they get older. When I don’t want video games on the main television all the time, but also don’t want my children to have televisions in their bedrooms. As part of this, I am also planning to get them a little sofa bed, for sitting on and if they want friends to stay over.
Pulling out a sofa bed is something already I know that at the moment, I would find painful and tricky. So I was really excited to come across The Mobility Furniture Company’s motorised sofa bed. The remote-controlled sofa bed is pretty awesome, press a button and the sofa transforms for you. There’s no need to even move the cushions! It also has a high-quality sprung mattress, which for someone with a back problem is as you can imagine a very important factor. This is a great solution for the nook I want to create for my children, making it really easy for me to transform and limit any stress or pain in my back. It also comes with a 5-year guarantee.
This is just another example of something that if you’re able-bodied you don’t even think about, but if you’re injured or disabled, or even just less steady on your feet than when you were younger that all just makes life that little bit easier. While I cannot wait until I can hang my stick up and no longer use it, it has taught me a lesson about mobility aids and taking the help when you need it. Life is here to be lived and enjoyed as much as you can, if you need something to help you do that, if it means you’re more able or in less pain, then use it.