I’ve always admired those with the innate ability to stand on one leg, perfectly postured, calmly maintaining their position whilst contemplating life and chanting meditative techniques. My current mobility challenge of having to only utilise one lower limb, has forced me to adopt a whole new range of similar poses but with all the grace of a lame duck, and the employment of more colourful approaches to language than the traditional meditative yoga-ite might adopt.
That’s not to say I haven’t had assistance. My trusty crutches have enabled me to ascend the stairs, albeit at the pace of a sloth. Every now and then the kids will ‘test’ my ninja-moves, by forcing me to navigate my way around a multitude of items they’ve dropped or left lying around. It’s a wonder I manage to remain upright at all.
Then there’s the husky. She’s somewhat baffled by this turn of events and is quite fascinated by the ice grips on the sides of my crutches which seem to be magnetically attracting her to take a nibble every time they move. In desperation, she keeps looking at her lead as if to say, ‘well, are we off then or what?’.In a sudden flash of inspiration, it occurred to me that there must be a whole range of mobility aids available which may assist in my maneuverings around the house. A brand new building recently constructed on the road into Edmonton advertising ‘healthcare solutions’, was my destination of choice. Equivalent to a top-end car showroom for the ‘healthcare mobility’ market, this place has glass windows stretching two floors in height, showcasing every type of mobility device known to man – or woman for that matter. Hobbling in on crutches through the snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures, my husband remarked, ‘I think I’ve just had a premonition of our future‘. From mobility scooters, to Pilates balls, to incontinence pads – this place has the lot.
Let’s just say the lure of electronic gadgets and scooters had my husband salivating at the mouth and treating the place as a ‘playground for the older gentleman’. ‘I’ll just go and investigate’, was his refrain as he disappeared out of sight for the next hour or so. I fleetingly caught a glimpse of him every now and then out of the corner of my eye, as he careened around the showroom testing out all manner of devices. My only comforting thought was being thankful I hadn’t brought the other 3 kids along too …..
It occurred to me that whilst this place offers an invaluable service to the local community and those who find mobility a challenge; based on the reaction from my husband, I couldn’t help but think there is a wider market they haven’t yet tapped into …. as an additional positive, at least they also provide all surgical dressings and applications readily to hand …..Functionality and practicality goes a long way when you’ve only got one leg and despite all the latest technology, I’ve hired a wheelchair for the next few weeks until I get myself back on both feet. My middle kid was ever so disappointed it wasn’t electronic, but this doesn’t seem to have hindered her whisking herself around the ground floor trying to determine its ‘top speed’. Life father, like daughter …..
For me, it’s been life changing. I now have two free arms to hold and carry stuff, clean things, make food and load the dishwasher. It may take me a little longer than usual, but I can now do more things in the house than just sitting on the sofa. Making a cup of tea is now in my gift, as is re-polishing the kitchen tops. I’ve even started to master the finer intricacies of manoeuvring the chair in and out of tight spaces which I reckon should be included as a new olympic sport.
Only the husky remains bemused. Every time I start to move, she insists on trying to race me in the chair, crawling directly underneath it, or trying to fit through the same small narrow space as the one I’m attempting to get through. She’s a sled-dog and there’s nothing she would like more than to be harnessed up to the front of my wheelchair and pull me along. Much like the kids, the only downside she has is her inability to react to the commands, ‘stop’ or ‘wait’! So, whilst I’m incapacitated, I’ve come up with a new way of exercising the husky and keeping the mountain biking husband occupied ….. bikejoring. What can possibly go wrong?? As my husband recently commented, ‘I think I’ve just had a premonition of our future‘ and maybe I’d better reserve an additional wheelchair just in case?