I just got back from returning a few things at the mall. I was in the mall for less than 30 minutes, and it was early enough in the day that I was still “fresh”, and yet here I am now, tired and wiped out.
It’s a gorgeous, sunny day today, and on the drive over to the mall, I could see many places where I used to hike, and other places that I wanted to hike (Hello, Mt. Diablo). I get a glimpse of those places where I’m farther from the buzz of civilization, cars, people, etc.; where there are great views from hill top fields, and quiet paths through wooded valleys. And I just can’t get to those places. I mourn that loss on days like to day, especially.
All of this annoys me and frustrates me. I’m trying to figure out work arounds. I have a short path near my house that I love. Within 50 yards of the parking lot, you can find terrific views out over the hills. It’s relatively flat, and I can walk it when I need to be outside and trick myself into feeling like I’m somewhere far more remote than I actually am.
Getting out into the rest of the world remains difficult. Sure, it’s possible to run quick errands or get myself to a doctor or chiropractic appointment. But that trip to the mall – difficult. Spending an afternoon shopping with a friend? These days it would be nearly impossible to do without completely taxing my energy, if I could do it at all. A street fair with the family? It’s just not going to happen like this.
So, I’m trying to look for work arounds in this area, too. Of course, I already do most of my shopping on line, (Again, fine for the little things, but it means that I can’t use shopping as a social outlet.) What I’m thinking about now takes me well out of my comfort zone: getting a disabled placard for my car and getting some sort of walking support – rollator, transport chair, or wheel chair.
On one hand, I feel guilty about considering these options. I mean, on the face of it, if you just saw me briefly, you wouldn’t think that I’m sick. You wouldn’t think that I’m having trouble getting around. But spend an hour with me outside the house and you might see it. Even the thought of a disabled placard makes me feel guilty. There are obviously people who are worse off than I am who might need those spots, too.
And then there’s the feeling that maybe I’m just giving up or being lazy. Maybe I’m being a drama queen. Maybe I just want attention. (Wait, isn’t that what this blog is for? 🙂 I can walk a mile on a treadmill, why can’t I walk around the mall for a while?
I also worry about whether using a device would help or hinder my future self mobility.
But, what it all comes down to, is that I want to be out and about more. And right now, I don’t feel able to do more than short, relatively local errands. I don’t think that a placard or a walking aid would do much to help me go further abroad, but I do think they would allow me to do longer trips without totally wearing myself out. And, for right now, it’s not something that I HAVE to use all the time, but if I had it on hand, I’d be able to use it when I needed it.
I would definitely appreciate any feedback, especially from people who have chosen (or had the choice made for them) to use a walking aid, or from people who’ve cared for someone who uses/used a walker, rollator, or wheelchair.