Friday, March 28, 2014

Crutches or Wheelchair?

Everywhere I go, I ask myself “crutches or wheelchair?”
Mostly because of one moment.

About eight years back, I went with some friends to the local state fair. Knowing I’d need my chair, and knowing my friends were totally open to making space for it.
I still found myself wanting to make things easier on them. So I didn’t take my crutches. I also didn’t foresee us stopping to pick up other people (and taking an opportunity to use a familiar restroom, instead of an unknown, possibly inaccessible one at the fair.)
There were steps leading to the building where we stopped. I couldn’t get in.
Luckily, one of my friends offered to hold my arm and walk with me inside and back out.
It definitely drove home the fact that I needed to act in my own best interest, but it’s still something I struggle with. My crutches take up less room but mean I’ll be slower, and more tired. My chair means more speed, less exhaustion, but it takes up more space in a car. It won’t fit into some trunks.
It’s part of the reason I don’t go many places. Because it’s honestly so much of a hassle. Maybe someday there will be an easier way. But until then, I have to ask myself what to take with me. Crutches? Wheelchair? Or both?

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