Learning to take it easy

Believe it or not, learning to spend a few days using my wheelchair instead of my walking frame isn’t something I’m very good at.

I can hear when my body is telling me to do this; I know the signs and the feelings, I know what happens when I push myself too hard, and yet, I always try and ignore it.

I wasn’t actually planning on leaving the house yesterday. Sunday’s can be quite quiet where I live and my hips and knees weren’t feeling up to much. Then my mum and her partner told me they were going to the supermarket.

They’ll be chocolate there, I thought to myself. I’d really love something sweet right now.

I know that I could’ve just asked them to pick some up for me, but the thought of going and hunting out the best bargain for myself was just too strong.

“Can I come? I asked

“Course you can. Martha or wheelchair?”

Usually I’d say that I wanted to take my walking frame Martha before they’d even finished the question, (they always offer the choice, even though they know that I like to walk as much as possible), but that time I did something I hardly ever do. I hesitated.

The word “wheelchair” was on the tip of my tongue, that should have been a big hint to myself, but I bit it back “Martha.” I said.

“Are you sure?” They then asked why I wanted to walk and risk making my pain worse. I knew they had a point, I’d already been walking on it for the last few days, and maybe it was time for a break. I made it halfway up the stairs to get my bag before I changed my mind.

In the end, I’m glad I did because we ended up going around more than one store and they were quite busy. I got walked into at least once by someone who wasn’t looking where they were going, so it was probably for the best all round.

I found that I got to sleep much faster last night too and I feel much better today.

I guess I should let this be a lesson to myself, huh?

Supermarket Shopping

There are times when I feel like I practically live in the supermarket. I know that I talk about it a lot in my posts, but there are times when trying to navigate the endless isles and trolleys almost reduces me to tears.

When I was at university, I had help from an outside care agency who would help me run my weekly errands, but every now and then I would run out of those odd little things like milk and bread that send you into meltdown as soon as you don’t have them in the house.

So I would grab my old Kaye Walker frame Betsy and head on out to the store. Thankfully I lived across the road from two little express branches of two big supermarket chains so at least getting there and back wasn’t too difficult.

The staff in both stores were usually pretty helpful and would offer to carry my basket of goods around the shop for me. As much as I would’ve loved to accept their help but I always had to decline. I liked to try and carry things for myself, or at least hook the basket over the side of the frame, because I didn’t want my shopping to get too heavy for me to carry home without me noticing. Sometimes, people would look a bit confused until I explained my logic and then they understood. A lot of them would still stand in the queue at the till for me when it got to the time for me to pay for things because the spaces are often narrow because of special offer displays. By that point my arms I usually so tired that I’m really grateful for the small rest before walking home again.

I always have to try and avoid using self-service checkouts no matter where I am. They get on my nerves because I often move too slowly for them and they end up asking me over and over about wanting to continue and sometimes I end up having to start all over again. I get really flustered and paranoid that everyone else in the shop will be looking at me, or waiting to use the machine.

Thankfully, while I live at home, my mum takes care of that kind of stuff at least, but I’ll always try and get a few things for her on my way home if I’m passing through town to try and help her out a bit. As much as I’m not a fan of going food shopping, I know it’s something that I should get as much practice as possible to get better at it.