My Cerebral Palsy means that I use a walking frame outside the house. I use a wheelchair too but I think that my Nimbo frame, which I’ve named Martha, is especially awesome. Here are just some of the reasons why, in no particular order:
I would find it very difficult to leave the house alone without it
When my friends are trying to describe a shade of blue, they will sometimes say things like “a shade lighter/darker than Martha”
When I’m standing at the top of a hill or ramp I could just pick my feet up and roll down it if I wanted to. I haven’t done this since I was a very small child, but I still get tempted. Pretty much every single time.
It can double as a clothes horse when I’m trying to get my laundry dry
I can hang my bags on the sides when I’m out shopping
I once saw a little girl in town who was crying, when she saw my walking frame she looked at it and stopped crying for a couple of seconds.
I could choose to accessorise it for special occasions or fancy dress parties if I wanted to.
In Monday’s post I told you all about a fall I had last week. Well, I had another one yesterday, but thankfully I wasn’t hurt.
My mother and I decided that we’d go out for a wander, so she put my walking frame Martha up for me because I don’t need to use it when I’m in the house. I went out of the door, got into it and started to turn it around when I noticed that it started feeling wobbly. Then I realised:
When you unfold the walker you can always tell that it’s been put up properly because there is a little clicking sound as the buttons you press in to collapse it again lock into place. When these are in place it won’t collapse again until you push the buttons, (there’s on each side), inwards.
As the Martha started to wobble, I could tell that that she was starting to fold up with me still inside. I was falling over backwards and Martha was going with me. It’s also worth noting that I wasn’t stood on the grass, but on our paving stones.
This time, I didn’t really have time to think other than the usual Oh please don’t whack your head and Oh dear I’m actually falling. Truth be told, the words running through my mind were far less polite than ‘oh dear’, but I don’t think you’d be very happy with me if I typed what they really were. All I will say is they weren’t very pleasant ones.
Somehow, I managed to keep my head up and didn’t bang it. My mum came flying out of the house as she heard Martha clattering and my yelping. Yes, I yelped. When she got to me I was on my back holding my head and arms up. I dare say I probably looked a bit like a turtle.
She pulled me up and was really apologetic even though it wasn’t her fault at all. Martha had looked like she had been put up properly and when there’s lots of noise around you don’t always hear the clicking noise that it makes. I hadn’t noticed myself, so it really wasn’t her fault. I don’t blame her. These things happen and are easily done.
If anything, I should have checked that the buttons were locked in before I started moving Martha, who, you will be pleased to know, wasn’t damaged in the fall either. Phew!
Yesterday evening proved itself to be one where I was more achy and stiff than I am on an average day. I can’t say I was too surprised though because the weather’s pretty cold, I’m full of cold, and I think I’d probably pushed myself harder than normal on a walk that morning.
Oh well, lesson learned. I think. At the time, I didn’t really notice how tired I was getting at first. Then, I had my first sit down and noticed that I didn’t really feel like doing much more, but I made myself finish the walk I had started, and felt good knowing that I did so.
I could tell that I’d done the exercise by later on in the evening. I sure felt it.
It wasn’t just my legs either, my arms and shoulders knew about it too from pulling my walking frame Martha along behind me too.
I was kind of annoyed at myself for making myself work so hard in the first place, if I’m honest. But at the same time, I was glad that I did, just to remind myself of what my limits are. Although I must admit, I don’t plan on testing them (quite so much) again anytime soon.
After a good night’s sleep I’m feeling loads better.
Sometimes I think that I take the independence my walking frame allows me to have for granted.
I was chatting to a man in the train station the other day, and he was saying that my Nimbo frame Martha looked really good, and that the little seat on the back was a good idea.
He said that it was great how something like that could make such a big difference to someone’s life, or he assumed that they would. I told him that in my case this was very true because if I didn’t have my frame, I would find it really tough to leave the house on my own.
I wouldn’t fancy not taking my walking frame Martha out with me unless I knew that I had someone with me whose hand I could hold onto. I might be able to walk to the end of my garden, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t make it to the end of my road without falling flat on my face. Any unexpected dips in the pavement always run the risk of throwing me off balance. It doesn’t take much some days. I have a knack of falling over even when there’s nothing there to trip on. I know that I couldn’t get up and down the kurbs to cross a road.
Most of the time, I don’t even stop to think about all the things that I can do with Martha in tow that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise because I’m just so busy doing them. It’s only when I have these conversations with people that I take the time to stop and think “wow, it helps me more than even I realise sometimes”.
Sometimes I feel a little guilty that I don’t always take the time to stop and appreciate the impact that the walking frame has on my life, in a good way. I never really think about it until I explain it to others. I always like telling people about how useful it is, because it always makes me feel grateful.
As I’ve mentioned before, Martha is the first walking frame that I’ve had with a little seat attached. Before she even arrived, I knew that this would be a huge advantage for me, but I couldn’t have anticipated just how much until I started using it.
I’ve used it just to take rests as and when I need them, while stood talking to people in the street. I’ve also used it on the train when there are no other seats (standing up on moving things is always a challenge, even with the frame). There have also been times that I’ve used it to rest my shopping bags on while I’ve reorganised them all because it’s easier than having to bend down all the way to the floor.
It’s safe to say that I don’t think I could go back to having a seat-less frame anymore. Well, I’d struggle with at least. It’s helped so much that I will always make a strong case for having one when I have to get new frames in the future, although I know that this might not always be possible.
I don’t ever remember not having a walking frame at any point in my life, and I really don’t know what I would do without one.
It really does seem like time flies by these days.
I’ve had my serial casting pots on for four weeks now and it’s passed very quickly, which I’m going to say is a good thing.
I’m still not sure when they’re going to be coming off yet, that will all depend on when my new splints arrive, and when the splints ( AKA orthotics department) can fit me in at a time that suits them both. I don’t mind being in the casts for as long as it takes, but I won’t deny that I’m looking forward to them coming off.
As I’m sitting here typing this, I have an itch on my left leg that is just under the pot and just out of reach. It’s been here for a couple of minutes now, and because I’m writing about it, it’s making it seem worse. So I think I’ll talk about something different…
So, anyway, (she says, trying hard to focus on the keyboard and nothing else), I’ve had this current pair of casts on for two weeks and no one has signed them this time. They have been sort of customised by accident though because they are covered in bits of fluff from the slipper socks that I’ve been wearing to keep my feet warm. The bits close to my toes and heels are starting to go pink and black, which kind of makes me smile. I’m pretty sure someone will come at them with a marker pen before too long, though.
Speaking of decorating, I’m already thinking of how I can cover Martha in trimmings for Christmas this year. I was talking to mum about this earlier today and she has a few ideas too, so between us we might be able to come up with some form of festive fun for my walking frame.
If you have any suggestions for things that you think might look good and are fairly easy/cheap that I could try, feel free to suggest and I’ll see if I can incorporate any of them.