I Miss Driving! and the Case for Assisted Mobility Devices...am I really going there?!

I'm one really frustrated MSer right now! The worsening of my symptoms that has plagued me since mid-November doesn't seem to want to abate, which means I am STILL off work!   The 'not being able to drive' would probably have caused 'stir-craziness' for some people, but thankfully I'm a bit of a homebody so it hasn't made me totally crazy...yet! LOL

The thing that is really frustrating me, is that its just my legs (stiffness & numbness) that have worsened...everything else...bladder, fatigue.. have stayed the same, meaning that for the most part I "FEEL" fine...my darn legs just won't work as well as I need them too!

I HAVE been venturing out on short (3 block) drives in my car to see how it goes, but that's about all I really want to try.  I don't have any issues with stepping on the gas (come to think of it, I never did! LOL) It's the BRAKING that causes me so much anxiety...because my feet are so numb now, I have lost pretty much all sense of where they are in relation to the brake pedal...leaving me to wonder "am I stepping on the pedal?...where on the pedal is my foot?...how much of my foot is on the pedal?"...and most recently, "is my foot going to STAY on the pedal?"

There is a solution.  I have accepted the fact that, MAYBE, getting hand controls for the car might not be a bad thing!  If you had asked me about this 6 months ago,  I would have told you there was no way in "h-e-double hockey sticks" I was going that route.  My, how a mere 6 months can change your perspective on things.  I guess that's what happens when you can't do important things...like driving, or walking properly, or working...:((

OK, so hand controls might be a good thing...I'll be able to actually drive to work...did I mention its about 50 km to my school?  There's something to be said for living in the same town you work in. :P

Unfortunately, the driving part isn't the only issue that is keeping me from getting back to work, and this issue is one that I have avoided addressing, considering, or even thinking about!  What is this issue, you ask?  Walking, simply walking!...or more specifically the struggle to walk.  Because, my darn feet are sooo numb, I have an even poorer sense of propioception.  Basically, it means my brain has difficulty knowing where my feet are in relation to the ground because of a lack of proper sensation, which results in very bad balance, which results in me working twice as hard to maintain my balance, which results in my legs getting tired quickly, which means I can't walk very far and I wobble...sometimes a lot!  And to make matters worse, my muscles in my legs are stiffer too, which means I don't walk very smoothly, which means I have to concentrate more on walking smoothly, which means my muscles get tired...you get the picture.

Ironically, I don't seem to have this difficulty with walking when I go grocery shopping.  Give me a cart and I can toodle along down the aisle for a good hour.  I start feeling my legs weakening a bit near the end, but hey...I'm motoring!  People probably wondered why I always insisted on pushing my dad's wheelchair...stability, baby!...that, and I didn't look like there was something wrong with my walking. 

And there, people, is why I have vehemently (don't you just love that word) refused (up until now) to consider an assisted mobility device AKA...the dreaded WALKER! Because (in my mind) it means I will be a visibly, slightly physically compromised (you see, I can't even say the word disabled) person and (up until now) that bothered me...well, it still bothers me...but I'm dealing with it! 

So what has prompted this change of heart?  Two things really... 
  1. I'm having teacher withdrawal (I really miss being in the classroom)  
  2. I'm not really happy with the person who has taken over my job (I don't want them messing around and changing my programs).
I need to get back to work...fast.  So, if getting a walker...actually, a ROLLATOR, will help my balance, which will help my walking, which will help ease some of the effort of walking, then that's what I have to do!

I see my neuro next week for my annual check-up, so I plan on springing my ideas about 'assisted mobility devices' on her.  That, and I need her to write me a note saying I can go back to work...pretty, please.

This one looks kinda, cool...don't you think?


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