Pretending to be Normal Comes With a Price

Every outing requires careful planning and preparation. I have to take into consideration how much walking may be involved, the type of seating that will be available, and/or if the outing will be take place indoors or outdoors. This past weekend my husband and I were invited to a party. Because the party was going to be at a hotel, I knew that we would be indoors, making planning what I was going to wear easy. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what type of seating was going to be available or how crowded it was going to be.

The precautions I take

Sometimes I forget that the reason I have been faring as well as I have in regards to fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis, is because of the precautions that I take. One of these precautions includes using a wheelchair. When I use my wheelchair, my feet thank me by allowing me to walk across my home the next day without agonizing pain. Not only that but most chairs cause a spike in pain in my back, hips, and occasionally my neck.

I really don’t care what people think or if they question my status as a part-time roller, but every once in a while I want to feel “normal.” Because we were only going to be there for a few hours I felt like I could forgo the wheelchair. Talk about a mistake! First of all, all the handicapped parking spaces were taken and we had to park and walk farther than I would have preferred. Sure I could have had my husband drop me at the front door, but I still would have had to stand while waiting for him. While the chairs at the event were actually quite comfortable, after an hour my hips began to ache and my back began to spasm. My entire body felt like it had been knotted into a pretzel by the night’s end. The next morning I awoke to an agonizing pain level. I hurt head to toe. The few steps needed to walk from my bed to bathroom felt like torture.

My mobility aids are helpful

I would have experienced some type of additional pain no matter what I did, but had I used my wheelchair I wouldn’t have had the extra pain in my hips and spine. My wheelchair doesn’t put pressure on those areas. This outing was a reminder that my mobility aids are more than for just getting around. At first, I was thankful that I didn’t bring it because the hall was packed and getting around in a wheelchair would have been challenging. However, next time I will be sure to not only bring my wheelchair, but I also plan to inform the host that I will be bringing it so that we are seated in an accessible area. This outing was a reminder that I am not “normal” and that the precautions I make are necessary if I want to avoid unnecessary pain.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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