Today I conquered a big task and that task was going to CVS pharmacy to pick up medications and supplements. I use the word conquered because that is how much energy I needed to muster to get it accomplished. I was a cross country runner, I was a gymnast, I’ve traveled solo to Italy…and today I conquered CVS, and that’s an overstatement. With NF2 I’ve dealt with a lot of loss. The loss of my left hand: I’m typing this using a dolphin splint for my left hand so that I’m capable of using my pointer finger. The loss of my right eyesight and left hearing. But the loss that is the most difficult to accept is the one I believe to be happening to me now: My mobility.
So, let’s talk about it. It’s a powerless feeling. A loss of independence. When I was in CVS I was reaching down to get something off the bottom rack and I fell to my knees and there was a moment where I didn’t know if I could get back up. A sense of panic ran through me and I thought I would have to call my parents. I remember laughing at the Lifealert commercials that say “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” Is this going to be me? I don’t like how this commercial portrays mobility challenges. First of all: it can happen at any age. Second: we are not a vulnerable population in need of saving. Third: who says we can’t enter into this stage like a badass. I don’t know about you but right now I’m rocking an electric scooter, a new rollator red walker that I’m going to decorate with stickers, and an e-bike Tricycle. My dad and I just had a conversation and he said that maybe it’s time to wrap my head around the reality that my walking could go. That’s a hard thing to wrap my mind around. That’s a hard thing to ask of anyone. Another loss. So, let’s look at it a different way. How can we go through this next transition in our lives gracefully? I mean we could be angry and resist it with all our might but the end result will still be the same. Maybe you’re going from walking independently to using a cane or walker. After my brain surgery in sophomore year of college I was so adamant about not using my poles (everyone would stare). I had just had fucking brain surgery!! I should’ve owned those poles and seen them as a representation of my strength. But I didn’t because mobility changes suck. So here is my advice. I’m not happy about the mobility changes I’m going through either. And guess what… we don’t have to be. But whether you walk, roll, use a walker or a cane you are still you. Your mobility didn’t change anything about you. So, you and me, let’s look at our devices as the representation of our strength. We’ve overcome a lot, and we deserve someone to hold us and help us get where were going a bit easier, because love, we’re going places.