french quarters Archive

24

Able Bodied

On Becoming Fearless-Arianna Huffington

My legs aren’t strong enough to carry my weight. It’s a strange thing to see, much less to live through. These days I find myself constantly dipping into my arsenal of positive mantras. Oftentimes, nothing seems to cut into this abyss of misery. Thank goodness my wheels for my wheelchair arrived!

You have been on this ride with me for awhile. I hope I don’t often come across this somber. I think it’s because I’m seeing a habit forming. A “new normal”, if you will. I can use my walker around the house. But it’s getting harder to do even that much. I had a revelation the other day, no matter how much physical therapy I do, it will only carry me as far as MS will let me go. Does that make sense to you? Because it’s taken me years to get that lesson! I’ve left many gyms crying in defeat.

On another note, I find that going out to our usual hangouts in the French Quarters is starting to bring to the surface lots of negative emotions. How do I deal with that? “Bibliotherapy” (I made up that word.) The definition is: have a problem? Get a book and read about it. Simple. Libraries, bookstores, Kindles are all fair options.

Well, a book I read a while back comes to mind here. In On Becoming Fearless, by Arianna Huffington she stresses that I should still do whatever it is I’m afraid of, but instead do it with the fear. She’s not expecting the fear to dissipate. It stays but in essence it becomes powerless over me, because I have resolved to do it with the fear. I’m doing it anyway. Instead of expecting it to go away, I tolerate its presence and keep moving forward. In my case it may be going in a crowd of able bodied individuals being the sole person in a wheelchair. What’s yours?

At least I’ll be rolling through downtown in style with my pimped out chair. Vanity never fades!! LOL!

Mondays and Wednesdays 1 to 3 p.m.

We Always Have Fun On Bourbon Street


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18

Pimp My Ride

I have a few minutes to spare between my TV shows.I catch myself sitting here smiling. You should see me. I walk to the mirror to check things out and yep, there it is! A grin from ear to ear!

My life is drastically different, but I’m trying to dig deep and make it work. Some days suck. Some days are at best tolerable. Then, some are good. I think today, I’m excited about the new mountain-bike wheels I ordered for my wheelchair. Funny huh? Wait. I also got a $70 gel cushion for the seat too! I need both to tackle the rugged roads of Magazine Street so we can “shop, wine, dine and relax in the heart of New Orleans”. Then, navigating through the French Quarters is strenuous for any driver and tricky for my bottom. I’m pimping my ride!

Better ride on rough streets, but higher maintenance.

Streets of New Orleans.

As I think back over the years, I’ve come such a mighty long way. I can vividly remember Maryland 2009. Tommy and I leaving the apartment to purchase my very first wheelchair. The chair that I didn’t think I needed. Tommy literally carrying me up/down 3 flights of stairs wasn’t proof enough! It would be my first overt consequence of MS.

Minutes away, we drive to the D.C. medical supply store; Tommy piggybacked me to the entrance. If you haven’t seen me for a while, picture a grown woman being toted down a busy street in our nation’s capital. This was humbling to say the least. I hated that. Grateful, but I hated it. My denial is going to throw my husband’s back out.

We got to the street in D.C. Parked. Paid the meter. Tom carried me half a block and we entered the store. I got down embarrassed and disheveled while Tom was tired and sweaty. I hesitantly browsed several options. It was getting late. We didn’t have much time or energy to bargain shop. So the salesmen and I begin to discuss ordering the chair I really had my eyes on. Perfect.

The shop owner and I turned to face an aggravated Tommy. He calmly gritted his teeth, patted his forehead and nearly grunted, “No, we are getting something T-O-D-A-Y.”

Well, back to the moment at hand, hopefully my wheels will be
here tomorrow.