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Needing advice again.. Is it time for a wheelchair?!!

edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Chronic Pain
Hello everyone I know that I've been asking for alot of advice lately from you all... But who better to ask?

I need to know if it's time for a wheelchair?
Let me give you an idea of my situation... On top of all my spine/Chronic pain issues, I have been recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and Then fibromyalgia... That being said I am in alot of pain and feel pretty "sick" quite often..PLUS i may also be having back sugery soon.. It just hit me today that I feel it's time to give in to having to use a wheelchair ... Today I had some family come in to town,
Wich they are only able to make it here for one day a year maybe two days at best and because of that we try to fit alot into one day, shopping, lunch Ect... So today We all went to 3 different stores shopping and then lunch... By the time they left I was in SO much pain from walking and standing so long that I sat in my car balling my eyes out In the parking lot! Anyway this certainly isn't the first time that this has happend to me and I'll probably be In debilitating pain for a few days as well.. It's been this way for about a year now and I have been using a cane/walker but those are just not cutting it anymore... Even my doc (actually more then 1 of them) has specifically told me ABSOLUTELY not walk or stand longer then 30min max or I WILL pay/or fall (i fall/lose my ballance ALL the time!!!) and they're not lyin' either!!
I have been putting off the whole wheelchair thing because I feel like I'm "giving up or In to the pain/Illness" I HATE the thought of being in a wheelchair!!! All the "looks" Ill get :/ I want some of my Independance back..
I want to be able to go to big stores or be able to go shopping without a 20min Time limit so I don't start hurting or just fall.. I also realized that I have been puting off going out/running errands because I just cannot handle the amount of pain it causes me... Anyway I guess I am just Trying to find out your opinions .. What would you do? Any advice or help with this decision would be very very much so appreciated! Thank you :)


  • They have some pretty cool scooters out there even ones that collapse and fit in your car. You can try one out at one of the big stores in your city. I would get one of those. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I'm sorry your shopping trip caused you so much stress and pain.

    If it was me and the choice to go out and have fun, but use a wheelchair, or not go out at all, I know what I would do.

    But I do understand your reluctance to use a wheelchair - I understand how you might feel that you're 'giving in to your pain' and losing your independence - BUT you also need to be able to enjoy yourself to the best of your ability and if that means using a wheelchair for the days when you are out a long time, then I'd say go for it because you can always leave it in the car if you don't need it.

    I actually saw the most beautiful wheelchair last week - a SPARKLY silver/purple one and I told the lady how nice it was. It got me thinking that no matter what our physical circumstances are, we can always make a fashion statement if we want to!

    It may be easier for me to say because I don't need to use a wheelchair, but my mother-in-law cannot walk at all and couldn't go out anywhere without one. I know she would rather go out than stay at home.

    I hope you really enjoy your days out in future, without having to worry that you'll be in even more pain afterwards.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
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  • Hi Kaybug :H ,

    Trust me, all of your fellow S-H members can read your story and empathize. First and foremost, you have to do what is best for YOU! Only you know what your body is going through and only you can make the decisions concerning its wellbeing. Yes, we all remember the days when we could do more and go more and be active more, but, at least with me, it has come to a point that I don't like or want to hurt and I would do just about anything to avoid it. I am fortunate to have a family that understands that if I do not join in, I am not at my best that day. Sometimes it comes down to what you NEED and not what you WANT.

    I am so sorry for all of the illnesses and the pain that have befallen you lately. I know how you feel about giving up. I think we all have been there. That's why we are all here for you! We are not going to let you give up. So you decide to get a wheelchair or scooter ... so what! It does not change the person you are. Don't worry about the looks and stares. You are YOU and should you decide to ride instead of walk, that does not make you any less of a human being. Think how much better you would feel physically, mentally, and emotionally if that pain were to vigorously decline. Maybe once your strength is back, you would not have to use your chair/scooter but only part time. Take a little time and look at both sides of the issue.

    Anyway, I've gone on long enough. Hope I haven't sounded bossy, Kaybug :) . Stay strong and remember that we are all here, either on the forum board or by PM. Keep us posted. >:D< >:D<

    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.
  • It sounds like safety is becoming a major issue. It should be a priority. A serious fall is the last thing you need. I fought using mine fulltime until I had several falls at home which required trips to the ER for head xrays. I have a heavy duty four wheel scooter for riding around the neighborhood and getting in to see my primary doc, weather permitting. I don't recomend those flimsy little three wheel scooters as I have several friends who have had them flip on aging sidewalks. They are only safe on the smoothest surface. If I go to the mall, I take the wheelchair and let my daughter push me. I don't get out much anymore as most movement is just too painful. Best wishes.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,745
    There are a lot of things my wife, kids, and grand kids would like me to go to. but I can't. I can't walk more than 10 min or stand more than 15. Without excruciating pain.
    They've all suggested, just get a wheel chair for those kinds of outings. They don't think it's a big deal. And don't see why I wont.
    Well it is kind of a big deal to me. So I know how you feel.
    I'm so sorry that you've got all of these medical problems on top of being a spiney. Spine problems are more than enough for one person to deal with.
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
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  • @Rassy, you don't sound bossy at all! I really thank you for taking the time out to help me out! @Jim .. It's nice to know that there are people whom just "get it" and charry I'm taking your advice! Thank you so much! I want to update you all .. I now have an almost brandnew small and light fold up wheelchair! I just got it tonight from a lady on Craigslist she sold it to me for 75bucks Wich is a major major
    Help on the finances!!!
    Thank you all so very very much it means the world to me to have this support!!!
  • The wheelchair is a difficult decission. Some of us reach a point where mobility is too painful and/or unsafe. At that point I had to make the choice of staying in the bed or recliner or use the wheelchair to get back out into the world. I time my breakthrough meds so I can have an outing with reduced pain. When I get home, I hit the heating pad or a hot tub soak if my daughter is the one who took me out and can supervise the soak. A temporary pain spike is worth it if I have improved quality of life. BTW, have your friends and family watch the yard sales for durrable medical equipment that isn't covered by your ins. or Medicare. I got my NICE wheelchair at a yardsale for only $25.00 and have picked up other goodies the same way. Medicare is covering less and less as time goes by. To be fair, this trend has been going on a decade. I have a room that is basicly a medical supply closet which allows me to loan out things to neighbors in my handicapped/senior building. One example is that I was able to loan a neighbor with terminal cancer my spare wheelchair. Medicare wouldn't rent her one as they said she didn't have enough time left to make it cost effective. BULL. She lived five more months and had someone take outside to sit in the sun every day up until two days before she passed. We need to get creative in dealing with our challenges.
  • A lot of insurance companies pay for a mobility scooter or wheelchair so check with your insurance if you have insurance to see what they pay for. A wheelchair is good for short distance shopping and if you're with someone to push you or roll yourself but I think a mobility scooter would be good with 4 wheels but only if you're able to hold yourself upright.

    I have a Rollater walker with a seat and basket on it so I can go shopping and rest when needed but I have hardly fallen and usually just use a cane. I have been looking myself for a scooter and if accepted for Government disability grant I'm going to get one but for me walking is the only exercise I get right now.

    You know what helped also for exercise and pain relief I went to a warm water pool with a Physiotherapist directing me and there's so many adults there for the warm water massages. They have a ramp where you can wheel in the water also. This is a place where I thought only disabled children go to but was glad I found the place but I moved far from there but want to get back into aquatherapy for exercise. Have you tried this yet? Well take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hey Kaybug!

    Great news about your new chair =D> =D> . Please don't let pride or vanity get in the way of you using it. Hopefully, you will begin to feel better both physically and about yourself. Stay strong and keep us post. Go Get 'em, Gal <:P :O) >:D< .

    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.
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