Maintaining Independence Despite Limitations
"I'm of the mind that even people who have limitations, if they have a curiosity, they will find a way to explore it.”
~ Tish Grier
In This Issue
- A Message From Shelley
- Don't Just Take My Word for It
- What's New?
- Mobility Corner
- Do You Have a Question You Would Like Answered?
A Message from Shelley
When you have a chronic illness or disability, life is full of compromises, or as a co-worker likes to say, “a constant cost-benefit analysis.” But it took me awhile to learn that.
When I was first diagnosed with MS, I wasn’t interested in compromise. I was angry, stubborn, and was just not going to give in to my chronic illness! I was not going to use a #!%#&!# wheelchair! I wasn’t going to be one of “those people!” Does that sound familiar? Whether it’s a wheelchair, cane, walker, or other assistive device, it’s not easy to accept help no matter how old you are.
I remember when my father-in-law, who was in his 70s and had Parkinson’s disease, refused to use a wheelchair when we went to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland. We were visiting from Wisconsin and wanted to take our children to see the sites. We knew that if Grandpa wanted to join us, he’d have to use a wheelchair; if he didn’t, he would end up sitting on a bench in the lobby waiting for us.
I remembered how hard it was for me to accept using a wheelchair. In fact, years earlier, we had gone with my in-laws and the children to an amusement park. By the time we walked from the parking lot to the park entrance, I was exhausted. I found a bench and never left it the entire day. The family, at my urging, went on without me. I REFUSED TO USE A WHEELCHAIR, even if it meant missing out on family fun! Looking back on that time, I think, “How foolish I was!”
I reminded my father-in-law of that day and he reluctantly agreed to use the wheelchair. Halfway through the Aquarium, he gave me a wink and a smile and said, "I could get used to this."
We all have limitations and we are all faced, at times, with the choice of giving in to our limitations so that we can enjoy what we still can do, or giving up and losing a part of our lives. Maintaining our independence sometimes means making compromises. It may not be easy, however, if we don’t, we put limits on our lives and miss out on wonderful opportunities and priceless memories.
For a regular slice of my life, visit my blog, What I Learn About LIVING from my Chronic Illness.
If you have any comments, please e-mail me directly at Shelley@MakingLifeEasier.com.
Don't Just Take My Word for It
“Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.”
~ James Baldwin
“Set high standards and few limitations for yourself.”
~ Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book
“You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently
by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.“
~ William J.H. Boetcker
“Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.”
WOW, I cannot believe that the time is coming soon, just next month, I’m going to be a movie star!!! The National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) has asked me to “star” in a series of videos depicting ways I make life easier around the house. We start shooting footage in April but you can get a preview of some of the tips I might present by checking your local bookstore for a copy of one of my Tips for Making Life Easier™ books. Though titles are for people with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, and memory problems, they give practical tips and strategies for living life better regardless of your personal limitations.
Watch these videos for making life easier in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, and for staying connected and tell me what you think. Would they help you?
If you use a wheelchair, scooter, or walker, or have other mobility issues, visit www.MobilityCorner.com for helpful news, articles, and information for making your home, auto, and workplace more barrier-free so you can enjoy life more independently. While you are there, check out my Tips for Making Life Easier™ article on this month’s mobility topic..
Do You Have a Question You Would Like Answered?
Do you have questions you would like answered or a topic you would like discussed? Chances are if you do, other readers and listeners do too. To make my columns, e-zine, and TV and radio programs more beneficial for you, we want your input. Please e-mail any comments, questions, or suggestions to: Shelley@MakingLifeEasier.com.
Until next time, don’t let your limitations keep you from exploring your life!