A few months ago I wrote about acceptance and what a long road this can be for people following diagnosis. .
A milestone for me has been accepting and embracing the need to use a chair in certain situations and an extension of this was the decision to invest in a mobility scooter. I began to imagine the freedom this would bring for me and the children in the long summer months when The Husband was out at work most weekends. Having done some research by talking to lots of MSers online I realised I needed a light weight one I could fold up and put in the boot of my car. I spoke to the children about this and we started making plans for the summer, picnics in the park, walks along the seafront……
So I went down to a local mobility shop to see if I could find one and see what advice they could give me. I went in there full of hope and excitement and left in tears!
I was ‘helped’ by one lady while her boss looked on. She showed me how a portable one worked and I sat on one to see how comfortable it was. She then showed me how it came apart and explained that it could be stored in my boot. “I need to make sure you can lift it by yourself” she said, as the boss wandered over with her arms folded. The base was so heavy! The boss said, with a smug smile, “I was wondering how you’d be able to lift it, you’ll never do it on your own”
“But I need to be able to do it on my own, that’s the point” I said in dismay!
“Well, you’ll need a hoist and a bigger car so it fits in the boot, do you have hills where you live? Yes? Well, you can’t use a portable one as you’ll burn out the motor, you’ll need one of these but they don’t come apart!” She pointed out the enormous contraptions that were the size of a smart car. “But you’ll need somewhere to store it; they take up a lot of space and can’t be left outside”
“That’s my problem isn’t it!” I said, getting increasingly upset as this awful woman trampled all over my dreams of freedom. “I have 2 driveways, a garage and an enormous porch!”
“Well, you won’t be able to take it in the car for days out but you can pootle to the shops in it” Honestly! Did she rehearse being so patronising! My bottom lip was quivering by this point so she went for the jugular.
“Most people who come in here are people whose mobility is slowly decreasing, not someone like you and the stage you’re at” She then put on her best, sympathetic smile.
At this point The Husband said, “what about those ones that fold up so she can drive to the park and chuck it in her boot?”
“Oh no, there are only 2 of those on the market and they’re far too heavy and expensive”
1) How does she know what “stage” I’m at without knowing the first thing about me?
2) How does she know what our budget is?
3) Does she want to sell me something or not?
“Right then” I said, and walked out in tears! I felt crushed. It’s taken me 2 days of misery to get over it! It took a lot of guts for to face up to needing mobility aids and she set me back 2 years in one conversation!
Luckily, I’m not the sort of person to give up!
I have great support from people who know what they’re talking about and have decided to go for the Travelscoot. A lightweight one the folds up and goes in the boot!! It’s pricey but I’m hoping for a grant from the MS society to help with the cost. I will then go back to the shop with it folded into its bag and shove it up her…………..Nose!