When I speak with a relative of mine about how her life is going, as far as traveling around her house, as well as outside of her house in her motorised wheelchai,r the answer is always "I am afraid to trust it. What if the battery dies and leaves me stranded? What if the brakes fail going down a hill? I am afraid to use it and can't seem to get away from that fear."
I understand that fear. When you live alone, it is necessary to face those fears and decide which ones to let go of, and which ones to hold dear. Even the days a nurses aid is there to help my relative, she still feels afraid to trust the machine. It a machine purchased to improve her life that now holds her back from a better quality of life, and keeps her housebound on days she might otherwise be out and enjoying the town. But what are her options?
Often in traveling, I see many folks out and about in their motorised wheelchairs, not seeming to worry about how well the machine will operate. But when I speak to them about it, it seems they are all holding on to a hope that their machine will not fail them when they are away from home. Many expressed having a companion along to be there in case of unexpected breakdowns, but this to them was a burden and a bother, at asking someone to go along. They felt it took away some of their freedom and independance. "It is a real drag," one elderly gentlemen told me, "like needing a babysitter so I don't get stuck in traffic."
Going back to my relatives problem, on how she can manage the fear, is not an easy task or an easy answer. Dtaying housebound is not a good answer either. She uses a hand controlled wheelchair in the house and on her porch, but longs for the days of youth when her legs worked, and she was independant and free to come and go at a moments notice.
So she travels differently then most. She reads books that take her to far off places and watches lots of movies and the travel channel on TV. There is always a bit of exploring to do on the worldwide web, and she invites friends over to pass the time. She copes, but is not happy being stuck in the confines of her house.
But then, life is what you make of it. Depression of movement can defeat the spirit of someone who lives in fear of what might or might not happen, but it is a fear I understand. Do you?