This week, we had a few small breaks. Robin got her scooter, which is pretty much a Godsend. As much as it sucks to see Robin having to use a scooter to get around for any long distances, it gives us back the mobility she had been missing.
It was a little bit of a fight to get it. I think there is a certain stigma when it comes to mobility devices, since she isn't old. People expect that if you need one, it comes down to being lazy or fat. One of the things people don't consider about wheelchairs is that when you have a young family, simple things like going to the grocery store is a huge hassle.
Our oldest is ten. The middlest is four and our youngest is 20 months. I'm pushing the cart with Morgan (the youngest) in the seat, and Logan (the middlest) in the cart itself. Robin doesn't have arm the strength to push herself in a wheelchair, due to the muscle breakdown from all the chemo. Not that her chair was one she could really push anyway.
So, we were left with trying to get one of the chairs with a basket from the store, or she tried to fight through the pain and use the cart as a walker. I hated seeing her do that.
Or, I suppose we could have tried to make a train and push everyone through. Or, I suppose Meg could push the cart or the chair, but we did most of our shopping while she was at school, since my weekends are usually in the middle of the week.
Yesterday, though, we had our first outing with her scooter, and it performed really well. I can lift it into the back of the van fairly easily. It breaks down for easier lifting and storage, and it fits almost perfectly in the back of the van. To fit the scooter and groceries requires a little bit more maneuvering, but it is a small price for the benefits it gives us.
The best thing, though, is that it saves Robin from a terrific amount of pain. It seems the majority of the pain is actually a side effect from the chemo, which not everyone gets. So far Robin seems to be hitting all the 'low occourence' pain side effects. When you add that to the pain that comes from the state of her hip, it makes her pretty much housebound.
So, once again, the scooter is a Godsend. We are years away from the things we used to do, like hiking, long walks, but I have a lot of hope we will get back to that someday. For now, I'm happy with being able to get back to the little things.
I know it's a huge step for Robin. When you are used to being active, and being out and about, being housebound is torture. For a while now, just coming along on errands made her feel better, even if she often stayed in the van. Sometimes a change of scenery is enough to keep you going.
The thing that is most poignant to me is all those little things we used to take for granted. Getting groceries, going out for lunch. Going for walks together. You have no idea how much those little things mean, how much of a blessing those little things are until they are gone.
Treasure them. I regret all those times I got frustrated on simple trips like that, be it the kids, or the checkout lines, or whatever, and I let my temper get loose and ruin it. Those simple little things are the bigger part of life, and I am going to try to make them special.
Make every day special.