“You are rockin’ that wheelchair, girl.”

You are rockin that wheelchairFortunately, I can walk.  I just cannot walk far. I don’t own a wheelchair, but I have to use one in places like airports, museums and malls. The view from here isn’t so bad. No doubt, I would prefer wearing a helmet while my shoes are clipped to the pedals of a bicycle so I could power myself up a hill. But always one to look at the bright side, I don’t need to shower after a trip in a wheelchair. My perspectives from the chair are hilarious at times. It is also an interesting study in human behavior.

AIRPORTS

Airports are always an occasion for a wheelchair. They are big. My dad eagerly volunteered to push me through the Memphis airport. He maneuvered me onto the moving sidewalk on our way to the gate. Happily riding on the downhill incline, I gradually became aware that my sister was in a full sprint beside me. Unknown to me, my dad had let me go and the chair was rolling, near careening, toward the bar at the end of the ramp. Despite his bum knee, he raced to catch me about the time my sister arrived at the exit breathless.

Hebrews 4:14, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens-let us hold fast to the confession.”  HCSB

MUSEUMS

In case you don’t already know, I can be a bit of a control freak. By the way, there is probably no such thing as “a bit” of a control freak. I am an obsessive planner, which can be a good thing, but is difficult to execute unless everyone cooperates. When I was in Manhattan for a robotic thymectomy, my husband and I attempted to do a little sight-seeing before my surgery. We visited The Natural Museum of History where he stood in line for a long time to borrow a wheelchair. While waiting, I downloaded an app with seventeen points of interests.  Repeatedly I directed him to the Star of India. Let’s just say he is not an obsessive planner. In fact, he is a wanderer. In addition, he does not hear well in a building with ceilings four stories high and school kids running everywhere. He pushed me alongside a display case to look at a stuffed bird. Trying to be patient, I unsuccessfully attempted to read the map so we could see the big sapphire. But, there’s that bird again. I had a plan, which by the way was a good plan, but it didn’t go well. We were both frustrated and neither of us enjoyed it much. Wheelchairs are not for control freaks.

Philippians 3:21, “who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” NIV

MALLS

Recently, I visited my daughter in Dallas and we went to the mall with a wheelchair she borrowed from work. It was my first excursion into the mall since I developed myasthenia gravis. Her training in occupational therapy school qualifies her as a professional wheelchair driver. She skillfully parked me out of the way while she sorted through a sale rack. A grinning young man looked down at me and asked, “Did you kick someone?” I told him my diagnosis then of course had to explain what that meant. He said, “Well you look adorable in a wheelchair, you are rockin’ it.”

Might as well embrace it…

SAMARITANS

People surprise me. Unless assisted, doors can be a real challenge to the one pushing a wheelchair. Some people just pass on by. Recently an unusual woman stopped to help. She must have been in a big hurry because she ran afterwards. Her head was shaved in the back and long in the front like a lion’s mane. Not the “type” you would expect to stop and help. Can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

Luke 10:33, “A Samaritan traveling the road came on him.  When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him.” MSG

MY ADVICE

I can only speak for myself, but I would much rather someone ask me why I’m using a wheelchair, than give me a funny look when I get out and walk around. If you see someone approaching a door pushing a wheelchair, please hold it open. And by all means, if you are pushing a wheelchair, never, ever turn it loose on a hill, unless of course you are absolutely sure your sister can run really fast!

Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” NIV

We may roll out of control at times, but I would love to have you follow so you don’t miss a post. If you are not already receiving email updates, enter your address below. If we start careening, I will call my sister.

31 thoughts on ““You are rockin’ that wheelchair, girl.”

  1. I heard of you often but I never met you, by chance I found you and started following out of curiosity. I have found you to be inspirational and understand why your patients loved you.

  2. Parents always tell the older siblings to look after the younger ones. Now you can say that about your little sister. lol Don’t give your Daddy too hard a time. I’m SURE it wasn’t on purpose. ROFL I really like reading your articles. I never knew you liked to write; they are interesting to read and you are very good at it. I know you didn’t pick out this 2nd career by choice, but it looks it is going to be a good fit for you and at least you aren’t sitting around having a pity party and feeling sorry for yourself. Prayers !

  3. This post made me laugh and it’s why we were such good roommates. I am not a control freak and have always had the attitude of everything will work out and no sense stressing about it… just go with the flow…not sure what I want to do with my life… whatever happens, happens. You, however, have always known exactly what you wanted and worked hard to get it. However, isn’t it funny that when it came to housekeeping in our dorm, I was the neat one? It made me think of parents’ day in medical school and visiting the cadaver room. Remember… yours was messy since she was plumper ( I won’t go in to detail) and mine was nice and neat. I’ll never forget your mom commenting….” look, Janet’s is so much cleaner…. just like her side of the room in the dorm.”. Love your blogs and always look forward to what you will write next.

  4. Just want you to know that I do follow your blog and I can’t wait to open it up every time I get an email update. While I don’t know your personally, you brought my very first sweet baby into this world! So, you’re pretty special in my mind! Prayers for you! You have such an amazing spirit 🙂

  5. Vickie, I really look forward to your articles. This was one on the top of my favorites. I can relate due of my dear husbands condition. If we ask God to help us see the “joy” in all things…He will. How much better to see life situations through “Calvary Colored Glasses”. “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” Neh 8:10b Have a blessed day!

  6. I enjoy reading about your adventures in a wheelchair, and I will be sure to help anyone in a wheelchair, a walker or a cane if they need help. Also, not judge someone in a wheelchair if they get and up and walk. Thanks, Vickie, you are an encourager for me!

  7. I always look forward to reading your blog! You were my doctor for both of my babies and I always felt blessed knowing I had a doctor who knew how to pray! You are a captivating writer. 🙂

  8. Great perspective, Vickie! I will have to remember this post when I have patients down about the wheelchair. I can tell them to rock it! It was nice to meet you at She Speaks! I loved hearing your story!

  9. Since my Dad got MG around the same time my Mom found out she had an atrial septal defect to add to her heart failure, I got lots of quick experience driving them in wheelchairs! One particular trip to their out of state appointments, I was (as a planner) worried about how I was going to push both of them in wheelchairs, and get them both where we needed to be on time. I took it to the Lord constantly throughout the day, planning if needed, to push one, then run back and push the other one. Each time I needed to take them to a different office, however, God provided someone to help out for that trip. Man, was I glad for people opening doors too! It was neat to see how God took care of all of us!

  10. When I was searching around trying to cope with chronic fatigue and muscle weakness from what we still don’t know yet, I saw a post of someone who was Rockin it in their wheelchair. She saved her high heels instead of getting rid of them and wore them while she was sitting in the wheelchair. I thought that marvelous that she didnt give up being who she is just because she uses it. Now when I go to church I still get all dressed up the way I used to (minus heels as I am still walking just much slower) as part of a way to fight for myself. There are days that I keep the outfit simpler and my jewelry pieces aren’t my heavier ones, but I am still me and Rockin It! Just thought others who might be struggling might with wheelchairs this might be helpful.

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