Can Wheelchairs Double as Snowplows?

As I write this, snow is falling soundlessly from the skies and is starting to make some headway in the need for plows. When I first stirred from sleep at 6:55 a.m. and all was abnormally quiet, I knew that the lack of school buses parading their way past my house was the first clue of possible bad weather. This is our third storm in two weeks. Will it be that we’ll have a white Christmas in Connecticut?

But for those of us with MS, the scene outside my window presents very real challenges. I had a ramp built in the back of my house this past summer, but unless I want to become airborne in my wheelchair, I decide to remain indoors with a cup of hot chocolate. I can foresee that unless I have help navigating the treacheries of snow and ice, the most sane thing I can do is stay in.

But what happens if I must leave, like for instance an important doctor’s visit? Extra planning is crucial. Besides help getting to and in a vehicle, thought must be applied to arrival challenges. Am I wearing the proper boots so as not to slip when I transfer from car to chair? Will the parking space be adequately shoveled? Can I get into a building that may not have their access so prepared?

I never used to worry about things like this. I boldly moved forward no matter what the weather was doing. I’m more cautious now. I watch my grandsons, who barely will let their parents dress them appropriately before rushing outside to find their inflatable tubes for sledding, and I smile at their carefree joy.

The only solution, I think, is to move to a year-round sunny and warm location. Maybe near a beach. No, wait. My luck would find me axle deep in sand. But maybe if I had a cool drink with a little umbrella in it, it would be tolerable. Ah, yes, close the window blinds for now, and let me dream on…


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