August 27, 2016

As a thirty-something year old woman, who looks perfectly healthy, walking around a supermarket with a walking aid most commonly used by the elderly can bring up all kinds of feelings. When elderly people who are clearly struggling are walking around the same supermarket without any mobility aids, the looks you get can cause an odd mixture of gratitude, shame and even guilt.

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Today has been such a good day! After spending most of yesterday in bed, today I managed dishes in the morning, had a lovely visitor who brought lunch and then we went grocery shopping in the afternoon! My first outing in 2 weeks. 

I went with the walking frame which was a great help, specially in the supermarket, as I could use it as a trolley to hold my things and also lean or sit on it to rest.

Char washing dishes on the left and going shopping with her walker on the right

My walker has a seat with a wire basket below as well as hooks to attach and carry shopping bags. Instead of carrying a shopping basket, I could place it on the walker seat, pushing it like a trolley and eliminate that exertion altogether.

It makes things like shopping, which is a huge thing for somebody with ME or CFS, much easier and allows me to enjoy this rare treat rather than dread it or collapse from over-exertion.

Going to the supermarket might sound like a simple activity, but it is far from it. Not only is there all the walking, but it also involves navigating transport, bright lights that also hum and buzz, reaching and bending to pick items from shelves, reading labels, comparing prices and of course there are crowds of people moving and talking around you.

Then when it's done you have to quickly unpack your basket, count money, make decisions and repack everything at the checkout! It's terrifying when your body is already crashing and the cognitive dysfunction has already set in.

So although I have some mixed feelings about using a walker when I look perfectly healthy, I know that without it I would not even be able to go on these rare outings to the supermarket.

Needless to say my legs are done. Lots of pain tonight and I've been fighting the sleep for hours, waiting for bed time, but it's finally midnight so I can go to sleep now! Good night world.

Note: a version of this was first published on Facebook or Instagram. Although this website was created quite a bit later, I wanted to have my whole chronic illness story in one place, so I have transferred it here and backdated it.

Thank you for stopping by. Hugs, Char xx

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