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Shuffling along on two feet again

Moseyin’ Along

April 25, 2012
By Joyce Schenk - COLUMNIST ( , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

If you've been following this Moseyin' path lately, you know that last month I had some reconstruction work done on my ailing right foot.

During my recovery, I got about in a snazzy power wheelchair provided by daughter Sherri and son-in-law Jack.

Without this amazing transport treasure, the weeks after surgery would have been a time of almost total dependence on others to get from bed to living room to kitchen to bathroom, not to mention to the doctor's office for subsequent visits.

But with "Bambino" - I tend to name the things that become important in my life - with Bambino, I was able to move around at will.

However, I don't want to give the impression that these trips from one place to another were made without a hitch. You see, Bambino's movement is controlled by a "joystick" style steering rod. Having never played with video games, I had no joystick experience. The learning curve necessary to develop some proficiency in maneuvering the chair included near misses - and even some unplanned contact - with such structural elements as furniture, walls, cabinets, wastebaskets and other items, not to mention threats to innocent bystanders.

I actually had the chance to use the chair a few times before my surgery. My first outing in it was for a visit to a sprawling hospital, one that would have been impossible for me to maneuver with my ailing foot via a walker.

On that occasion, we were in a visiting area when we were told the person we wanted to see would be in his room in half an hour. I tentatively took the joystick in hand and warned anyone in hearing, "Be advised, it will take me that long to get this thing to the elevators."

But, with continued use, I finally learned how to push and pull Bambino's joystick to get where I needed to be.

I must admit, there were some mishaps. For instance, the cabinets in our bathroom are sporting deep gouges where the chair's wheels dug in as I made a less-than-controlled turn. And here and there, marks on various walls throughout the house match the level of the Bambino's wheel hubs.

Still, I did manage to put quite a few miles on the very welcome chair before my last visit to my podiatrist, Dr. H. But when she finally declared I had graduated to the walking world again, I was more than willing to leave the convenient but limiting chair behind.

I'd like to say I simply stood up and danced off into the sunset. But this still-healing period has actually been an upgrade to a slow shuffle behind my trusty walker.

Then again, speed is not my goal. I've simply been looking forward to the time when I could once more stand on my own two feet, such as they are, and view my world at eye-level. It definitely beats looking at a sea of knees wherever I go.

Though it was both necessary and convenient to ride from place to place for a while, I much prefer to be upright on two working feet.



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