I Know Some Of You Saw It Coming
I am writing to let you that, after a one week trial separation, My Walker1 (nee Assistive Walking Device) and I have officially decided go our separate ways.
Our seven month fling was intense, the two of us rarely leaving each other’s side. I was frequently found embracing My Walker in the presence of friends and strangers alike. We were so wrapped up in one another that our liaisons took place not only in the privacy of our bedroom and in every room in the house but also in the car,2 the bookstore, the doctor’s office, the homes of others, and even public bathrooms.
Of course, the bathroom-specific peccadilloes associated with the entire family of assistive devices from motorized wheelchairs to canes have become so well known that many commercial enterprises and government buildings have surrendered to the inevitable, designating specially constructed restroom facilities for couples like My Walker and me to “do our business.” I am not embarrassed to say that we took advantage of the extra space, hand grips, and other devices whenever they were available. Oh, sneer if you wish, but I saw the jealousy in the eyes of those so-called normal males milling about in the men’s room waiting their turn to perform their bodily functions when My Walker and I bypassed the lines to make our way, together, into our private area.
Looking back, I should have known this was not going to become one of those and they lived happily ever after stories. Even our matchmaker, Pert & Perky PT, told me this was to be a temporary state of affairs, something to keep me going following my hip pinning. But I was bedazzled, as so many young innocents are, by the vague promises that my initial awkwardness with My Walker would gradually improve. And it’s true that, again like so many before me, I saw My Walker as my ticket out of where I was to a better life somewhere else. Indeed, given that the surgeon made my discharge contingent on being able to perform routine daily functions with My Walker, our pairing was the medical equivalent of an arranged wedding.
Still, we had our moments. We were such a striking couple that strangers would open doors for us and traffic would come to a halt as we slowly made our way across the street. Young people would gawk at us unabashedly.
And My Walker had some wonderful traits. She never, for example, begrudged others who interrupted our time alone, sometimes treating her like a utensil rather than my helpmate. In fact, she didn’t voice an objection even when I rented a wheelchair, putting me in the position of paying another assistive device to take care of my needs that required services My Walker couldn’t – or wouldn’t – provide.
Despite our best efforts, however, mutual resentments set in. I would complain about being tied down and prevented from enjoying the freedoms and spontaneity I deserved. Stepping out with My Walker, after all, was hardly life in the fast lane. For her part, My Walker, with some justification, felt unappreciated and, ultimately, unloved after hearing me repeatedly announce that “I’ll be glad when I can get rid of this damn thing.”
In retrospect, we stayed together as long as we did only for the good of our medical team who naturally felt we belonged together.
And now, there are only the memories …
Note: Originally posted Nov 10, 2007 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of AllanShowalter.com
- Readers unaware of the circumstances of DrHGuy’s fractured hip, his hip pinning, and the consequent need for a walker can find the back story at Walkernastics [↩]
- Although typically rigid, My Walker could be sweetly accommodating, rearranging her configuration to slide onto the floor of the car rather than take up space on the seat [↩]