Shelley Peterman Schwarz
Shelley Peterman Schwarz returns to Mobility Corner with a wonderful and inspirational essay.
Shelley Peterman Schwarz is an award-winning author, TV personality, self-syndicated columnist, motivational speaker, Internet radio host, and teleclass instructor who offers practical tips and strategies for living well despite chronic illness and disabilities.
For more than 20 years, Shelley has been using her personal journey living with multiple sclerosis and her professional training as a special education teacher to help others cope with life's challenges. You can visit Shelley's web site at www.MakingLifeEasier.com.
Life is full of compromises. But I wasn’t interested. I was angry, stubborn and I was not going to give in to my chronic illness! I was not going to use a #!%#&!# wheelchair! I wasn’t going to be one of “those people.” Does that sound familiar? Whether it’s a wheelchair, cane, walker, or other assistive walking device, it’s not easy to accept help no matter how old you are.
I remember when my father-in-law, who was in his 70s and had Parkinson’s disease, refused to use a wheelchair when we went to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland. We were visiting from Wisconsin and wanted to take our 14 and 12 year old children to see the sites. We knew that if Grandpa wanted to join us, he’d have to use a wheelchair. If he didn’t, he would have end up sitting on a bench in the lobby waiting for us.
At the time, I was 42 and had been using a 3-wheeled scooter wheelchair for two years because of my multiple sclerosis. I remembered how hard it was for me to accept using a wheelchair. In fact, years earlier, we had gone with my in-laws and the children to the Great America amusement park. By the time we walked from the parking lot to the park entrance, I was exhausted. I found a bench and never left it the entire day. The family, at my urging, went on without me. I REFUSED TO USE A WHEELCHAIR! Even if it meant missing out on family fun.
I reminded my father-in-law of that day and asked if he remembered how he felt leaving me on that park bench while he and the children went off to see the sites. He did.
And so he (reluctantly) agreed to use the wheelchair. Halfway through the Aquarium, my father-in-law gave me a wink and a smile and said, "I could get used to this."
Making compromises is not easy. However, if we don’t, we put limits on our lives and miss out on wonderful opportunities and priceless memories.
If you have additional questions, send an email to Shelley@makingLifeEasier.com and we’ll do our best to help you find the answer.
Visit www.MakingLifeEasier.com to sign up to receive her free inspirational E-zine. While you are there, listen to her weekly Making Life Easier Internet radio program, where Shelley and a guest discuss the lessons learned and wisdom gained living with chronic illness, disability, and age-related limitations.
You’ll also find descriptions of Shelley’s books which you will find at your local bookstore or may order directly from the publisher:
Demos Medical Publishing – www.DemosMedPub.com
Tips for Making Life Easier with Arthritis
Tips for Making Life Easier with Multiple Sclerosis
Tips for Making Life Easier with Parkinson’s Disease
The Attainment Company – www.AttainmentCompany.com
Memory Tips for Making Life Easier
Dressing Tips and Clothing Resources for Making Life Easier
Organizing Your IEPs