Or, You Know, for Anyone Who Has No Idea What He or She Is Doing.

So, I’ve had RA for awhile.  It was kind of dormant when I was pregnant and when my babies were little, but since my two and a half year old was about six months old, my health has been pretty steadily in decline.  Now, I’m on a lot of different meds, and my doctor is trying as hard as the insurance company will let her to try to get stuff under control, but, long story short, things are NOT under control.

I’d been thinking for awhile that I needed some kind of assistive device, as my hips have been flaking out on me.  You expect them to work, then BOOM: on the ground.  I thought about it, almost constantly, for quite awhile.  Pretty much any kind of aide requires heavy use of your hands, unless it’s like Hoverround level, which is a little too intense.  In the hand department, I am pretty typically rheumatoid, in that my hands are one of the most destroyed parts of my body.

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My hand on a pretty normal day. It doesn’t open all the way hardly ever.

After a lot of thought and constant whining to my best friends (ahem, Katie, among a couple others) and husband, I decided that what I wanted was one of the four-wheeled walkers with the seat and pouch and such.  I could use the palm of my hand to lean and not have to use my fingers to grip as much, whereas a cane would be nearly impossible and probably cause more hand pain than it was worth.

I don’t know if you realize this, but there aren’t a ton of 29 year old people running around with walkers.  Actually, I don’t know anyone very well who has a walker, including my grandparents.  When I decided I needed one, I had no idea how to go about it.   I was talking to my husband, Ben, and said, “So… Do I just, like, Amazon one?  Do they have walkers with Prime shipping??”  He had no idea, so we looked it up, and turns out, they do.  I didn’t know if that was what I was supposed to do, so we held tight.  A couple days later, we were at my in-laws’ house and my husband mentioned our quandary.  My mother-in-law looked at us at said, “Well, do you want to pay for it?”  We were totally lost, so she explained that you go to the doctor, they give you an order, and the insurance usually pays for it.

Oh.

At my next doctor’s appointment, I gave a run-down of the process so far to the doc, while she was adding things to my chart, and summed it up with, “So what do I do?  I have no idea.”  She looked at me for a moment, and said, “Well, I just printed you an order, so take it to a medical supply store.  If there’s something you want and my order isn’t sufficient, they can call me and we can revise it.”

Oh.  Got it.

I've got a golden tickeeettt

I’ve got a golden tickeeettt

Apparently, that’s the thing to do.  I drove home, and my husband and I went to the medical supply store, gave the saleswoman the order and she asked who it was for.  I let her know it was for me, and she said, “No, hon, who’s going to use the walker?” …Again, me… Then she hopped up, made me sit down, and talked me through the super simple process, which was giving her my insurance card and choosing blue or red and small or large wheels.  Why you would choose the dinky wheels instead of the all terrain bad boys is beyond me, but I guess some people do, since they stock them.  There was also an option of a similar walker that converted to a wheelchair, for an additional expense not usually covered by insurance, whereas most insurance companies cover the standard walker in full.  It was tempting, but I thought the walker itself was flash enough.

Disappointed Em

Disappointed Em

Brought it home and Nora (5) and Emeline (2) were super psyched!  Then we told them that this is for mommy and it is not a toy.  They were less psyched.  However, I have had to pop one or the other of them on the seat when she refused to walk and I obviously couldn’t carry her.  Works pretty well as an impromptu stroller, though probably not a great idea to do it on purpose!

I’ve taken it out several times now, and gotta say… It’s pretty fantastic.  I have my own seat all the time, which is surprisingly comfy foam, and a place to stick my purse.  Function = A+

However… It’s kind of hard to wrap my mind around being 29 and using a walker.  The fact that it’s shiny, electric blue does help, but after much consultation with my lady brain trust, I decided it needed some pizzazz.  The word “bedazzle” was thrown out, but decided not to go quite that far 😉  Check it out!  I totally talked Ben into a walker photo shoot.

Pretty fab.

Pretty fab.

These are my awesome, holographic streamers, and this bell is seriously legit.  10/10 do recommend.

Note the ever-present giant grey sweater, standard issue for all chronically ill.  Don’t have one, get one.  Makes everything better.  Blanket scarves are also the best.

TA-DA!

TA-DA!

It walks, rattles, and rolls, and it’s awesome.  Okay, it doesn’t rattle, which is good, because that would be super annoying.

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Comfy seat!

It accommodates even the mommest of hips!

When the rheumy gave me the order, she told me to use it, but not give up hope that the time will come when I don’t need it.  I’m trying really, really hard.  In the mean time, I’ll enjoy my streamers.