Breaking a sweat — I can no longer get my heart rate up high enough to break a sweat. I can’t stand to sit in the sun, so I don’t break a sweat that way either. I used to like that feeling once in a while.
Blending in — Just once, it would be nice to blend in with the crowd. When you’re in a wheelchair, you’re either overlooked (not the same as blending in), or you stick out.
Sitting in the stands at a sporting event — I love to go see the Red Sox and Patriots play, but I can’t just tag along if friends have tickets. I can’t purchase tickets on the secondary markets such as eBay or Ace Tickets. I either get wheelchair accessible tickets through the ticket office, or I watch at home (or, there were those three times I got myself into a luxury box).
Pondering the future — I can’t imagine what life will be like more than a year or two in the future, so we don’t make long-range plans other than having our home as accessible as possible and our finances ready for any eventuality. We don’t talk about what we will do when Kim retires, for example.
Swatting flies — Luckily, I live in an area without many nuisance flies. But once in a while, a housefly or a mosquito torments me, and I have little recourse. Bastards.
Removing credit cards and paper money from my wallet — It’s not a big deal, because clerks are glad to help me out, but it sure would be nice to use my credit card or handle cash on my own.
Cleaning my sunglasses — Some people are perfectly content to wear sunglasses with smudges all over the lenses. I don’t fall in that category, and my glasses tend to have more smudges than normal because I handle them so clumsily.
Wiping or blowing my nose — I don’t get many colds, but when I do, it gets messy.
Sleeping alone — I hesitate to mention this one, because I know there are people out there who are tired of sleeping alone. My point is this. Because of my disability, Kim can’t sleep away from home. She can’t go on business trips, weekends away with friends, etc. I wish she could.
Flossing — You know that wonderful feeling you get after flossing? I wish… No, I can’t do this. I can’t lie to all of you. I never flossed before MS, and I never floss now. Don’t tell my dental hygienist. What she doesn’t know…
For having read this far, you get a bonus list:
Five Activities You Might Be Surprised I Can Still Do
Taking a nap — My mother was in a wheelchair, and she didn’t have any way to comfortably take a nap during the day. But modern wheelchairs recline at the push of a button. To prove it, I’m going to take a nap before I get to the end of this…
Going out alone for lunch — Because I live in such a busy neighborhood, I have a choice of places I can go for lunch. It’s getting more difficult to get the food from plate to mouth, but I still have a few lunch items that work for me.
Controlling the lights, audio/video/computer/cell phone in my house, with ease — If you’re not aware of how I do this, read my blog post here.
Meeting people — I meet so many people online or in my neighborhood, I have trouble keeping track of them. I’m not lonely. Not even close.
Sitting by the ocean — In my neighborhood, I have at least five awesome places where I can sit by the ocean.
Feeling good about my life — I’m not in denial. I’m not happy I have MS. But when I compare my life to the lives that people have lived for thousands of years, or the lives millions of people are living at this very moment, I’ve got nothing to complain about.