I have always needed a brace to walk and crutches for going long distances due to polio at age two. During high school, just a good starting point, I could walk around inside without using the crutches. If I went outside where the surface was rough, I needed the crutches. I had to walk the golf courses I played. The athletic association made an allowance and allowed me to have a caddy. This level of ability remained until the 80’s when I moved to Arizona.
In Arizona my home had carpet and ceramic tile with a big difference in height. I started using my crutches indoors so I wouldn’t trip where carpet and tile met. Plus, I had to be more careful outdoors due to the loose rocks. A small rock on sidewalk and under crutch tip could spell a rapid descent to the ground. This level lasted for several years.
When I returned to Arizona in 2001 I got involved in photography in a big way. Around 2010 I had acquired enough good photo equipment I got nervous about falling while carrying thousands of dollars worth of gear. I bought a manual wheelchair so I could move around without fear of falling. I felt better but limited. I could only go where there was a smooth surface to roll on. Also since I didn’t use the chair often I would be sore the day after an outing.
About a month ago I was convinced to buy a mobility scooter. It was hard for me to admit I needed it, but it has opened up several local photographic areas I had been avoiding. I looked into all terrain wheelchairs but they were too expensive. No insurance for things like this. I think the scooter will serve my purpose of carrying me and photo equipment better than the chair. I have used a similar scooter at the Desert Museum so I had an idea what they would do. My concern now is I may do something stupid like get stuck while out alone.
So in about 50 years I’ve gone from being very independent to using a mobility scooter at times. I had wanted to get back in condition but too lazy. I’m glad I made the move since I can now go more places and enjoy the great outdoors again. It’s just hard to think about the descent of my physical abilities.