In the olden days our town was closed down for the night to stop others getting in, or was it to let the people get out? One way or the other freedom had many meanings in olden times.
Personally I have discovered the meaning of freedom when I no longer have it. I could always come and go as I pleased, it was a natural part of life. It was because I could do this it never had a deeper meaning. Today, especially over the last couple of years, I have realised what freedom is. I was perhaps one of the lucky ones, as my MS was “only” diagnosed 3 years ago. I did not realise that I was slowing down and that my problems with walking were an MS reason. I would tire out quicker and long walks suddenly became a burden more than an exercise in the fresh air.
And so the problem was clarified by a specialist and complicated examinations, I had MS. Ok, no big deal, many people have MS and I was one of the “lucky” ones as my problems were not as bad as others, although I got tired quite quickly. Suddenly my walks were reduced to half an hour at the most. If I fell it was a big problem to get back on my feet, although once I was up I could move again. I slowly became a prisoner in my own home and body, only going places with Mr. Swiss in the car. I could still drive a car. My problem is my left leg which decided to detach itself from my body now and again, but who needs a left leg to drive an automatic gear change in a car. You only need a right foot. I was hobbling around with a cane most of the time, but could still move independently within my own 4 walls. It got to the point where my freedom was limited going into the garden because I fell now and again.
One day we had a discussion about it and I decided the solution was a wheelchair, but an electric one. I wanted to regain my independence and did not want an official wheelchair-pusher. Wheelchairs seem to be an threat hanging over your head if you spoke to the experts. They would warn you that I should be careful otherwise ……… and all that jazz. I got there before them. I decided why not and so I did it all my own. I did not ask the doctor or specialist I had a look around and found the place where I could buy one, not too far from where I live, just a short journey. And now I am free again.
Since last Christmas I have my wheelchair. It was delivered, suited to my taste and a guy came with it to give me first instructions. I remember my first trial run around my home outside. The guy came with me. Opposite our place there is a steep ramp to get to the path.
I asked him if I could do that, and he said “try” and I got to the top in no time, although the first few weeks I avoided the ramp and took the straight path. I only did local trips for the first few months and then came Spring and I went a little further. I realised combining the new experience with photography was ideal. I did not have to carry my camera and only take one lens with me. I organised a nice roomy bag and now I am on my way with the camera and 3 lens, what could be better.
It was only last month that I chanced my first trip into the local town with the cobblestones, but I survived. I am surviving too well it seems as I now disappear quite often for a wheelie. I have my freedom of movement again and it is a decision I have never regretted. I noticed a certain reluctance, almost shock, when I informed my doctor and specialist, but I know I did the right thing. I had regained my freedom again.