Pained, Pushed and Ignored: My Day in a Wheelchair
On Thursday I had laparoscopic surgery to excise endometrial tissue and repair potential hernias. While inside the super stellar gynecologist also observed that I had a heart-shaped uterus, which sounds awesome but apparently can cause increased risk of miscarriages. So, my doctor removed the septum that creates the “heart-like” shape to reduce this risk. The result of all these things being done is that I am in a lot of pain and recovery is taking a tad-bit longer than anticipated. Oh, and did I mention that Friday was my birthday?
My family (mom, sister and niece) decided to come in to help with the recovery and celebrate our birthday – as my sister’s birthday is the 21st… we were born five hours apart! Although it was a helping-with-recovery visit, I thought it would be fun to take them to
Downtown Disney Disney Springs. on Saturday to celebrate my sister’s birthday and get out of the house. Nonetheless, I still could barely walk to the kitchen without taking a breather, so we called up my wonderful in-laws and asked to borrow a wheelchair. Why my extremely healthy in-laws have a wheelchair lying around is a question I have not asked, but for whatever reason I am thankful!
Getting to The Springs
My husband decided he would be the designated pusher, we loaded up the SUV and headed to Disney. What I noticed immediately was that I was immediately placed at prime butt level with all of the other bum-gifted guests at Disney on that fine evening. I was pretty stoked that no wind was passed because I thought I would be a goner.
The husband and I were completely disoriented with where we were, though, when we arrived at Disney Springs. Typically, we spend most of our time within a 500 yard radius around AMC Theatre but we used a different garage and being at a different height level, on limited mobility, made it difficult to acclimate to the surrounds as easy as I usually do. I’m used to running to the nearest map kiosk but I was tethered to wherever my husband rolled me.
Accessibility at Disney Springs
It was easy to get the chair out of the car and into the elevator from the parking garage; each level had a ramp in addition to the stairs and elevators. However, there were multiple elevators that had to be taken to get to the shop level – why can’t there just be one elevator? And, the elevator was super small! Seriously, once the hubs and I were maneuvered into the elevator it was tough to get anyone else into it.
Once inside we decided to eat dinner immediately, where though? No one could decide on a place, so we had to walk around. Here is where I learned one of the main issues with being in a wheelchair, in my opinion (based on my extremely limited experience). Wheelchairs have ZERO suspension! I was in the wheelchair because movement of any sort causes an increase in pain, my fatigue, and well, the pain in general sucked. Anyways, as my hubby did his best to carefully maneuver the chair through the park, it was impossible to avoid all the sidewalk changes that increased my pain exponentially! Yes, it may be nice to make a sidewalk out of bricks, but when you’re in a wheelchair, any small bump feels like going over Mt. Sinai! I did my best to keep a smile all evening, but towards the end it was tough.
Disney Springs is not a fun place if you are in a wheelchair due to pain. If changes in terrain and bumps do not affect you, then you will have no worries. For me, though, I will be waiting until I am fully recovered for my next visit.
How Others Treat You
People do look. A lot. I was dressed normal, I had no visible bandages. My abdominal binder was hidden under my shirt. And, all signs of IVs were long gone. I could feel the eyes before I saw them, but I knew the question most were asking was What is wrong with her? I felt more accusations when I got up from the wheelchair. I felt the need to proclaim the reason I was using the chair – I did not do that but i felt the desire.
The worst part is that no one pays attention when walking. There were so many people who bumped into me, hubs had to swerve around, and times we had to just stand still while people walked past. No one seemed to care that he was pushing someone in a wheelchair to even move an inch out of our way. Are people really that clueless and self-absorbed? I like to think that when I see someone needing assistance or near me needing a little extra space, I make room for them or help, if I can. The other day, though, people were just rushing past us and pretending we did not exist.
For now, though, I am staying home. I have more respect for those who do not have the choice whether to use a wheelchair because it is the only option. My medical leave has been extended through the end of the week, so I will be relaxing, resting, and catching up on personal development reading. I need to make good use of this time.
Have you had a laparoscopic surgery before?
How long was your recovery?
Any secret tips or tricks to speed up the process?
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