Going Mobile

John Connor avatar

by John Connor |

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Zen, mobile

john connor

In February of last year, I stopped.

Walking more than a few steps was suddenly impossible.

I’d fought, taken every medication and supplement possible, but I’d lost. Maybe positive thinking and mindfulness would have helped, but for me, that was a step too far!

Research, organization, and oodles of bureaucracy now took up my days. Since I was stuck in my bedroom for two months, time wasn’t an issue. I launched plans, but they would just take an awful lot of time to accomplish.

Last week, just over a year later, things finally began moving, including me!

The electric wheelchair finally turned up, as did the van with a lift, which I’d ordered last summer, and the payment for my house adaptation came due  all on the same day!

I spent hours trying to get the wheelchair going. If I could learn how to run computers before Windows — yes, I’m that old — this wouldn’t defeat me. Nothing helped: the instruction book, internet searches, or YouTube. I was getting so desperate I wondered if the Ask Jeeves search engine was still going.

Breathe, relax, and Zen.

The battery was fully charged. The seat swiveled back and forth. The wheels just wouldn’t engage. Someone would be coming around to instruct me in its use, but this was not just a new toy — it was a long-sought-after aid.

Not snookered by pool. (Courtesy of John Connor)

Maybe there was a cutoff switch. I worked out where it could be and gave it a go. We had liftoff! Now I could go into the kitchen when I liked, go back to the sitting room, and even answer the door!

I could even attempt a go on my pool table. Unfortunately, it’s going to have to leave soon, as I will have to move downstairs, and the self-indulgent poolroom will become our new sitting room.

Pool confronts me with the ways MS has further restricted me. I’m a right-hander, and my arm will no longer stretch far enough back for me to even play a stroke — frustrating! With my wheelchair, I could now just about get around the table.

Breathe, relax, and Zen.

The next day, I realized that I could give it a go left-handed.

Ronnie O’Sullivan, the best snooker player the world has ever seen, is ambidextrous. I’m sure that’s because he was finding it all too easy, and that way at least he had a challenge.

My challenge is to learn to play left-handed in the few weeks I’ve got with the table.

So, I’m not as snookered as I thought!


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Jeff Gregory avatar

Jeff Gregory

You're a very lucky person. It sounds like you can afford different things which will help you along your MS journey. There are people living on the street with MS. Overlooked. Not on anybody's list. An electric wheelchair. Wow. You are indeed an extremely lucky person. Enjoy the ride. Be grateful for what you have. You have a lot.

John Connor avatar

John Connor

I am grateful. What I’m really grateful for is that the wheelchair has been lent to me by our wonderful National Health Service in the UK. All I can suggest is if it is the USA that you live in - you vote for a party that supports Universal Health Care.
The only reason why people with MS end up on the streets of the UK is
that they’re out fundraising!

Samantha Morley avatar

Samantha Morley

I found your column if that's the right word very inspiring as you keep going,not literally.But keep pushing on to improve your lot.
I will try to remember this when I feel woe is me.Which is really unlike me,normally.
Good Luck with the pool,left handed.
I never could play pool any way, always been very dodgy,trying not to rip the bays.

Rashmi Jose avatar

Rashmi Jose

Sir,Your articles inspire me to be positive....find something positive.... believe that things could have been worse. It helps me to look forward in life.Thank you so much

Karen G. avatar

Karen G.

Glad to hear all your hard work advocating for yourself has paid off. Two months confined to your room would make anyone stir crazy. Realizing you will never walk again is horrible, something many of us will have to come to terms with in the future. Thank you for your positive and upbuilding columns! You are always looking forward and that’s a wonderful gift.


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