Living as a disabled person has been an adjustment, especially since I’ve always been active and definitely independent. All the jobs I had were always physical. For the most part I can get around with a walker and if I am going shopping I always find a parking space next to an empty grocery cart, which I use to get from the parking lot to the store.
Today there were no carts so I parked in a handicapped space about 30 feet from the store entrance and psyched myself up to go in without one. I’ve done it before but what I didn’t realize was, this time the wind had picked up since I left home. For the average person wind is no big deal, for me it can be a hazard. If a gust of wind hits me just right I can fall down. As soon as I got out of the car I noticed the wind but figured I could just hurry, grab a cart by the door and go about my business… that was until a big gust made me lose my balance. I flapped my arms like a huge bird to keep myself upright. I didn’t fall and the wind stopped (or so I thought) but it was really gearing up for a stronger one. Once more I was thrown off-balance and I flapped my “wings.” This time I knew I wouldn’t make it and my car was too far to go back. My only option was to call for help… just like those old ladies you see in the commercials who fell down and can’t get up, only I was still standing (barely).
Two male store employees were sitting outside and came running to my aid. On the one hand I was relieved and the other embarrassed. How do I explain that I can’t walk in wind? I look normal…until I walk, then I look drunk, unless if I have a walker or cart to hold on to. The guys were so helpful and understanding. They both looked like teenagers and I probably looked like a grandma to them. Ok, I turn 60 in 48 hours, so technically I could be… but I don’t feel that old.
I bought my groceries and thanked the guys again. On the drive home I laughed about what happened. I didn’t fall but I probably looked like a total nut flapping my arms and yelling. If I saw someone doing that, I would have laughed too and I would have helped, but still found the whole thing amusing.
Next time I’ll wait for someone to come out with their groceries and ask to use their cart so I don’t get myself in that situation again.