30 Days of MD: Learning the Importance of Planning Ahead

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by BNS Staff |

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Photo courtesy of Brad Miller

Day 18 of 30

This is Brad Miller’s (@MyBeckersStory) story:

Hi, my name is Brad, author of the My Beckers Story blog, and I’m in my mid-40s living with Becker muscular dystrophy. Over the last few years, I have faced increased difficulties walking, which led to me to start using a mobility scooter earlier this year. 

I honestly think it’s something I should have started using a few years ago, especially after suffering a fall while visiting the Canadian National Exhibition. That fall left me with some pretty nasty scrapes and bruises. Unfortunately, no longer being able to use the gower’s maneuver to get up, I needed two strangers to assist me in getting back on my feet. It honestly shouldn’t have taken this type of experience to finally admit it’s time to start using a mobility scooter.

When it first arrived, I was so excited as it represented newfound freedom to get outside without having to worry about falling. Unfortunately, we quickly realized we wouldn’t be able to transport it in our current vehicle. We made a common mistake of not planning for the future and my changing needs.

So, I have the mobility scooter I need but our current vehicle is too small to transport it. That is why I suggest to others with MD who are still able to walk, if you know one day you will need to start using a mobility scooter or wheelchair, then plan ahead by getting a minivan. In my situation, not having one means I am right now unable to take full advantage of the benefits the scooter was meant to bring.

Living with a progressive muscle-wasting disorder means our needs can change a lot sooner than we expect. It’s best to be prepared so that when the changes come, we have that minivan or an accessible place to live. Making changes, ahead of time, is one important step in keeping us in the fight against MD.

After all, having the right equipment and being able to use it is an important part of our journey. Like most, we are learning as we go. That’s a big part of aging with our disabilities.

Muscular Dystrophy News’ 30 Days of MD campaign will publish one story per day for MD Awareness Month in September. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #30DaysofMD, or read the full series.