• By: Ryan Lythall

When Green Turns to Yellow It’s Time to Slow Down

Welcome to Autumn 2023!

We’re only a few days into Fall, and it’s been gorgeous outside. The signs are starting to show, though. The leaves are changing colour and falling off the trees. The nights and early mornings are getting colder, and the days are getting shorter,

I love the beauty of the changing leaves, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and Halloween. My Halloween decorations have been up for a few weeks now, and I bought a few more things for decoration this year, and my horror collection is growing. And what would Halloween be without horror movies?

For me, those are the best things about Fall.

Regarding the coming weeks and months, I’m not looking forward to the colder weather.

Recently, I discussed how the colder weather caused my hands to freeze up on me. My hands became so cold that I could not drive my power chair. It can become scary for me depending on where I am and whether I can go home or at least get inside a building to warm up.

Even today, I wouldn’t say that my hands are back to normal, well, normal for me. Lately, my hands and the rest of my body seem even more sensitive to the cold. It also doesn’t help that most places still have air conditioners running. Don’t worry. I don’t expect buildings to turn off their air conditioners yet. Perhaps October would be a good time for that.

I often hear and read about how we should live in the moment. I do try to do that as much as possible. Unfortunately, since I have a disability and rely on Para Transpo to get around, it is difficult for me to live in the moment.

As a reminder to everyone, if I need to use Para Transpo to get to a destination, I need to book my trip the day before I need to go. Also, there’s no guarantee that Para Transpo will be able to pick me up when I need to go and take me home.

On top of that, since I have 24/7 care, I need to be home by 3 p.m. every day. I also need to be mindful of that,

It’s not an ideal situation, but things could be worse. At least I’m still able to live in my own home, and I am in the process of finding more people to help me out privately. That, in itself, is both extremely difficult and makes me a bit nervous.

BUT. . . I need to get out as much as possible and do what I want. I want to feel more independent and more like myself. I’ve had to turn down numerous invitations from friends mainly due to scheduling issues and how unreliable Para Transpo can be.

So, all that to say is that it’s nearly impossible for me to live in the moment or even to be my true self.

Anyway, back to my original point.

I’m very concerned about my hands and whether or not my physical mobility is slowly worsening. With my specific type of disability, there is a real possibility that I might lose certain mobility over time. There’s also the age factor to consider.

I’m 48, and I’ll be 49 in a few months. The late forties are considered “older” for someone with my condition. For those of you who don’t know, I was born with a Neuro-muscular condition called Nemaline Myopathy.

As far as my hands go, I may need to see a physio therapist and have them come up with exercises for me to do to keep my hands strong or from getting any worse. I can’t afford to lose mobility in my hands for semi-obvious reasons.

I hope to have answers soon, but it’s weighing on my mind right now.

I must mention that I didn’t write this article because I want pity or sympathy. I wrote this because I know there are many people out there who share my concerns and are in the same situation as I am regarding mobility. Whether you’re born with a disability, are diagnosed with one later in life, or suddenly become physically disabled, etc. Changes are hard to deal with, especially for your mental health.

Suddenly, you become a different person and may be unable to do the things you love.  Some of you would love to do the things you used to, but then, you realize that you need to think about your new reality.

The way I see it, I can be angry and feel sorry for myself or try to make the best of it while I can.

To be honest, I struggle with this every day. I remember all the good times I used to have and how I miss them. How, once upon a time, I felt invincible and could do almost anything I wanted, with little or no concerns.

Between all of the festivals, bands I saw, and the people I met, I had a fantastic Summer. During the Fall and Winter months, I’ll still be able to go out, but not as often.

Thanks again for your continued support, and I’ll return next week.

Photo: iStock