Mobility Aids: It’s how I roll.

Ready For A Rollator? Is Rollz or byAcre better for you?

Ardra looks cool in an oversized blue and white blazer and jeans, sitting in her ice-blue convertible transport chair by Rollz. Next to this image is a second pic of Ardra in the same outfit, standing with her oyster coloured, sleek rollator from byAcre. Ready for a rollator? Is Rollz or byAcre better for you? Check out this review and find deep discount codes.
A cool rollator can help you feel better about the shitty fact that you need one.
photos by Alkan Emin

*This post has been updated since it was first published, to include information about the exciting new Rollz Performance. Scroll for discounts on Rollz rollators and byAcre rollators.

Cool rollator? What?

As a rollator fangirl hell-bent on flooding social media with proof that disability doesn’t have to mean devoid of style, I’m often asked about my, dare I say it? Cool rollators by Rollz and byAcre. Both are brands I fell in love with, and now have partnerships with (scroll to the end for sick discounts); but more than that, I’m tackling this topic because there aren’t always (ever?) systems in place to help those of us with progressive MS navigate the transition from independent pedestrian to someone who could use a little support to stay upright.

Like wtf, how are we supposed to figure this out on our own? 

From canes and sticks, to trekking poles and forearm crutches, walking bikes, miniature horses, bumper cars, donkeys, dolphins, and piggy-back rides, this is not a comprehensive post about all your mobility aid options. I’m focusing on the Rollz Motion and ByAcre in response to a question I get asked all the time:

You can only have one rollator: Rollz or byAcre?

I love my Rollz and my byAcre equally because they address different needs, so this question feels like an impossible game of Would You Rather. Like, why don’t you just ask me to choose between coffee and cabernet? Miss Vickie’s and French fries? The Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics?

Ok, that last one was a trick Q. Obviously. The answer is Netflix in my pyjamas for 3 weeks, because watching other people exercise is hella boring. 

The good news is that depending on your lifestyle and needs, your choice between the Rollz and the byAcre (or a different mobility aid altogether) might be easier. Just as everyone’s MS is different, so are the tricks and tools we need to manage our disease, and just because this is how I roll, doesn’t mean either device is right for you. 

Who needs a cool rollator anyway? 

Rollators can be great options for people with MS because they help with things like balance, endurance, and fatigue. Rollators can help you go further, faster, and safer, and using one means you always have a place to sit. A cool rollator can help you feel better about the shitty fact that you need one in the first place.

Mobility aids aren’t cheap. 

I think of my mobility aids as part of our household transportation budget. I live in a city. My hood is like Sesame Street where the butcher, the cheese monger, and every employee at the liquor store know my name, so most days I don’t need to travel far. As a non-driver, when I consider the cost of my rollators plus the half dozen Ubers I take throughout the week, I feel good because I realize my transit needs are actually cheaper than even the most modest car. Then I go online and order a new sweater to reward myself for being so good at money. Of course, the car-free, city-life isn’t realistic for everyone, but the high cost of living with a chronic illness like MS is a post for another day (and like, a bottle of cheap vodka). Keep scrolling for discounts on the Rollz and the byAcre.

Which is the coolest rollator? Rollz or byAcre?

The Rollz Motion and the byAcre rollators have a lot in common. They’re both exceptionally designed, well-made, highly functional devices that come in a variety of colours to complement your personal style.

The main difference between the Rollz Motion and the byAcre is that the Rollz converts from a rollator to a transport chair, allowing you to walk as you are able, and then to get a push when fatigue and foot-drop kick-in. 

Ardra, a white woman with blonde hair, stands behind her Rollz in rollator mode. She's looking back over her shoulder and smiling. She looks cool in her leather jacket and her confidence with the Rollz Motion  only makes her look cooler.
Walk till you drop
Ardra sits in the Rollz motion in transport chair mode. She is wearing the same leather jacket and a black fedora. She has a black bag from FFORA on her lap.
Rest as required.

The byAcre is a straight-up cool rollator.

Ardra, a babe with a mobility aid, stands behind her oyster coloured rollator from byAcre. She is in a park, looking chill, holding a coffee, with one leg crossed casually over the other.

The Rollz Motion

The Rollz recognizes that part-time wheelchair users exist; and to be honest, this was news to me. The people in charge of telling us about MS spend a lot of time reassuring newly diagnosed patients that “most people with MS don’t end up in a wheelchair”. This is an infuriating statement that reinforces the (false) notion that wheelchair-use signals The End, and that fails to prepare anyone with the resources to manage disease progression if it happens. Again, a post for another day, another bottle.

It would have helped a lot if someone had explained to me that many wheelchair users are actually ambulatory.

This is the same image from the heading or Ardra sitting in her Rollz contemplating which rollator - the Rolla or byAcre she would recommend. They are both very cool.
Ambulatory wheelchair user: not a unicorn

If your lifestyle includes outings where you’d like to walk, but you tire easily and your day gets cut short, you may benefit from a device that lets you get a push when you run out of steam. Every step counts, and the more you move, the better. I use my Rollz when traveling and when I’m at home in the 6ix for all-day activities like an afternoon at the ROM, a stroll through the Distillery District, shopping on Queen West, or a trip to the new Eataly.

Rollator Update!

Introducing the new Rollz Performance

Recently I traded my Rollz Motion (Optimus Prime) for the new Rollz Performance; a device designed for all terrains. I know you’re thinking what does a city-girl like me need with an off-road rollator? Well, let me tell you, I’ve traveled all over Europe and rolling over cobblestones in Rome or Paris isn’t as romantic as it sounds when motion sickness means you need to stop for gravol and gingerale or avoid cobbled areas altogether.

Ardra sits in the Rollz Performance, a dark green, updated version of the Rollz Performance. She is on a trail in the woods and the ground is uneven. She is looking off into the distance, enjoying some time in nature.
Until now, this kind of terrain was off-limits for me.

Except for the fact that the new Rollz Performance is only available in jungle green, it looks pretty much the same as the original. The functional difference is that it has pneumatic tires, which is a fancy way to say ‘air-filled’ and air-filled means a smoother ride over kinds of uneven ground. I tested the new Rollz Performance on a bumpy but beautiful dirt trail that is embarrassingly close to where I live considering I’d never been in the ten years we’ve been here (because hello, inaccessible), and it was awesome. It was more comfortable for me in both rollator and transport chair mode, as well as for The Banker when he was pushing me.

I had been worried that the new model would be bigger and heavier, but in fact it’s a teeny, tiny, negligible amount lighter. It’s worth noting that if you travel with the Rollz Performance you will need to pack the air pump that’s included with your purchase.

Ardra stands with her Rollz Performance in rollator mode. She is enjoying being able to be comfortably off-road on difficult terrain.
Patent leather booties confirm this is not my natural habitat.

Cool rollator considerations:

The Rollz Motion is heavier than a standard rollator, due to the fact that it’s designed to be able to support your full weight when seated. Personally, I would find it difficult to balance and get this beast in the trunk of a car on my own. I’m never on my own when I’m using it anyway, because a transport chair is not a wheelchair. You will need someone else to use the Rollz in ‘push-me’ function.

It’s always a good idea to test out a mobility aid in real life, if possible, before purchasing. Bonus tip: If you’re in NYC, you can borrow a Rollz Motion at the Museum of Natural History while you learn about the great blue whale and the Big Bone Room. How great is that?


There are more options for straight-up rollators out there than there are for convertible transport chairs. I love the byAcre because it looks so good, like, what’s missing from this pic?

Ardra stands with her byAcre rollator. The oyster white rollator is sleek and stylish, just like Ardra who's wearing skinny jeans tucked into wine colored red leather boots and a chunky brown turtle-neck.
NO CABLES! Let the choir sing.

This is my every-day rollator. I use it in the city to go short distances; I take it to the opera and the gym, to the coffee shop around the corner, and from the car to the bar. When the weather is too gross to handle, I use it to roam the hallways of my building to get my steps in. Its convenient shape and size mean I’ve never met an Uber whose trunk it didn’t fit. The byAcre’s carbon fibre bones make it the lightest rollator in the world. I can pick it up with one hand (and I have trouble picking up a hair dryer with one hand).

Not pictured is the detachable back strap that comes with the byAcre, because you don’t want to tip backwards when you sit on it. I admit, I don’t use mine as much as I should. Mostly because I don’t want the strap to block my outfit. Pro tip: When I need to sit, I park my rollator up against a wall, so I can’t fall.

Cool rollator consideration:

Be sure to check the height and width levels before ordering. If you’re very tall, reach out to the company to see if this device is right for you. 

Stay cool, Trippers.

It took me a long time to adjust to the mobility-aid version of myself. But if a rollator, or any mobility aid will help you keep moving and participating in the world, I urge you to lean in. The thing that I needed to feel good about this disease milestone (let’s call it what it is), was representation. Consider tagging your snaps with #babeswithmobilityaids on social media. For added inspo, stream season one of Fashion Dis, the groundbreaking TV show hosted by moi. Your confidence (even if you’re faking it) WILL help someone still struggling to adjust to this new reality. 

It is up to this community to redefine mobility aids; what it means to be young and chronically ill. Mobility aids are not limiting and sad. They are empowering tools.

If you have specific questions about either of these cool rollators, feel free to contact me. Of course, it’s always great to post questions because someone else might be pondering the same thing. And if you love your mobility aid (Rollz, byAcre, or something else), feel free to brag about it in the comments. You never know who it might help.

Ardra stands on a rooftop patio with the Toronto city skyline behind her. It is dusk. She looks stylish in a pink and white mini-dress and her oyster-white byAcre rollator.

Go forth and rollate!

But wait!

Full disclosure: If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Rollz Motion and Performance discount code

Use code TRIPPINGONAIR to receive $125 off in the US and Canada Receive $50 off in New Zealand, Australia Receive 10% off in The Netherlands


byAcre now has Canadian distribution! Order here.

For all other countries order here and use code trippingonair10 for 10% off.

Follow Tripping On Air on Facebook and Instagram.

How To Find The Most Bad-Ass Mobility Aids

scroll to the end for discounts on Rollz rollators, and discounts on byAcre rollators

Cool mobility aids

You know the drill. This isn’t medical advice. Talk to your doctor, your mother, your psychic, your dog. I’m just a blogger with a credit card, a sucker for pretty things. 
That said, I personally did not get great medical advice on this subject. Even after fracturing an elbow, even after splitting open my scalp, I was never encouraged to use mobility aids. While my friends and family were supportive, nobody was exactly championing mobility aids, even when my drunk-walking started to get dangerous. 
I only had bad things to believe about canes, walkers and wheelchairs and was hell-bent on resisting them. The silence of those around me did nothing to hinder my hesitation; my interpretation of the unspoken sub-text being that bringing home a mobility device would be akin to giving up. 
Which is bullshit, of course. But, it would have gone a long way if someone had just said, I’m proud of you for using a walker or That’s the brave choice, the strong decision or Did you lose weight? You look amaaazing.

Even badasses need reminding of their bad-assery from time to time.

But, I get it. Without role-models or roadmaps, we’re all figuring this out as we go–those of us with MS and our squads. It took the help of the sidewalk for me to eventually realize that regardless of how I or others felt about it, it was time for me to pony up for a mobility aid (or two, or three…).

Different aids for different days

There are many types of mobility aids out there and this is by no means an exhaustive list. I started using a cane about four years ago, and have since added a rollator (which is a made-up word to describe a walker on wheels), plus a rollator that converts to a transport chair.  Who knew MS would come with so many accessories?

Okay, poseur, if you can walk with a cane, why do you need a transport chair?  

First of all, it’s poseuse. I’m a lady. Second, MS is complicated. Many wheelchairs users have some mobility and are able to walk. These are not unicorns, but ambulatory wheelchair users. When things like drop-foot, fatigue, and balance problems join forces to eff things up, temporarily using a transport chair can mean the difference between going out and living my best life, and sitting in my room with the lights off crying in the dark. Plus, it’s fun to yell “It’s a miracle” when some shade-thrower sees me get up from a chair. 

Here’s the skinny on the mobility aids I use to get around:


I live in a hip Toronto loft. Hip is code for so small you can use all your crammed-in furniture for support. When I’m at home I use my cane, the couch, and the walls to get around. The cane is also handy for poking the dog when she’s in the way, which is always. 
Canada has a shoes-off on the inside kind of vibe and I can feel your low-key anxiety when you worry I’m gonna rollator all over your steam-cleaned carpet, so I try to use a stick at someone else’s house. 

I avoid stairs like I avoid vegan cheese, or centipedes, but I can usually wrangle them with a cane if I have to. Except if I’ve had a glass of wine, which is always. 
cause I’m bougie
There are some draw-backs to using a cane. Trekking poles can be a healthier, more balanced way to get around, but trekking poles require both hands, so unless Chanel wants to send me one of their backpacks, I haven’t found this to be a super practical solution. Plus, you can’t safely put a glass of wine in a backpack. 
Canes have always been kinda fancy, so there’s no need to settle for an ugly one (mine is from Be sure to consider what material yours is made from before investing. Maple is beautiful, but more suited to syrup. I had to replace my starter cane because I dropped it the first day I had it and 85 times a day thereafter, leaving it as sad and scabby as my brain and spinal cord. 
this cane has MS


Outside, in the real world, I use a stylish rollator. Yup, I said it, stylish. My rollator provides way more support and stability than a stick. It helps me balance, and has saved my face from the ground so many times. 
My cool looking rollator is from ByAcre, an award-winning Danish company with a focus on style, because hello, Europe. It comes with a bag that easily fits my laptop, or 2-3 bottles of wine, because if it’s not 5 o’clock here, it’s def 5 o’clock in Denmark. The bag is detachable, for when I don’t want my ride to block my outfit, which is always. 

Convertible transport chair

In 2014 I found myself trapped on a bench in the Marais, full of FOMO and exhaustion, sucking back tears and a sketchy French beer. I’d been using a cane, but needed to stop every block or so, until I just couldn’t. I cried so many tears on that trip and especially on that bench where I remember sobbing, “If I can’t be happy in Paris, I will never be happy again. NEVER”. 
The Banker and I travel a lot, but I didn’t purchase Optimus Prime (by Rollz Motion), my sleek convertible transport chair, for another 2 years after that sucky séjour. Because how the fuck was I supposed to know that sleek convertible transport chairs even existed? Or that that was exactly what I needed?
Nobody told me. 
When we finally figured it out and invested in said device, the world opened up to us again. Now when we travel, I use OP as a rollator for as long as I feel like walking, and when I need a push, it quickly converts to a transport chair. It seems so obvious now.

Where were you when I needed you?

Where to find cool mobility aids

By now we’ve established that adding a mobility aid to your life can be empowering, and you don’t have to sacrifice looking cool. If you need a refresher click here
But not all mobility aids are equal. I had to sift through a lot of ugly, uninspired old-lady looks before I found the mobility aids that worked for me, that reflected my attitude, my style, my personality. The companies that are still designing for the blue-haired crowd are getting it wrong. Those geriatric bitches are dying their hair pink now, and if my own grandmother was any kind of indication of the sassy senior I hope to eventually be, I will still be a glamorous, fashion-conscious narcissist well into my twilight years. 
Thankfully, there are some manufacturers who know that style matters; who know that it’s easier for consumers to believe that mobility aids are not the enemy if they aren’t designed to look like monsters. The industry is slowly waking up to the idea that people with disabilities actually care about their appearance. Like, duh. But we shouldn’t have to rely solely on Scandinavia to provide thoughtful design. We need more options, and we need them to be affordable. 
If you’ve got some sweet gear, please post a pic in the comments and let us know where you found it. And start tagging yourselves in social media with things like #babeswithmobilityaids so we know where to find each other, and to let businesses know there’s a demand for cool mobility aids.

Discounts on Rollz and byAcre mobility aids

Trippers will receive a $125 discount on the purchase of a Rollz Motion from Triumph Mobility (in the US and Canada). Click for New Zealand, Australia and The Netherlands. Use code TRIPPINGONAIR.

Canadians can purchase the byAcre here.

Outside Canada go to and use code trippingonair10 for 10% off.

Stream Season one of Fashion Dis.

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Buy Ugly Mobility Aids


I never thought I could get excited about a mobility aid. Obvi. I love shopping, but of all the packages I’ve welcomed into my life, this isn’t one I ever thought I’d sign for. I certainly wasn’t aware that stylish mobility aids were a thing.

Recently, I’ve had to accept that MS (multiple sclerosis) has caused me to need a little help staying vertical. A cane isn’t cutting it so I’ve been experimenting with rollators (formerly known as walkers). But on long days when my legs straight up quit, a rollator just isn’t enough to keep me on the dance floor (okay, the regular floor). Luckily, we live in The Future where rollators exist that, with a few slick moves, convert to pushable chairs for just such occasions — like real-life Transformers but with less fire power. What? This blew my mind. 
Until I actually saw them.
Because BMW doesn’t make them yet (and neither does Hasbro), most are not designed with style in mind. After much research, I narrowed my choices to two. Frankly, there aren’t many on the market.

Shopping for a rollator

Option A
Pros: Reasonably Priced
Cons: An electric-purple, clunky assortment of cables complete with side bags, front bags, rear bags (wtf does anyone put in all those bags?) plus an unnecessarily wide seat belt and a Super Big Gulp sized cupholder. Had it come to this? What would attachment to this device say about me? Were all those bags just a sneaky stepping stone on the road to becoming a full-fledged Bag Lady? Despite its accessories, and its overwhelming purpleness, it looked so medical. I hated it. If this were indeed a Transformer, it would surely be a Decepticon.
Option B by Rollz Motion 
Pros: Sleek, streamlined, European (natch). Comfortable and easy to maneuver. Available in colours like ice blue and cloud grey, for the born after the 1930s crowd. Almost cool. I mean, it’s still a walker, but it was a lot closer to Optimus Prime than Option A.
Cons: It costs all the money
Ignoring some functionality concerns and the obvious style ones, I decided to suck it up and go with the morally sketchy Decepticon. The Banker looked at me pityingly as I held back tears and told myself I was gonna need some killer outfits to distract from its heinousness. I was desperate to get the purchase over with but the hunk of aubergine anxiety wouldn’t fit in our car. (NB: Calling it ‘aubergine’ didn’t make it suck less. I tried). We left frustrated and empty-handed.
That night, I sent my ginger bestie a pic of the twisted piece of purple scrap metal and shitty nylon bags. My phone rang immediately. “Absolutely not. You cannot take that to Barcelona.” (I’m going to Barcelona.) The next words out of GB’s mouth were, “What happened to the sexy one? Why aren’t you getting that one?” Sexy walker; her words, not mine.
My ginger bestie and I have been informing each other’s shopping decisions since 1998. Our post-work retreats to unwind and gossip about that B who was always trying to steal our boyfriends were a critical part of our early friendship. A sideways look, and we knew we were headed to the mall as soon as 5 o’clock hit. And not just any mall. We happily drove the extra 40 minutes to get to the good mall. The history of our sisterhood is marked by our most memorable scores. The lavender python boots of Amsterdam. The lemon yellow silk skirt. She even helped me buy my four poster bed, which I later gifted to her after I got married.

We are experts on rationalizing each other’s extravagances; easily coming up with a quick 10 reasons to justify a splurge. We’ve cultivated a legit fear of the outfit that got away. Most recently, “You don’t have red patent leather ankle boots. That is a glaring hole in your fall wardrobe,” helped push the plastic to the register.
If this sounds materialistic and irresponsible, it’s because it totally is. Fortunately, we’ve matured some since the early aughts and are less likely to haphazardly wreck our credit scores. But these are life skills that die hard. After years of friendship, she was qualified and well within her job description as bestie to question the Decepticon purchase so ardently.
I also consulted with my barrister bestie (because every modern girl needs a good lawyer). My BB is decidedly more practical and way less likely to encourage a wallet apocalypse. Even she said, “You HAVE TO buy the nice one. Who CARES about the money? What if you have an event?”
Oh my God. Events. I hadn’t thought of that. I imagined myself struggling with the purple beast in a chic restaurant. Suddenly it seemed ludicrous to even consider taking a saddle-bagged Decepticon anywhere. This thing is going to be an extension of me, in a way. An expression of me. And everyone knows Decepticons are notorious douchebags.
It’s hard needing a mobility aid. Really hard. There’s so much beyond my control that I must sacrifice because of MS, but there is no need for me to give up style. I accept that using a mobility device adds a certain je ne sais quoi to my image. But I don’t accept that we can’t do better than this. So how about designing a few more of these things with the cool kids in mind? Shallow or not, our stuff helps us establish our identities and Option A was crushing my soul.
In the end, our tribe sometimes knows us better than we know ourselves, especially when we get overwhelmed with change. Ultimately, Optimus Prime maintains several functional advantages in addition to the superficial style ones. (For one, it fits in the damn car). I know how fortunate I am to be able to find the scrilla for this purchase, and the fact that these items should be more affordable for everyone is an angry argument for another day. The sexy rollator by Rollz has been ordered and truth be told, I’m actually kind of excited about it.


ooh, nice shoes

Geriatric purple would have been a disaster with my red leather ankle boots.

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Will I Ever Stop Freaking Out About Progressive MS?

I haven’t written much lately because I wasn’t sure I had anything nice to say and we all know the internet is no place for negativity. The thing is, I’m going through a bit of a thing. A crisis maybe, and a graduation of sorts, to a new level of disability. After 15 years it’s time for me to start using a walker on the regular. And somehow there’s still part of me that is utterly stunned by this. Fifteen years with an MS diagnosis and though it feels like forever, this has been a relatively quick trip to Walkerton (even as I realize there are sadly, many who’ve reached this town even faster). 

I’ve only just gotten used to using a cane and it’s time for a walker. Well, a rollator is what we’re supposed to call them now. And if the cane has taught me anything, it’s that there’s no going back. At least with MS, these things tend to be permanent, or they stick around until a new level of suck is reached and a more advanced assistive device is required. It’s that whole graduation thing but with less pomp and more circumstance. For there will be no keg party, no drunken make-outs and no prom dress at this grad. My only diploma is a bump in my EDSS score and my award, a clunky mobility aid. Nobody wants to stay up all night celebrating this milestone. Although drinking until I barf does seem rather tempting right about now. 

For several weeks as I waited for Rolly’s arrival (thanks ridiculously slow health care system for giving me ample time to emotionally process all this), I was able to see the bright side. I told myself a Rollator will afford me more freedom. Greater endurance. A cool basket to put stuff in. 

No big deal.

But then a week ago, in the middle of all this healthy acceptance and well adjusted adjusting, something switched. I found myself assigning all kinds of meaning to this situation, leading me to freak out over a cheese plate and a pitcher of sangria on the balcony. The sudden change in my perception was so unexpected, I knew it had to be poisonous. But like the boozy fruit juice in front of me, I couldn’t stop myself from picking it up and taking a big sip of hysteria. Call it a walker or a rollator or whatever you want. Turns out needing this level of assistance just to get around is totally a BFD.

Like always, The Banker did his best to calm me down but I was having none of it. He countered each of my anxieties with hopeful reassurances and hunks of baguette smeared with brie. He told me for the thousandth time we are in this together and insisted his life is at least a million billion times better with any version of me in it. At least. He urged me to try the pâté. I remained unconvinced. He poured more sangria and that helped, but I can be very convincing, and finally I managed to make both of us cry. Somehow we finished our drinks and all the charcuterie and by morning I could breathe again. I’d purged all the grief from my system. I was ready to accept this breakup with independent walking and move on.

Or so I’d thought. We all know the first breakup never takes, and the next night I found myself staring at the ceiling at 3am thinking about what comes next. Trying to hold it together. Imagining the worst and not comprehending how I will possibly cope. Because the very, very worst part of all this is What comes next? 

It’s always what comes next. 

The next night I lay awake doing some random made-up math on how much time I think I have left. This was tiring because I’m not good at math, but not tiring enough to put me to sleep, so I got up to hang with the dog. Not surprisingly, she didn’t have any sage advice. She slept next to me, not judging, but occasionally waking to engage in some questionable self grooming. Ugh. I mean, clearly, she has her own problems.

Then after three sleepless nights I decided not to take any chances and chased a handful of zopiclone with a generous glass of red wine. Guys, this is not a substitute for medical advice, okay? This is a blog.
I slept better (sort of), but was still one more teary meltdown away from turning the corner. The one where I ugly cry and insist I’m not strong enough to deal with this. The one where I panic that I’m running out of time, and sob about the unfairness of it all, convinced my best days are behind me. The one where I conclude I am not okay. Because NONE OF THIS IS OKAY.

(deep breath)

So. Much. Drama. Barf me to death. So I’m freaking out. Again. Sorry, everyone that loves me or has to be around me. I know this gets boring. But does anyone take this in stride? (No pun intended) It’s not spilled milk. The reality of MS is that not everything gets lost at diagnosis and grieved over all at once. It’s like getting a new disease over and over again.

I thought I was cool about this and then it arrived and I started to hyperventilate. The dog is in the picture to distract me from how fucked all of this is.

Though I’m still not really sleeping, I am starting to see my way out. Not because my body is stronger or my disease is slowing down. But because I can’t stay in this darkness for too long. And something I read last night seemed to click. 


(thanks Andy, sorry for all the swearing)

We’ve all heard this before. Don’t hate what you don’t have. Love what you have. Somehow this is different from Be Grateful For What You Have, which sounds more like a bossy threat. Like, you’d better appreciate what you have before it gets snatched away – and isn’t that just the epitome of MS? Where any ability you have can be taken in a heartbeat? It can be challenging to be grateful for what seems like it’s only on loan when you know there’s a creepy repo man lurking around the corner just waiting to make his move. 

Love what you have feels different. If you love something you don’t just acknowledge it with a polite thank you. You have to take care of it. You have to be kind to it. You have to do something – it’s not passive. Love is a verb. Could I give my MS a hug instead of a side eye loaded with vitriol? Love is patient, love is kind…that’s from the Bible, bitches, so you know it’s good. If I can find love for what my legs can do for me today, can I be patient and kind to them? 

As I struggled to get to sleep last night I started making a mental Love What I Have list. I tried really hard to not take anything for granted, to not make this a ‘love what I have left’ list. I thought about The Banker and the dog and the tremendous comfort their love for me creates; the big obvious haves that go to the top of my list. Someday I will certainly lose my pup. She’s 11 years old. Suddenly I realize that knowing this doesn’t make me love her less. I don’t spend the time I have with her consumed with anxiety about what life will be like without her. I will deal with that later. That is a pain and a loss for Future Me to deal with.

Encouraged, I kept going with this list. I wanted to identify more than the things outside of me. I wanted to find love for the things that are maybe not the same as they once were. I wanted to find  love for the things MS is trying to steal from me. 

I decide to love that I got dressed and into bed by myself. I decide I love that I am independent. I resist the urge to frame this as ‘still’ independent because it implies impermanence, it implies ‘for now’. I love that I am independent. Period. That used to mean Girl Power but now it means I can walk to the bathroom by myself. Make coffee. Put my socks on. It’s an effort but I somehow manage to feel this without bitterness. I am truly thankful I can walk at all. And as tempted as I am to dwell on how desperately I want to walk forever – thinking about it takes me away from what I have today and puts me in an unknown, scary, future place that seems dark and impossible. It’s so nauseatingly throw up in my mouth cliché but I don’t have the future, I only have today.  Sometimes I think I’m selling myself a bunch of Pollyanna bullshit but the only thing more exhausting than convincing myself of some Pollyanna bullshit is spiralling into despair. It’s better to decide I in fact have enough green grass right now. It’s time to pick myself up off the floor. 

I don’t want to fight with my legs. I don’t want to resent them or feel frustrated. I want to love them. I want to slather them in lavender scented l’Occitane and whisper Thank you. I know you’re trying. It’s not your fault. You deserve beautiful shoes and regular pedicures.

Remember what I said about the very, very worst part of this? That is Future Me’s problem.

Maybe this graduation does deserve a party. After all, we mark transitions with traditions. So. Who wants to have a glass of Pommery?

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