My foot has betrayed me. It has developed a bone spur. This is not a life-threatening thing, but it surely can generate a lot of pain. At first I felt like I was walking around with a sharp rock in my shoe.
I simply got out of bed one morning two months ago, and there it was. I thought it would go away like it came, quickly and quietly. But it hasn’t. The doctor recommended a heel cup, and now it feels like a have a small stone under my heel.
The main problem is that it surely curtails shopping expeditions when your heel is sore from walking with a stone in your shoe. But, I think I’ve found the solution – motorized shopping carts for handicapped folks.
My first experience with these marvels was when I broke my foot several years ago, so I knew they were available. But during the Christmas shopping season, I felt like I had to leave them in place for truly handicapped people. Then I figured out that if I went early there weren’t many shoppers in the stores, so I could use them.
My daughter, granddaughter and I went shopping when the stores opened at 6 a.m. one day before Christmas. My daughter looked at the motorize cart, then at me, and asked, “Mom, how about one of these?”
The greeter stepped up and explained how it operated. I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Why not?”
As I sat down on it my daughter asked jokingly, “Is that cord long enough to go all around the store?”
Her daughter rolled her eyes and walked away like she didn’t know us. I’m a firm believer that we should never miss a chance to let our grandchildren enjoy mild embarrassment. So I drove up behind the granddaughter and tooted the horn on my new chariot. She gave in graciously and smiled.
I really enjoyed driving around the store. Since I was on a lower level than usual, I saw all kinds of things I hadn’t noticed before, and riding was definitely more comfortable than walking.
After Christmas I went to the same store with another daughter and our youngest grandson, and I had no qualms whatsoever about riding the cart around to do some shopping. At just 18 months old, our youngest grandson thought it was great to race Grandma on her scooter down the aisles.
After we had lunch, we went to a different store to finish shopping. This one also had a number of motorized carts, and I, flushed with confidence from my previous experience, asked if I could use one. The clerk provided one and explained how to operate it.
The cart was a little older and more complex than the others I had used, but I sat down and started down the aisle. The aisles were more narrow, and a bit more crowded with people and merchandise.
Things went well while I stayed on the main aisles, but then I decided to take a shortcut. Big mistake. The next thing I knew I ran into a rack of baby sweat suits, and when I backed off, there were a bunch of them hanging on the basket of my cart.
Totally embarrassed, I looked around quickly, but no one had seen my fall from grace. I put the rack and the merchandise back in place and rolled innocently off to a distant aisle.
The next encounter was with one of those tall, rolling step ladders that stores use to reach high. Somehow I managed to back into it. Again no one saw me. That was a disadvantage. If they had, they could have simply moved the ladder for me. Instead I had to dismount and dislodge myself.
Oh well, until the bone spur heals, or goes away, or whatever, I guess I’ll ride the marvelous carts if several are available. I know my husband can hardly wait until the bone spur heals because I’m seeing – and buying – things I never noticed before.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column first published in the Greenville Daily Advocate Jan. 26, 2005.