Last Tuesday, my husband and I went out for an adventure day in L.A. After breakfast at a delicious restaurant where I was served my food by a former student, we went to the Natural History Museum, to see a movie at the El Capitan (yes, I know “the El” is redundant, but that’s how we butcher things in Los Angeles, thank you very much), and ended with dinner at a restaurant near Melrose that can make every single thing on their menu gluten free.
It was a great day, but it was only possible because of my wheelchair. I wouldn’t have been able to make it to the front door of the museum (Natural History is the furthest away from the parking area of the museums in Exposition Park), let alone up the stairs. Since my shoulder is bothering me, my husband pushed 95% of the time, and I really can’t overvalue a good wheelchair pusher. He was considerate of what I wanted to do/see without asking too often, he pushed at a comfortable pace, and he navigated crowds expertly.
I stayed in the chair for the entirety of the museum visit (by the way, the rock and gem exhibit is worth the trip. The dinosaurs are cool, but the rocks were the real draw for me), but I did use my chair as a walker through the unpaved rose garden. It was good for me to take a break from sitting, and it was just short enough that it didn’t cause much pain.
When we went into Hollywood, I left the wheelchair in the car because it was a short walk to the El Capitan and we would be sitting shortly… I thought. Unfortunately, the El Capitan ushers told us they’d open the doors in 30 minutes. We looked at the handprints in front of the (no longer Grauman’s) Chinese Theater for a few minutes, but after ten minutes on my feet, I couldn’t take another step and I had to find a place to sit. We sat until the 30 minutes were up, then went back to the theater only to be told to stand in a line for 15 more minutes. I tried leaning on the wall, shifting weight, but nothing I did relieved the pain. I regretted not having brought out my wheelchair.
Finally, at dinner my placard came in handy. If not for that, we would have had to park far enough away that I would have needed my wheelchair, and though the restaurant would have had to accomodate me, the tables were so close together, it would have had trouble doing so. Instead, because we got parking only a few feet away, I was able to only worry about my gluten-free accomodations.
This morning (I’m writing this the day after — this will post later) I’m paying for the time on my feet in Hollywood. My whole body is stiff (a common morning occurence), but my ankles and the sides of my feet are especially stiff and throbbing with pain. I could have avoided that, so I’m a little upset with myself, but mostly I’m happy that my wheelchair allowed me to have such a fun day out and about with my husband.