There Ain’t No Shame in Using a Mobility Aid
Are you ashamed or embarrassed to use a mobility aid? Why? Are you afraid of what others might think or say or could it be that you aren’t ready to accept that you actually need to use one?
Not caring about other's perceptions
I admit that I used to allow what others would think or say about my using a mobility aid get in my way of using them. I was in my mid-thirties when I began using a rollator and it changed me. Instead of being the gal who walked tall with her head held high, I began avoiding eye contact and would sheepishly walk by people as they stared. I went from someone who never cared about what others thought to someone who allowed a few degrading remarks to rule her own thoughts.
There's no shame in using a mobility aid
About the time when I began accepting the use of my rollator and enjoying the freedom it was returning to my life, I had to start utilizing wheelchairs for longer outings. This beat my ego up even more! I tried not using them to save myself from hearing rude remarks, but then it wasn’t worth it. The beating my body took from not using a mobility aid was worse than the emotional beating I received from a few insensitive people. Mobility aids allow us to do more, go farther, stay out longer, and to experience things that we wouldn’t have been able to do had we not used them. Is that something that we should be ashamed of? NO!
Denial prevented me from what I really needed
Accepting the use of my rollator was difficult, but it was nothing compared to the heartache I experienced when I had to accept that daily use of a wheelchair was necessary. I am not going to lie; I put off using my wheelchair for as long as I could. It took passing out from pain after attending a luncheon for less than 30 minutes for me to realize that leaving the house without it was no longer an option. Had I been able to accept that using it would keep my pain from spiraling out of control, I could have left the house more often than I had that year. Had I been able to remove my own preconceived notions of what kind illness someone must have to use a wheelchair, I wouldn’t have been so concerned with what others thought. I didn’t want to believe that I was sick enough or experiencing enough pain to justify using one, yet by not using it I was only making my life harder than it had to be.
Mbility aids can make life less painful
Don’t make these same mistakes. Love yourself more than I loved myself. Love yourself enough to use tools like mobility aids to make your life less painful. Not adding to your chronic pain will make it easier to find what relieves it. By doing so I have been able to retire my wheelchair and limit the use of my rollator in the past year. Whether I will have to use them daily again remains to be seen, but no matter if I have to use them daily or occasionally, I will never allow the misconceptions or lack of understanding of others be a reason for allowing more pain into my life.
How do you plan to recognize PsA Awareness Month?