So why do people use and not use mobility aids?
The former is for support, and the latter is because of shame.
If you live with a disability you no doubt already know how chronic pain can make you feel. It’s exhausting and it’s depressing because it’s never ending. So if we can’t get rid of it how do we live with it? #lifegoeson
The benefit of using a mobility aid is to help reduce the pain your body feels when you walk, and reduce the fatigue caused by using up those extra calories. Do you know we use more calories than able-bodied people do when they walk? As an amputee I actually use double the calories. Although I’ve found that doesn’t translate into cake as well as I hoped it would.
It will also help reduce the risk of further injury to your body caused by imbalanced walking. Being wonky is damaging. We need to preserve what we’ve got. I know from personal experience things that were ok eventually begin to wear out when you walk unevenly. #backpain #knackeredshoulders
Never underestimate how stressful it is when you walk with a disability. Stress is exhausting. You are constantly worrying about tripping, falling and hurting yourself. You are always looking down to see the next obstacle on the ground. A tree root, a broken paving stone, a cable – they make walking feel like playing Russian roulette. Using a mobility aid relieves some of that stress and can help make walking feel a bit more enjoyable again. It can make a trip to the shops feel less daunting and you have more stability if people bang into you.
I want to give a big shout out to everyone out there who wonders if they need a mobility aid, tells themselves they don’t need one, feels guilty about using one or has been made to feel judged and ashamed for using one. Big shout out also to everyone who is being told by someone else that they don’t need a mobility. When did someone else know what your body and mind needs better than you do? Don’t give anyone that power. It’s your decision.
In my life I’ve used so many different mobility aids. This is how it has felt with some of them. #storyofmylife
Crutches make a disability look temporary, that’s why strangers feel they can ask you what you’ve done? What’s up with your leg? We are judged. Hands up if you’ve lied about your disability just to get rid of someone bothering you! #skiingaccident #felloffahorse #skydivingoops
Walking sticks make a disability look more long term, but then we make ourselves feel embarrassed because we look old and frumpy and hate using those wooden or ugly grey metal walking sticks. We self sabotage and refuse to use one even when we know we need one. #feelsoashamed #peoplearestaring
Climbing into a wheelchair feels like serious stuff, but then you tell yourself you’re a fake because you can still get up and walk, plus it feels like giving in. People look at you with more sympathy though, but they also assume the wheels make you dumb. #doessheknowherpinnumber #itssuchashame#patronisingheadtilt #doyoureallyneedthat
It’s a journey, and I wonder if mine sounds similar to yours? I want you all to know you’re not alone in this, and these rotten feelings that appear to be part of using mobility aids. What I can say is when you begin to feel the benefit of using one, those negative emotions of shame and guilt do ebb away. When you begin to feel more like your self because your pain levels reduce during and after walking you’ll begin to see why your choices are good and valid. Look to your closest support network and ignore those ignorant strangers who stare and judge. Think about the advice you would give to someone else in your position, and take that advice for yourself. That’s my advice!
Above all, be kind to yourself and your body. You deserve it.
Wow, this sounds like you have read my mind. I am 51 and have CP.
So I have lived with many different stages of ability and disability. I still feel OLD sand Frumpy using a cane. I tell myself I am just vain but I just hate to show any weakness.
I have started falling much more often and need to use a cane and need to acknowledge that.
I never thought about having to work harder just walking then others. It makes sense for sure. It’s exhausting but I push myself to the ends.
Thank you for what you do to make the cane a beautiful accessory. I will be saving up to get one of my own. I also hate the cane clicking ( I have a collapsible one.) Drives me crazy.
Thank you again for your words of wisdom!
Hey, what’s vain about wanting to use something that looks nice when you need to use a walking stick? Life can feel a bit more fun when you address the areas where you can make it a bit easier for yourself. There’s no medal or round of applause at the end of the struggle, so why bother struggling? Much love. x
Hi how do we order xx
You can order on the website, or if you have a custom design you want to create then just send me a message and we can discuss ideas. x
This post nearly made me cry the first time I read it. I guess I felt seen in a way I haven’t before, thank you.
I’ve recently started thinking about if I need a walking aid for a bit now, but all the resources I’ve been able to find online have been about seniors, and I’m 24 so it feels a bit disconnected, it’s hard to talk to my able bodied friends about this especially because my disability isn’t visible until I get tired.
Anyways, just wanted to say thank you for making me feel seen and validated in my thoughts.
Thank you Lindsay! I must say I’ve never read an article written about needing walking aids before. Reading what you wrote,are my sediments exactly! I’ve been made to look like and then feel, that I’m stupid,bad,pitied upon for‘finally’breaking down and Providentially to find a walker.(used but in very good shape.) I was thrilled,still am! 🙏Spouse who hikes,rides a bike,no prob.walks many km/day, looked down upon me for buying/using it! All cuz I’m still able to walk. Tho I do tire easily,have stubbled,tripping,losing my balance,or limp while doing so,’this’is shameful.
I’m truly blessed to come across your comments! It has renewed my hopes in humanity! That some ppl out there can be level- headed, such a blessing encouraging those of us who suffer,many silently. I for one am not faking my pain! Who’d want to? Idk!
(btw, was in serious car accident as a child; broke my fermur on one leg and tore ligaments on the another leg. Dr’s told me I’d develop arthritis in my hip when I got older! Yes he was right! It’s ok, it’s right to not suffer like this painful,awkwardness anymore! I need an Aide! God Bless your ministry. Helping those ppl out there who need insight, to do what’s right by them!! Autumn