Mobility aids were of little concern to me throughout my life because I didn’t need them. As it turns out,at the ripe age of 32 they were going to become front and center in my day to day activities. While walking with a cane was seemingly the only aid I would need, it didn’t pan out that way. I was struggling to do the bare necessities from showering, walking a couple of feet or being able to enjoy family outings. Little by little I had no choice but to humble myself and seek the help that I needed. Doing so has changed the quality of my life so much and I am beyond grateful. So today I am going to share the 4 aids that have become staples in my life.
I remember the day my Orthopedic doctor told me I would need to get one. I limped right out that office and ignored what he had to say. It was also the same time he told me I needed to get a handicap placard for my car which I also ignored for at least a year. I finally gave in and purchased my first cane which was a Switch Stick. Then I bought my first glam cane from Fashionable Canes. I figured if I was going to have to be strapped with this mobility device it might as well be as fly as me!
I do regret to say that by the time I actually purchased the cane; I had gone so long without one that I did myself a disservice. The cane was no longer enough to support my body in the way I needed long-term, so I had to move on to something bigger.
The rollator is what I like to think of as a combination of a walker and wheelchair. It’s a nifty walker that has wheels and a seat to sit on if you need it, and boy do I need it! The rollator helped me keep my balance better and helped me to distribute my weight evenly. Before I started to invest in physical therapy and exercise; I truly couldn’t walk far without excruciating pain or stand very long. With the assistance of the rollator I started to get my independence back. I started to go back to doing more for myself around the house, and while out in public. I still can’t walk as far as I used to because let’s be honest, that pain is never going away without surgery. However, I am way more mobile and regaining that gave me a new lease on life.
I admit, I cried throughout the first few months of needing it. It is big because it has to accommodate my size. It’s cumbersome and I had to get used to grabbing it every time I needed to walk somewhere. In time though, I learned to take it in stride. It is my buddy and I don’t go anywhere without her.
Remember that I said disability really impacted the quality of my life? I meant that in every facet, including being able to shower. Cleanliness is next to Godliness and well let’s just say I enjoy my closeness with God! I remember when showering became a struggle because my lower back and hip would be screaming once I stood for more than 5 minutes. Ain’t now way I was cleaning all this body in that amount of time. It was my husband who suggested the shower chair and the way I looked at him when he said you would have thought he’d grown two heads.
But he was right.
So I purchased the chair and suddenly my shower time was no longer an exercise in how much pain I could withstand. It went back to being the relaxing and necessary activity that it should be.
I mentioned that going out for family activities became difficult because if it included extensive walking (aquariums, museums, parks, etc.) it was an absolute struggle. After utilizing mart carts in the grocery store and even collaborating with Scootaround for events that I attended; I couldn’t deny the benefits of the motorized scooter. The issue became every time I had somewhere to go; I would have to do a partnership or rent a scooter; and that was becoming costly.
So at the top of this year hubby gifted me a brand new ride! He purchased me my own personal motorized scooter from Scootaround. And let me tell you guys, it has been the gift that keeps on giving! My first outing to the park this spring with my kids was priceless. I had the freedom to enjoy fresh air and sun, keep up with my family and I didn’t need any assistance. The freedom has allowed me a new lease on life and I am loving it.
I Understand My Privilege
While having these mobility aids has been an absolute blessing; I understand completely that my accessibility to these things are a privilege. Let’s be real, these aids are not cheap; especially if you are larger in size like myself. Being that mobility aids are a necessity for people with varying degrees of mobility; insurance will not always pay for them depending on the type of coverage or policy you have. And sometimes even with that coverage, there are limits and co-pays can be insane.
It’s unfair, and I can go on and on about the state of our for profit healthcare system here in the U.S; but I’ll save that for another day. Instead, I am going to share 2 links for organizations that focus on helping those in need to get the mobility aids that they need.
Local to Georgia where I reside: Mobility Works
National: Silver Cross
The Wrap Up
As time goes by and I grow more and more at peace with the circumstances of my mobility; I find myself grateful and filled with gratitude at the access to living life that mobility aids provide me. Is it ideal? Was it my goal to be the voice of mobility aid usage? Nope. Not even on my most bored day. But this is the cards that life has dealt me and I have to play the hand to the best of my abilities.
I’m always learning, from my own experiences and the experiences of those before me. I’m glad to be able to take a negative situation in my life and use it as a way to educate and inform those who need it. Cheers!
Until Next Time,