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Accepting the need for a mobility aid is not an easy thing to do. Listening to asinine opinions from judgmental idiots is worse! I wish they would just do us all a favor and just STFU!
It’s bad enough people feel the need to verbalize their every thought on social media, but it is what they say in person that stings the most.
We have the choice to not follow or friend people online. What we don’t have is the ability to block or mute the words that are spoken near and to us.
That was just four years after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis.
I was ashamed to be seen using my rollator or wheelchair. Why? Because of the heartless remarks made by total strangers as well as family and friends.
“You’re too young to need a walker“
“I would hate my life if I had to use a wheelchair“
Those words, no matter how they were intended, HURT!
Do people really think we don’t know how old we are? Are they so rude to insinuate that using a mobility aid equates to living a lesser quality of life?
The danger of unsolicited advice
There is a danger that occurs in the mind of the chronically ill or disabled person who hears these disparaging remarks.
With our self-esteem already taking a hit from how our disability or chronic pain has decreased our abilities, we may believe what is being said.
What if I had thought I was too young when I was in my thirties? I could have killed myself by forcing my body to do what it was no longer capable of.
Think I am kidding? I am not! I did exactly that and it resulted in my body freaking out. My family lost an entire week to my being hospitalized because my body was under so much stress that it began mimicking stroke symptoms.
Hearing things like “That idiot is pushing an empty wheelchair” messes with your head. It doesn’t matter that you can walk short distances or that sitting in a wheelchair all day is just as painful as walking. The only thing that pops into your head when someone says this is “Look at that faker!”
I no longer care about the thoughtless remarks people make. Those people are a$$holes and I have nothing to prove to them.
Not everybody has developed the thick skin that I have. Not everybody is able to tune those hurtful words out. Not everybody is ready to embrace their mobility aids.
What is an Ambulatory Wheelchair User? Rachel from Accessible Rach explains!
What prompted me to write this article was something that occurred during our visit to Disneyland this weekend. With my current knee injury, I require crutches, but I am unable to with them all day. Sitting all day is just as painful. So I have to walk, then rest and be pushed. While I walked with crutches, my husband and daughter took turns pushing my empty transport chair. My daughter (17) burst into tears when someone pointed at her and loudly laughed and remarked that she was pushing an empty wheelchair. All she was doing was helping her me, her mother.
I wasn’t near her when the remark was made. But had I been, I would have been going home with one less crutch because the other would have been lodged in that idiot’s rear. I held her and told her to not let it get to her. Obviously, that is easier said than done, because my blood is still boiling over the incident.
BTW if you are struggling to accept your mobility aid, I invite you to read an article I wrote back in 2016, Mobility Aids, Everybody uses Them. It will help you see why you should never be ashamed to use one.
In a perfect world, those who question or don’t understand why we require the use of a mobility aid would politely inquire.
Those who do not wish to take time to find out why someone needs a mobility aid and how it improves their quality of life just need to SHUT THE F*CK UP!