It’s Time To End The Stigma Around Mobility Aids

Disability

 

By Saidee Wynn in The Mighty.

 

Due to injuries from my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and dizziness from my postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, I often have to use mobility devices. So far, the two devices that I use regularly are my rollator and my wheelchair. For those who don’t know, a rollator is essentially a walker on wheels. It helps support you while you walk, as a walker does, but it rolls with you as you move so you don’t have to pick it up like a traditional walker.

A lot of people who need mobility aids are afraid to get them. I was, at first. And, even though I’ve had both my rollator and my chair for over a year, I still get nervous and anxious about using them in public. My devices, which I named “Blue Steel” and “Big Red the Rollinator,” have helped me tremendously. They’ve allowed me to go places and do things that would have otherwise been impossible.

We often hear the phrase “wheelchair-bound,” but that doesn’t ring true for me. The use of the word “bound” makes it sound like I’m a prisoner to my chair, when, in fact, my chair gives me more freedom than anything else.

Yes, I love my mobility aids and think anyone who needs one should get one. However, I want to issue a warning as well: There is a stigma around the use of assistive devices.

 

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