Mobility Aids: If You Need It, Use It!

It has been about 3 years since mobility aides were introduced into my life, and let me tell you, it was no easy feat. I did not want to need one. But I was introduced to a wheelchair after losing my ability to walk and being put into a physical rehabilitation center, where I had to relearn how to walk.

Mobility issues caused by seizures

My doctors tell me that my decline in mobility was due to the amount of seizures I have suffered. They have explained to me that every seizure can cause damage but because I have had multiple episodes of status epilepticus, there was damage done to my brain and for me that affected my mobility greatly.

Even to this day, when I have an episode of cluster seizures, after I have recovered, it can take days for me to get my ability to walk back to my baseline.

I did not want any assistive devices

I went into the rehab with the mindset that: 1) I was only going to be there for 3 days and I told everyone who would listen that that was a fact; and 2) that I would be leaving without the wheelchair. But the fact is... I left with a wheelchair, a cane, and a walker.

I had a lot of growing and learning to do – both mentally and physically. But let's address the mentality I had behind using my mobility aids. You see, I had been struggling to walk for awhile and was often getting dizzy, short of breath, collapsing, and having seizures due to exerting too much energy just trying to get from point A to point B.

But aids could help me with seizure symptoms

My epilepsy presented with auras that included dizziness, ringing in my ears, spotty vision, and vision loss. Those symptoms alone made walking difficult and then adding in a seizure made even simple task almost impossible. So the doctors ordered mobility aides to assist me in being able to regain independence while also being safe.

I had been told by numerous people that I needed a cane to at least assist with my gait and balance because of my right-sided weakness, but I was stubborn and did not want to use a cane. So... I suffered. My ability to join in on activities suffered. All because I was both stubborn and prideful. I did not want to be seen as weak. And when it came down to me not having a choice, I still had to fight those inner thoughts of people who were going to stare.

Let them stare!

Now, I am quick to grab my wheelchair or my walker. If we are going to the zoo and it's going to be a long day I know using my wheelchair is going to give me freedom and independence as well as allowing me to actually enjoy the time with whomever.

You see, people will stare, and people will whisper, and people will even judge because people are human and humans are flawed and undereducated about conditions, dynamic disabilities, and ambulatory wheelchair users.

Could mobility aids help you?

But it is not about them. It is about you. Will using a cane, walker or wheelchair help you get out of the house? If yes, then use it! Will using a mobility aid help you conserve energy? If yes, then use it! Will a mobility aid help in the case of having a seizure? If yes, then use it! Do what is best for you!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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