I came across a post on Instagram today describing how some wonderful young ladies (I have the same problem, but I’m neither young or beautiful – and we cannot forget young men who have the same problems as we do) have people asking them why they are in a wheelchair when they are quite clearly ambulatory. This is her post…
Next time you see someone stand from their wheelchair, or someone who looks “normal” sits in a disabled seat on the bus, think about what they may be masking, the pain, the anxiety, the depression, they may have ASD and be in a wheelchair to keep them safe, without asking them, you just don’t know. Just because we can use our legs sometimes, does not mean we are not disabled or that we do not need a wheelchair, a bus seat, or a parking space. Please think before you speak!
Yes I can stand, yes I can walk, but I struggle to walk, it causes me so much pain I often cry, my knee caps dislocate with every step, and I have developed complications due to how I walk.
I have Fibromyalgia, I have Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (a form of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome) and I have Subluxating Displaced Patella’s on both knees with my left knee being the worst. For 2 years I walked with (very expensive) adapted crutches and ankle braces/insoles (to help keep my legs straight), and the crutches had shock absorbers in to try and take some pressure off of my shoulders, wrists and elbows. These worked for a while, but I have now developed shoulder problems, elbow problems, arthritis in both wrists, and I had carpal tunnel in both wrists, which were operated on by the amazing Sam Vollans and the teams at Chapel Allerton (left wrist) and LGI hand unit (right wrist) last summer.
I asked for a wheelchair from the NHS, but I only qualified for a transfer chair (that would need to be pushed) so I had to buy my own. I love my chair, it gives me a lot more freedom, (however, it doesn’t help with my coccyx pain from falling down the stairs but that is a story for another day). The chair folds down like a pushchair and fits into my little car great.
My chair was from Mobility plus, and I will add a link at the end for this and my crutches (this photo the chair had a fault – the guys are Mobility Plus replaced the chair for me no questions asked).
So, what is the point of my post – don’t judge a book by its cover, and if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all! Feel free to ask questions instead of making judgements, we don’t bite!