I virtually met a lovely young lady this week named Jessica. She reached out to me through Mobility Doctor to see how we can help one another raise awareness of ability in those who are disabled. She shared with me the fact that she herself has been disabled since the age of 4 and understands what our clients may be facing. She shared her podcasts and her blogs. I was inspired.
As the Mobility Concierge for Mobility Doctor, I speak to folks in all kinds of situations. Yesterday, I spoke to a woman who needed a ramp in her garage to be able to access her house. The other day, I spoke to a woman who could no longer get up from her recliner who needed a lift chair. On Friday, I partnered with a care community to bring their residents accessibility products in their apartments that would help their quality of life.
This past weekend, I also had a conversation with someone close to me about a loved one who felt shamed by the fact that it is necessary for them to use mobility equipment. Right now, a walker is being used but I suspect a wheelchair would be a better option for her safety and comfort. This person will not even consider that because of “what people might think”. I pondered this all night, trying to put myself in her shoes and how it must feel to be dependent on devices or equipment to function and have a quality of life. My husband reminded me of a conversation he had with his audiologist. You see, he was diagnosed about ten years ago with auto-immune inner ear disease at the age of 40. He fought the idea of getting hearing aides for so long. He was worried what people may think. His doctor looked at him and said, “if you broke your leg, you would allow the doctor to put your leg in a cast to help it heal, right?” My husband responded with, “yes, of course.” The doctor continued, “then why wouldn’t you consider using a product that helped you to hear the things around you if it could help you and improve your quality of life?” Well, this changed the way my husband viewed hearing aids. He has been wearing them ever since with no regrets.
This morning, I read my new friend Jessica’s blog that she wrote about being disabled. She shares about how there are days she takes out her frustrations on the equipment that helps her in her day to day. She shares, “I think about how many people with and without disabilities have a shared desire to make the world more accessible for everyone to grow and thrive. That is the key thing I remember when my chair feels more like a trap than a way of transportation for me, a tool. Tools help build and improve upon something to make it better. And there is no better example of that than a person with a disability or disabilities using the mobility equipment they need.
So, when you are feeling trapped by your disability, remember the equipment you need and the unique abilities you have within give you an advantage, not a disadvantage to show the world what you are capable of accomplishing. The only one truly “trapping” you is you.”
I really needed to read this today and I hope others who need to hear it can absorb Jessica’s message. I also encourage you to read her entire blog entitled, “What I Remind Myself When I Feel Trapped By My Disability”. If using mobility equipment can assist you in regaining a quality of life, then take a few minutes to speak to someone about the options. You can show the world what you are capable of! The truth is you may not even know until you explore the options.
*Jessica Niziolek is the Social Media Manager at The Abler Blog and lives in Hamden, CT.
Feeling Trapped By My Disability | The Mighty was originally posted on May 29, 2018 on www.themighty.com.
No matter where you are in your health journey, you’ll find a story on The Mighty by someone who’s been there too.