If you have trouble with functional tasks such as being mobile, performing tasks that you enjoy, or even have difficulty getting up from a chair, showering, writing, typing, going to social events, or whatever, then it is time to stop allowing embarrassment, or shame get in the way of using either the traditional accessibility medical products or even new technology to help you.
Being in public and walking with the assistance of a cane, walker, limb components, or even needing to move around by way of a wheelchair (or motorized scooter) may seem embarrassing to people who in the past were traditionally self-reliant.
It may seem as though that everyone is staring at you. This can be tough if you get sympathetic, sad, or even scorning glances from others, especially if you are not the kind of person that likes to draw attention. You may try to keep your pride by either trying to manage without assistance, or by altogether avoiding going to places or events that you may have otherwise enjoyed or found benefit in being at.
In a similar fashion to use walking aid products, human assistance can also be something that hurts your pride. Honestly ask yourself if you may be someone who needs to have help with activities of daily living (feeding yourself, getting dressed, keeping up with chores, etc.). If you have a progressive physical condition, keep in mind that if you don’t require assistance now, there may come a time when you need someone to help you, and allowing someone to help you, is nothing to be ashamed of.
Remember, you are just as worthy as anyone else, to have the best quality of life possible.
Getting past the barriers that your mind may come up with, can be difficult. Yet, overcoming these mental obstacles, may help you accept the technology that is there – technology or services that could potentially help you function better, and maybe even enjoy life more.
Some examples of negative impressions your mind throws at you may include thoughts such as:
“I don’t want to be a burden.”
“Asking for help means that I am weak” (or “attention seeking”, “whiny”, “lazy”, etc.)
“Other people are too busy and I shouldn’t bother them with my problems.”
“If I use a cane, walker, wheelchair, or whatever, then people will wonder if I really need it.”
“I don’t like appearing handicapped or ill in front of people that I care about.”
“I am going to get worse anyway, so why bother making my life better now.”
‘I don’t deserve this, there are people worse than I that should use assistance or the device, service, or product.”
These are just some examples of mental barriers your mind may be throwing at you, or will present to you at some point.
The decision to use support in the form of people, medical items, or technology may be compounded by your own awareness of the reality of abuse of systems in place designed to help others. There are people who obtain products and services ranging from medical assistance, disability benefits, or those out there who may not be intentionally scamming the system, but who use services that they shouldn’t or don’t really need.
You may know of people that ride around in scooters at stores, that do this mainly for convenience, when they may have had more from the alternative of obtaining the beneficial health effects that could have resulted from walking.
There are people that park in handicapped parking, because they obtained a family member’s handicapped parking tag for convenience, or others who asked their doctor for one, when the person himself or herself may be perfectly capable of parking in a regular spot.
There are also those who obtain disability benefits when they have issues that really don’t limit their ability to perform work.
Usually, such people who either abuse the system willingly or for convenience reasons feel entitled in some way. Most don’t worry about what other’s think.
Such people are not generally going to read a blog such as this one.
If you have a legitimate need…that is, if you have a neurodegenerative condition, or similar condition that has progressed to where it limits your ability to function, then you are worthy of seeking the help that you need to perform (or enjoy) tasks that normal functioning people perform or enjoy. These are tasks that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to perform (or would really struggle with) without such assistance!
Don’t let barriers such as your own mental products (thoughts and shameful feelings) or what other’s opinions or facial expressions, stop you from getting the help that you need to function!
Treat yourself well this week, you are worth it!
One last point, if you do not have such a health condition, and you somehow stumbled upon this blog post, I want to make an additional point very clear:
There are those that may not appear to be sick, disabled, or needing services but actually need these services. A prime example is those who may see someone park in a handicapped/disabled parking space and may judge incorrectly that the person is really in good shape. There are disabilities which may be invisible or not clearly apparent which may range from memory problems to fluctuations in the ability to mobilize/walk (i.e. many people with Parkinson’s disease have “on and off” periods, during which, there are some unpredictable times a sufferer may suddenly freeze or struggle with walking).
Therefore, do not “judge a book by its cover”.