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My Experience as an Ambulatory Wheelchair User

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It took me a while to accept the fact that I need a mobility aid. I didn't want to have to use one. I hate it when all the attention is on me... I try my best to stay hidden in the background but with mobility aids, that's just not possible. I kept thinking that mobility aids were just for the elderly and wheelchairs are for people who literally can't walk at all. Then I found the chronic illness community on Instagram and saw all of these people with my conditions using mobility aids. This gave me the courage to get an aid for myself. The next step was to actually use it in public... That was just as hard as accepting I needed one. These horrible thoughts kept rushing through my mind... 'What will people think?' 'They're going to think I'm overreacting!' 'They're going to wonder why I'm using a wheelchair.' 'They're going to ask all these questions!!' 'I don't want people feeling sorry for me!' After seeing more people my age using mobility aids for their chronic illnesses, I pushed through my fears and decided to give it a go... I couldn't believe it. My illness suddenly became visible! Everyone could see that I have a disability. For once people could see that I am struggling. People were extra nice to me. They would let me in front of them in line, hold the door open and make way for me. Very quickly I began to wonder whether that was a good thing or not. People would avoid me and try not to look at me. Some even talked to me like I'm a baby, like being in a wheelchair makes me have a low IQ. One time a lady and I got to talking about how I've lost 23kg in the past year and a bit... She then asked me how I lost so much weight, looking at my chair as if to say how is that even possible?! So... there are positives & negatives but at the end of the day, if an aid will make your life easier then so what? It took quite a while for me to adjust to using an aid in public. Up until yesterday, I couldn't stop thinking about what others thought. It was horrible but I kept pushing through and I'm so glad it did! I can now go out in my chair and just be me. My chair is now part of me and it gives me freedom. ❤

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Adele Churcher

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Daily living and Mobility

My Experience as an Ambulatory Wheelchair User

It took me a while to accept the fact that I need a mobility aid. I didn't want to have to use one. I hate it when all the attention is on m