A walker, crutches, and a wheelchair

My Mobility Aids

During my thirty years so far of living with ankylosing spondylitis I had to make use of multiple aids. Glad that I could make use of them, though at the time I didn’t want to use them. I wasn’t ready to be seen in public or just fighting to do the things like any other person would.

Fighting to be regular

I know that I’ve made my journey more difficult for myself by not wanting to be dependent on the use of aids. Not wanting a rail in the bathroom to help in the shower or to help with going to the toilet. Or make use of a walker when my hips were damaged to the point where I needed hip replacements. Back then I would prefer to experience more pain than show the world that I needed aids. I guess that I haven’t been the only one struggling this way. At that time it also made me feel like I had lost from the disease. Accepting that I was dependent on aids or help from a family member was a huge step for me. The most simple house chore could be a huge fight for me. But I was determined that I could do it all on my own.

Accepting help

I very well know that I was being stubborn. But, the time came when I had to give in. I couldn’t take care of myself anymore. I needed help from family members to do the dishes or to vacuum my house. And my dad brought a meal a couple of times a week. For almost two years in total, I made use of crutches for short walks. First-year when I was twenty-five and the second year when I was thirty-one. And becoming very handy with them. Even to the point where I could use them to put on my shoes. Those two years I also made use of a wheelchair for longer distances. Not understanding why I put up such a fight in the past When I finally accepted that I was dependent it didn’t bother me anymore.

rene using crutches

rene using crutches

My current aid

I still have the same crutches that I used thirteen years ago. Thinking that whenever one of my hips needs to be replaced again they will be very handy. And the aid that I need to use while driving. Due to the AS damaging my spine, I have little movement in my neck. I can’t look over my shoulder while parking. To help me with this I make use of a panoramic rearview mirror. I can see one hundred and eighty degrees behind me. Due to the damage to the neck I am not even allowed to drive without it. I received a special code on my drivers licence which says that I have to make use of the aid. If anyone experiences similar movement impairment with the neck I would advise you to get yourself a panoramic mirror. I’m glad that I have this aid and I feel more safe driving this way.

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