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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 with ankylosing spondylitis

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.

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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.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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