When Should People Living with Rheumatoid Disease Use a Wheelchair?

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Or give in to using a cane? Or pain medication? Or a handicapped tag?

There was an interesting discussion about wheelchairs and canes on my Facebook post yesterday. At the same time, there were a few other discussions going on about pain medicines. There is such a wide range of needs. But there are some things in common too:

  1. Pain. Some constant, some intermittent.
  2. Courage. Pushing oneself farther than others know.
  3. Being able to decide when to take action to get help.

It seemed like one obstacle many have is a concern about being judged. Here is one area where awareness will make a difference. After all, what is so controversial about choosing a disability aid or pain medicine? What advantage is there to letting people suffer needlessly?

For anyone who wonders about people with rheum disease, beware of silliness!

Even with regard to wheelchairs, beware of assuming…

  1. Assuming that one’s needs, abilities, resources, or difficulties are the same as others’.
  2. Assuming that what works for one will work for others.
  3. Assuming anything about a person’s disease based solely on appearances.

We need support & to be allowed to decide. On wheelchairs, pain meds, etc.

combat boots with 5" heelsWhenever I talk about difficulty walking, someone criticizes me for not using a cane. I know I’ll never use a cane because my shoulders were the first to go. Well they fight for that status with my feet. So – no thank you – no cane for me. Don’t try to talk me into it. I will choose to use a wheelchair instead. Fortunately, it’s a rare thing so far, because I hate it. I hate sitting in a wheelchair in an airport waiting for people to move out of the way or hand me what I need. RA has made me more patient, but obviously not as patient as I’d like. How about some perspective though? Learning to deal with the patience in the wheelchair is just like tolerating side effects: I don’t like side effects, but I dislike the pain more. I don’t like the wheelchair either, but I dislike sitting on the floor unable to walk more. At least I have a choice right now. And I know the choice is mine.

Note: If you have a blog, check out the pain scale carnival. I’m still working on it so let me know if you write a post or draw a picture. It does not have to be an RA blog!

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Friday, December 30th, 2011 at 6:00 am and is filed under Living with RA / Managing RA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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