Using A Mobility Aid At A Young Age (and how I'm gaining confidence in using mine)
When I was diagnosed with FND last year. I hadn't experienced too many symptoms that impared my mobility. I had wanted to get a cane mainly for my chronic leg pain, fatigue and occasional leg weakness. After quite a few months I finally got a cane, that was previously my dad's. And as my mobility issues progressed to things, like tremors and a gait dysfunction it became more and more apparent just how often I'd need to use my cane.
And although I was grateful to have an aid I needed for a year, I couldn't help but feel the internalized ableism. "What if I don't actually need this" " I could probably go with out this, even if my symptoms will flare after" . Since I'm a teenager, I was afraid people would say I'm "too young " to use a cane.
All of these had prevented me from using my cane until month after I got it. And I had done a few things to ease my anxiety. So without further ado, here are my tips for gaining confidence in your aid
1. Follow #BabeWithAMobilityAid
This tag, which can be found on both Instagram and TikTok is full of beautiful and confident people showing of their mobility aids, and being proud of them.
2. Fake it till you make it
This tip, I got from @The.annegirl on Instagram. Her advice, is to fake your confidence in public while using your aid. Eventually you'll realize you aren't faking it anymore.
3. Decorate your aids
I personally have found that decorating my cane, has made it so that it feels much more personal and less medicalized, therefore destigmatizing it for me.
4. Name your aid
I know this sounds silly, but it personally really helped me. (My cane is named Sally btw)
5. Take a photoshoot with your aid.
Taking cute photos of myself always makes me feel more confident. So if I do the same thing while holding my cane I find that the cane makes me feel MORE confident.
I still deal with anxiety when using my cane, and I be lying if I said I never left it at home, when I needed it. But these tips, have helped me SO much. And I hope they help you too
#FND #FunctionalNeurologicalDisorder #ChronicIllness #hiddendisability #MobilityAids