I’ve always been pretty resistant to the use of assistance aids. Not because I think they’re bad or not useful or will draw attention to my disability. I know there are many things out there that I could potentially benefit from and I know many many people already are. A lot of people diagnosed with muscular dystrophy end up having to use an assistance aid of some kind as their physical strength starts to deteriorate so I know it probably sounds pretty ridiculous that I even have the option of choosing to use an aid or not when so many people don’t have that.
I’ve been resistant to using assistance aids for two reasons though: one is that I worry by using one, I’m going to lose any remaining strength I may have and become too reliant on it. The second is that I worry that by using something external that shows that I have a disability, I’m representing what people think the stereotype of a disabled person is. Right now, because I don’t use one, I’m often forced to have to explain to people that I’m disabled which yes, is super frustrating, but I also hope that it’s enlightening for the people that I have to explain it to; that they realize that disabilities come in all forms.
I’m sharing all of this because last night I bought a lift chair. What is a lift chair you ask? It’s basically a recliner that has a power motor in it and a remote that operates such that the chair can literally lift you up so you don’t have to try struggle to get out of it. After my grandma passed away, my family was going to give me her lift chair but it ended up being too big for my house and she also died with scabies all over thanks to the shithole care facility she was living in that couldn’t be bothered to treat her properly, so taking the chair was too much of a risk. I decided to still get one of my own, but it took me this long to finally give in and get one.
Even though my form of MD isn’t supposed to get progressively worse, there’s still no denying that my strength levels have changed as I’ve gotten older, especially as my weight has increased. I haven’t been able to go to water aerobics for a month either which has had a big impact on my body. My sciatic nerve pain has come back with a vengeance which is why I finally decided to get the chair. I love the couch at my house but it’s really hard for me to get off of it because of how low it is, and I end up having to twist to grab on to the arm and get up which strains my back. With the chair, I won’t have to do that anymore so it ended up being a huge relief once I finally bought it.
My mom also bought a transport chair for me a while ago (think wheelchair without the wheels that you can use to push yourself. Someone has to actually push you in it). I was very resistant to it at first, but now I’m actually comforted knowing that I have it for trips to Vegas or things like that where there’s a potential for a lot of walking (and a lot of falling).
I still wish I could come up with something that would help me up when I fell. That would be the most useful assistance aid ever but until I get that flash of genius, I’m working on accepting the help of aids that do exist more often.