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  • Using walker is embarrassing.

    Hi again this is my new thread.

    I am Eric and have had MS for along while(I'm 37 years old.

    I've brought out my walker recently to make it so I could get around safely...

    Well, for some reason I have been so embarrassed and strange feeling using it in public. From rolling out of the car, to shopping and leaving.
    I find myself waiting until the store sort of clears out of people then I make a run for it, because it feels less likely to be seen.

    It never works out and people just pile in after me. I just feel weird being the only one walking around with a walker and bracing on my legs at a slow pace. Now, I am 37.

    I dunno...I just feel self conscious about it all the time now.

    The other day I come out to the handi parking where my car is and start my rollout to the car. Low and behold I spot a white Ford Wagon righ next to my car with a bunch of young people in there looking directly at me. Everything got mysteriously quiet as I approached and I got nervous. I wanted to go back in the store, but I had to get to my car.

    So Apparently they had a friend in the store and they were waiting for him. Of course I had to do my car entering routine in front of them and while they weren't looking I could sense they were glimpsing at me. God it sucked...I wanted to get out of there so fast. I hate people watching me do this...

    Is anyone here timid and self concieous about using these devices and going into places? How can I treat myself to just be happy with it and not get so embarrassed?

    thank you, folks.

  • #2
    The more you use it, and the more you get out in the community, the less this will bother you. Unfortunately, developing a thick skin about being noticed and starred at is part of living with a disability in our society. Sometimes that is actually better than being treated as if you were invisable though!

    Using a walker is better than being homebound or falling in public. That can be really embarrassing. Hang in there!

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
      The more you use it, and the more you get out in the community, the less this will bother you. Unfortunately, developing a thick skin about being noticed and starred at is part of living with a disability in our society. Sometimes that is actually better than being treated as if you were invisable though!

      Using a walker is better than being homebound or falling in public. That can be really embarrassing. Hang in there!

      (KLD)

      Before recent I have been fine with some bracing and at times I would use my walking stick, but a recent stumble has promped me to learn the walker a bit better. I carry both my stick and walker in the car in reach from the drivers seat. Depending on my legs I chose my weapon. It's been the walker for the last couple of weeks.

      My embarrassment went sky high since I switched to the walker from a walking stick. People didn't treat me so "baby like" with my walking stick...Rare to even get a door opened fo rme. but since the walker, it has been hell....everyplace I go I am looked at with a lot more concern and the baby talk increased significantly. When I used my Tylite chair in public for a while, people weren't as "concerned" as they are with my using the walker. Does using a walker scream "frail and weak" a lot more?? I can't figure it out.

      In the early days I was treated as invisible a lot....Even got called a fake which just about hurt me to death. I do like that people actually care and try rather than ignore me....which really does hurt.

      I do like to go to the park, walking paths and doing my business around town and such, si I do appreciate my walker a lot, but it would be so great if it didn't scream "I'm disabled and therefore, I need to be coddled" lol....

      I've heard so many "honeys, sweetys, arm pats and gaining spaces in the waiting line to make me puke. Maybe I should just bring my tylite back out...I wasn't treated as frail using the chair....for some reason.

      Comment


      • #4
        Need to put on some leather skin.

        Stop worrying about the self-image and go and get your business done. Enjoy the walking, MS will get wicked on you in short order. The walker, I assume you have a rollerator, and not an actual walker, walking sticks, wheelchair all say the same thing..legs aint right. People will figger it out. The "babying" is called kindness. It sucks at first, but then, you appreciate it as you get older. I know it doesnt bother me in the least when folks offer their help. Don't fret the self-image, as Nurse sez, the more you are out in public, the less you'll give a shit about it.

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        • #5
          Dude I walk without a walker but wobbly and slow I look like Im drunk (Wish I was) not the case though. It can be embarrasing,but picture them naked and laugh inside. Most of them if afflicted with an injury,would not handle it well. My son just says dad you just walk wobbly thats all. Above all F-them if they stare dont let it get you upset that will make it worse.Hey man God bless you that you continue to try!!!!!!!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Why don't you try forearm crutches before the walker? Go from canes to forearm crutches. If you get a sporty pair like SideStix - they don't scream, "I am a gimp". People might say to you, "hey, man, when does your doctor let you get off the crutches?".

            But you are still invisible to all from 15 years old to 50. You're still invisible. Life to too short to worry about that - think of all the people around here who can't get out of their chairs listening to someone kvetch about using a walker! A lot of people are probably biting their lip. I have to say you have definitely have guts to say that.

            I hate the walker too - it says "stroke" in my mind. MS has got to be rough - do you have spasticity too? There are some folks round here with MS that have a heck of a lot of neuro pain too.

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            • #7
              Hey i'm in a power chair and anybody that don't like it can drink a gelled battery acid smoothie.People who look at you funny or are less than adult and accepting of your need for mobility assistance are just showing they never made it out of kindergarden and still call people with glasses "four eyes" and even there they are wrong i have six i wear bifocals haha. ignore the ignorant fools in society,focus on what you require to complete your ADL's and your own pet projects and not on what a small segment of society may or may not be doing and you will find after awhile you could cre less about those people.

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              • #8
                I am happy with the walker, and i am older so people might think look at that old person with a walker. i remember how hard it was in the chair. of coarse i would like to use a cane or nothing but it is the way it is. i tried crutches but could not get moving ikept wanting to move them the same as each foot and really slipped a couple of times. i just got this cute little scooter for fleamarkets but for going out to dinner or movies small shops i dont mind useing a walker. mabe 2 canes would make you feel better walkingfast.

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                • #9
                  I'm in my early 30s and I've used mobility aids, including a 3-wheel walker now, all my life. People looking at me doesn't bother me most of the time. The only thing that bugs me is that occassionally when I'm out I'm approached my strangers that want to pray for me or have something super encouraging (corny) to say. I just want to go to the store and be a normal person. I don't want to be their good deed for the day. The last time I went to Walgreens, a very well-put together lady followed me all over the store. Finally, she said that she had been thinking of getting a walker. I wanted to say, "Lady, if you can tail me all over the store I don't think you need a walker."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TM from PA View Post
                    mabe 2 canes would make you feel better walkingfast.
                    I wanted to say walkingfast admitted they were not really disabled but just pretending to be for attention.

                    I'm not saying do not post helpful info in this thread for others who come across it, but do not get invested or bother replying to walkingfast. I'm positive the user was banned before, did someone undo the ban? They also admitted to having multiple user names on this forum and stated what they were.
                    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

                    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by arndog View Post
                      Why don't you try forearm crutches before the walker? Go from canes to forearm crutches. If you get a sporty pair like SideStix - they don't scream, "I am a gimp". People might say to you, "hey, man, when does your doctor let you get off the crutches?".
                      Yeah, I go with the forearm crutches. I know I shouldn't be embarrassed, but I've already swallowed a ton of pride needing help from people. The crutches to see, to send a different message than a walker.

                      I think in general people are very helpful and want to understand. It is hard. I want to do things myself sometimes. It is difficult for people I know, but I don't want to be babied.

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                      • #12
                        Shit, I could get into trouble for saying this...I have beckers MD...I sort of came to this conclusion about my walking over being in a wheelchair.

                        and I quote: "I'd rather look semi normal scooting around in a wheelchair than look a twat trying to continue the delusion that i can walk normally".

                        Fuck it, use the walker at home or rent out a basketball court for a few hours to use the walker. If in public use your chair if YOU feel weird about it...BUT and there's always a but...if you wanna use your walker in public everyone else who is weird about it can build a bridge and get over it!.
                        "The problem with self improvement is knowing when to quit." "Diamond" David Lee Roth.

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                        • #13
                          I'm new here so I don't know if it's okay for me to reply to this post since it's an older one if I shouldn't then this can be deleted.

                          I'm still in a pretty new phase, no diagnosis yet, but within three years I've gone from numbness and tingling in my legs to no feeling and movement in my legs below the knee and that means I went quickly from running around normally, to walking with AFOs, to walking with AFOs and a rollator to using a wheelchair. It was so difficult for me as I'm in my early thirties and never saw myself having any issues like this. I would go out in public feeling like everyone was watching me and come home and bawl my eyes out and swear I wasn't leaving the house again. That was a pretty rough and vicious cycle because of course I'd go crazy stuck indoors and go out to just start it all up again. Eventually, I stopped caring that people were watching me because I saw things getting harder and harder for myself and knew I wanted to keep being as active in my normal daily life as I possibly could. It didn't stop people from staring at me, it didn't stop me from feeling badly when that happened, but I figured this is where I'm at in life and I've just embraced it and tried to ignore it as much as possible.

                          When I go out now in a wheelchair people still seem to always be looking, making comments, etc. but I just smile and know that I'm doing the best I can and people just look at those they think are different from them because they don't understand their situations. I still get in a rut sometimes and feel badly but it's not as frequent as it once was and I just let myself have a few hours to be upset and then put it out of my mind and continue on with something that makes me happy.

                          I hope anyone who is feeling like the original poster can see that it's better to be up and doing as much as you can than to let others make you feel self-conscience and stop you from living your life to the fullest.

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                          • #14
                            Welcome to Care Cure Community.

                            Good reply. Keep on keepin' on!

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                            • #15
                              You are a person - you are not your disability. Remember that you are still you.

                              If things don't get better seek out professional help whether it be spiritual direction, psychotherapy, support groups, whatever.

                              You need to feel okay where you are at.

                              You are accepted here

                              pbr
                              The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                              Comment

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