Mobility vs. Independence

I’ve decided that this is something that you may only think about when your mobility is hindered and you are already also mindful of disability in general. Perhaps not, but I know my view is skewed by both.

Today the doctor rebandaged my leg, complete with splint. After a Must Get it Off panic attack last night left me hating the splint I was not pleased. I’m moving around pretty well, can get up and down the stairs, but cannot be my bouncy self and I do NOT like it. Part of my dislike may initiate from my knowledge that I am potentially messing up my gait with the heavy limp, combined with my dislike of the inherent reliance woven into the use of a wheelchair by a girl with weak upper-body muscles.

This duality has got me thinking. My predicament should only last another week at most; I should have the stitches out before I return to school, but it gives me a different view on a question I’ve often pondered. Wheelchair use by those who could have limited mobility with mobility-aids. To me the question used to be a no-brainer. Use the most easily-wielded aid to gain independence and avoid the difficulties of the life of a chair-user.

Yet, with the advent of more user-friendly electric chairs I often see those who have mobility opting for the chair. This is a different level from the dependence that the traditional chair implies; there is more mobility involved with the electric chair as well, but there is still a certain degree of dependence that even a walker or crutches do not lead to.

It’s all up to personal choice, of course. Crutches vs. Walker vs. Chair, and what one’s body can tolerate for any period of time. I’ve certainly opted for chair instead of cane a few times this weekend, but I have healing to take into consideration and stitches that must be out before the 20th August. Still, for one who has always prized both mobility and independence to have both limited is eye-opening.

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