I've really never known what it is like to walk under my own power. I have always used some type of assistance, be it a wheelchair or, when ambulating, crutches, or even two canes.
I guess I should be grateful that I can at least walk. Sometimes it's a drag, especially when I am in a lot of pain (due to my JRA flaring up again; I have it really bad in my hips, feet, and lower back; I also have it in my neck and shoulders) or when people tell me I'm holding up the line. I'm sorry; I can't help it.
I walk with two canes usually, but if hurting more than usual, I use my crutches. In addition, I wear braces on both legs 'cause my ankles are weak. I use them to help stabilize myself when I am walking. They do help. A lot. (My balance isn't that great, so this is why I rely on my braces.)
Sometimes when there is a lot of walking required or I'm hurting badly, I resort to my wheelchair. That saves a lot of headaches on my joints and it doesn't tire me out nearly as much.
When I was a little over a year old, I was in a bad accident and the mere fact that I am walking again is a miracle. Doctors didn't think I would ever walk again, but I showed them: I had the last laugh on them. Then when I was four, I started having pains in my joints and was eventually diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when I was four and a half/five years old. I was hoping that I wouldn't have to use crutches again, but I was proven wrong.
The crutches and braces are a part of my normal routine. The wheelchair is too, but I try not to use it unless it is absolutely necessary. I would rather be ambulatory than sitting down all the time 'cause when I get up, I'm stiffer than stiff and it takes me twice as long to get going.
I now use two canes, but as I alluded to earlier, I still have my crutches in case they are needed.
I have never let the fact that I am disabled slow me down any. Sometimes the JRA tries to get the better of me, but I am a fighter. I refuse to give in to my pain. I have too much to do, and I have a life to live. I have schooling. My job at the college bookstore. Voice lessons. My boyfriend/fiance'. My friends. Performances. My church/relationship with God. My writing. So many things to keep me busy so I don't have to even think about my pain or what I happen to be facing.
I'd rather keep it that way. :)
Well, I'd best go. It's about time for me to go to my next class, which is College Level Algebra. UGH!! I don't mind school, but I do hate math!! I will write in here again soon; until later, this is Ronee' Reaux saying so long! May God bless you as much as He's blessed me over the years!