26-year-old Steff Di Pardo from Toronto, Canada, has had axial SpA for five years. In this blog, Steff shares her experiences and top tips for using mobility aids to make life with axial SpA easier.
Mobility aids have helped me greatly. I got my cane for my pain, and it helps when I am limping around due to a flare or a high pain day. I got my rollator walker for my fatigue mostly, and it helps prevent a lot of fatigue when I go out and about. It helps that it has a seat and I can sit down whenever I feel tired.
They’ve both made life a lot easier in regard to leaving the house. If I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t be able to leave the house as often.
The rollator walker is the most helpful, because it has wheels so I can push it along and it provides me with a lot of stability when I sometimes feel like I don’t have any. It’s easier for me to push something like the walker than pick up the cane with every step.
The only difficult thing I’ve experienced with my mobility aids is the occasional comment I get from a stranger. I’ve been approached a few times, and the bus driver has even said stuff to me about my walker once. It bothered me a lot at first, but now I just kind of shake it off.
I felt extremely self-conscious when first using an aid. What made me feel more comfortable was taking it out with someone with me. I first used it with my mom a few times, and while I was out at the store, I realised no one was looking at me. Most people don’t care – so why should I? Especially if I need to use it. Now I go places on my own with my mobility aids.
For a younger person considering a mobility aid, I would say to just use it if you need it. Nothing is worth paying for it later. I would rather use my walker than feel immense fatigue and pain later because I was too afraid to use it.
I would also say make sure you get a mobility aid you’re going to want to use. For instance, all of mine are pink. I spray painted my rollator walker to make it more special to me, and it makes me want to use it!
Thanks to Steff for sharing her invaluable experiences and advice. You can follow Steff on Instagram .
If you would like to share your experiences of using mobility aids as part of this blog series, please contact email@example.com.