Accepting Some Help (or Hope This Helps The Pain)

After my super full day at Disneyland this week, I was in a lot of pain. The pain was happening while I was walking around the parks, but sadly I’m used to that. It was getting pretty bad close to the end of the night, but that didn’t seem too weird to me since I was at the parks a lot longer than I usually am.

When my hips start hurting (especially the one that has had surgery on it already), things don’t usually get better that day. For some reason, no matter what painkiller I take during the day, things don’t stop hurting until after I sleep that night. Sometimes the pain continues the next day, but usually when I wake up the next morning things are a lot better.

My friend June is used to seeing me limp toward the end of our Disneyland days, but I think this might have been the first time Dani saw me limping. It can be shocking when I’m doing fine in the beginning of the day and by the end of the day I have trouble taking steps. I’m sure that both of my friends were concerned about me and while we were eating our late dinner they discussed some options with me for future Disneyland days.

I’m pretty vocal about not wanting to use a wheelchair or scooter at Disneyland. A wheelchair would be annoying to push (or have a friend help me push) and I don’t want to be on a scooter because it’s bad enough being judged for my weight now and I can’t imagine how bad it would be if I was on a scooter. Plus, I enjoy walking and it’s good for me to get those steps in during the day. I’ve been on crutches at the park before right before I had my surgery, and it’s not fun to have to use some sort of assistance there.

But the pain this time was so bad that I was more receptive to my friends suggesting that maybe I look into something that could help me. I know that they were saying it because they care and I appreciate that they do want to see me enjoy the end of my day when I go to Disneyland.  And the idea that they came up with is maybe I should look into getting a cane so I can take some pressure off of my hip as I walk.

I definitely didn’t love the idea at first. I know that there are so many articles about how people ignore those with invisible disabilities, but I’ve enjoyed not having my issues known as soon as someone sees me. I like to appear to be normal and if I start to limp eventually then I can always explain the situation. But to have a cane with me would give attention to my problem and I don’t know if I want that to happen.

But the reality is that maybe I do need some help with walking on long days like that. This doesn’t mean that I’ll use it all the time (even at Disneyland), but it could be nice to have as an option when I’m hurting. And I know that things will likely only get worse until I have the next surgery (or surgeries) I need so there may be a time where I need the cane more often and it’s probably best to get used to it sooner rather than later.

So the day after Disneyland, I did some searching online and found a pretty inexpensive cane that can be folded up so it fits into my backpack when I don’t need to use it. It arrived yesterday and it is pretty easy to unfold and fold back up. I took a few steps around my house using it and it’s not horrible to use. It’s totally easier than using crutches (those hurt my arms and armpits so much when I had to use them) so I think it won’t be too painful when I do use it. And of course my friends offered to decorate it for me since I got a plain cane (the fancy decorative ones were double or triple the cost).

This isn’t a decision I’m totally happy with, but I know that in the long run it will be the best for me. Even if I don’t end up using the cane the next time I go to Disneyland, it will be nice to know I have it as an option if walking is starting to hurt too much. And hopefully I do feel more comfortable with my hip issues being out there to the public so the cane won’t feel as embarrassing to use.

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