Being disabled comes with a lot of challenges, stigma, pointing fingers or head gestures, misinterpretations, weird eye contacts among others. These things are common and I’m used to it, the only thing that I find irritating and annoying are the useless questions people asked most of the time. Someone will ask me, what happened to your leg? Why are you walking like that? Doesn’t it pain you, The way you walk? Why can’t you use a mobility scooter or I think a mobility scooter will be better for you and easier.
A recent question someone asked me was ‘’why do you need a prosthetic leg when you have a method of walking that look more effective, and from the look of it you walk faster’’. I’m good at sarcasms and good at replying to irrelevant questions with obvious answers. However, I was raised right, and I don’t like disrespecting people or hurting their feelings, even though they don’t put my feelings in consideration when they start asking these kind of questions.
Honestly, most of these questions I have no answer to them, and some I don’t even know the why and how they happened or come to be. One thing for certain is, I don’t like answering these kind of questions or justifying myself to strangers why and how I do things, or the reason behind my condition or my easy solutions to my issues. Sometimes, I try my best to answer people’s questions in the easiest and best way possible.
When this individual asked me why I need prosthetic leg and wanted to switch from using crutches. The answer I gave was ‘’I want to explore other options and see how it feel to use other means of mobility. The longest answer was supposed to be, as much as I like using crutches to move around and carry out my daily activities, I will love to try some easier ways of mobility that require putting less effort and seems more natural and reduce the ‘’symbol of stigma’’ (like this scenario here). By the way, I’m used to stigma and discrimination, it comes with the life description even though no one signed for it.
Also, this person may not know, but any kind of improvement is better than no improvement. I grew up in a community where being physically disabled is a challenge and they society will level and treat you differently, particularly if your family are of low socio-economic status. Majority of people with physical disability tend to crawl on their hands and feet to go around and carry their daily activities. Those that are fortunate use crutches and tricycles to get around. I have experienced all these things, from crawling to using crutches and now that I’m fortunate to have the chance of using prosthetic to move around and carry out my daily activities, why not take the chance.
Asking questions is not a bad thing, but if the questions are unnecessary, it’s best we keep it to ourselves. One thing we should understand is, some people with disabilities or chronic conditions don’t like talking about their conditions especially not to strangers. Me however, I found it therapeutic to talk to people or answer their questions related to my condition if the question is good and relevant.
Thanks for your time and bye for now!