When I made the decision to get hip replacement surgery I was in a lot of pain and got because thought it would give me better mobility and less pain. Hip replacement surgery did give me less pain but because I cannot move one of my legs unless I physically take my hand to lift it I do have less mobility. When you lose mobility and become even more disabled than you were before, you will be forced to find easier ways to live your life but what people often don’t see is how it affects a person emotionally. When you have less mobility everything is a little bit harder but when you lose independence the physical challenges are just the beginning. I am more frustrated than I was before surgery because I have less mobility that may come back but so far in the nearly two years I have been recovering there has been no significant change that would give me even a small glimmer of hope. When you lose mobility you may accept your reality but you will never be okay with having to rely more on others. In this post I am going to talk about some challenges I have faced because of my mobility loss that is not just physical.
Fear of it not getting mobility back– When you lose mobility that your doctors say will come back there is always a possibility that you will regain your strength but after about a year of little to no change you start to lose hope because it’s hard to be postive about something that doesn’t seem to change. The first year I lost mobility I was told over and over again that I would regain my strength and my life would be better for it. At first, I believed people who swore my strength would come back but after a while of little to no change, I lost hope because although it could still happen it was hard to see at that moment. I still am hanging on to some hope that my mobility not returning is because of my fracture but I always have it in the back of my mind that nothing will ever change. When you lose your mobility there is always the chance that it takes a really long time to regain strength but there is also that fear of your worst nightmare coming true and you will have to learn to live life with less mobility.
Fear of being judged- When you lose your mobility exercise is going to be really hard and your body will likely change because unless you have a disability that limits your ability to exercise you are made to move. Before I had surgery I exercised five to six days a week but since then I have not been able to exercise that much because exercise is a lot harder with only one functioning leg. I may be totally crazy but a big fear I have is that people are judging my body and thinking that my mobility loss is because I am neglecting fitness. There will always be those people who do judge your body because they don’t understand how hard fitness is and will expect you to move at the same level you were before. I don’t know what most people think of my body when I walk in room but I have gotten some negative body remarks which makes me think everyone judges my body even though that may not be true most of the time.
Sometimes it feels like I am a burden on others.- When you lose mobility everything is a little bit harder and sometimes you may need help with tasks that you were able to do without assistance before your mobility loss. I need help with more things that I did before because everything changes when you only have one functioning leg. Sometimes I feel like I am holding people back or lazy when I have to ask for help on things I should be able to do. I know it’s silly to think that friends and family wouldn’t want to help you because people that love you want to see you thrive but that is how you feel when a huge part of your independence is taken from you.
Mobility loss sometimes can be from not exercising enough but for many disabled people losing strength is a reality of life and there is no exercise that can change that. I hate to be negative and think that I will never regain my strength because I still have some hope but these are real emotions you have when you lose the ability to do things that you once could. I hope I helped you understand that losing mobility is no walk in the park and although some people may seem okay with less movement often we are not and there are some things you may not see or understand. My mobility loss after surgery is not something anyone could have predicted because you can’t know every possible outcome in life but to say I am not frustrated with almost everything I do is a bit of a understatement. If you experience mobility loss it is okay to experience negative emotions because it’s not realistic to expect someone to be happy about not being able to do things you once could. If you have experienced mobility loss what emotions have you struggled with and how do you deal with them?
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I hope your recovery goes well. Remember, we all both give and take as we participate in the world around us. Your need to take a little extra doesn’t make you a burden. You give in so many ways, including this blog that educates people like me and provides community for people with disabilities like yours.
There is no shame in needing more help while you invest in your future wellbeing. There’s no shame in needing more help in general. Don’t mistake yourself for a burden. You give so much and do so much. Go easy on yourself.
My Rockin Disabled Life
My recovery has been going well and I am hopeful that my most recent surgery will make my life easier. My recovery has been frustrating and is nothing like I thought it would be but I am getting through my emotions one day at time!