When I was young and, frankly, naive, I had a lot of misconceptions about people with disabilities. I thought that the only people who used walkers were senior citizens or those recovering from leg injuries. I also thought that only people with nonfunctioning legs used wheelchairs and that they sat in them all day, every day.
I guess you could say that I didn’t know what “disabled” meant. To me, it was black and white: You either needed a wheelchair or you didn’t; you were healthy or unwell, injured or fine. I had no idea that there were nuances, shades of gray, and evolving realities.
Now that I’m nearly a decade into life with Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), I have an updated view of people like me who depend on mobility aids.