I’m stuck in a dilemma and I’m not sure what to do: I had decided to go out on a limb and tried out for color guard 2 weeks ago. the coaches know that I am deaf and that my elbows don’t fully straighten. I even emailed the main coach about it worried I was going to be an issue for the team but they seemed to be fine with it and I made it! (They’re losing a bunch of seniors next year, which is most likely why).This is where the chronic pain part is introduced. As I’ve mentioned before my elbows don’t straighten, but I also have hip pain from bilateral hip dysplasia. For the past 2 years, I have used a cane. It helped me get around, though an inconvenience at times, I loved with moving without pain. Until I had hip surgery last February. I was bed-bound for 3-4 months and it’s taken a long time to get back on my feet so I used the cane afterwards despite my doctor saying I need to “stop relying on it”. Before I knew I made the team, my mom had made a comment about the possibility they might not accept me into the team because I walk with a cane and I would need to be off my feet for long amounts of time. Ever since then, I got so self conscious and dropped using my cane instantly. I’ve been mostly okay, I think, my hip hurts mildly some days and others it’s worse. Though I’ve noticed that my cane was also making me have horrible wrist pain. I brought it up to my pediatrician, they did bloodwork, nothing abnormal. I don’t know what to do about any of it: I want to use the cane but I’m scared my team will see me as the “disabled kid” and think I’m not good enough or seen as issue.My parents/family don’t help either. Who are always telling me “You go on runs everyday and you need a cane?”, “You don’t need it, you’re just relying on it.”, “You joined color guard yet you want to use your cane?” or bringing up instances where I haven’t used it to use against me. Then the other issue is my inexplainable wrist pain, I can’t use my cane because of my wrist pain and unfortunately I can’t buy any other mobility aid because of my parents (I have a feeling they thought the cane was temporary until my surgery). So yeah, there’s my issue. Any advice helps, really. I’m lost and confused and now I’m even having doubts about being disabled because of one insignificant comment.
So sorry you’re going thru this and seemingly alone. I would say you don’t have to do all or nothing when it comes to the cane. Use it for some activities so that you can actually make it thru your practices. That’s the biggest thing people don’t get with assistive devices is that you may not “need” it but it helps you prolong actually needing it and it allows you to do more than you could handle without it. It can be really hard to find the balance but sounds like that’s what you need. Use it to prevent it from getting so bad and challenge yourself to get stronger without it I assume is the goal and then you won’t need it as much and when you’re stronger after you’ve adapted, hopefully you’ll be in less pain with movement. Just remember switching anything up can increase the pain so be careful not to overdo it and use it with a purpose. It can also be eye opening if you can explain it to others for them to understand and hopefully have compassion and not simply look at you as the disabled person, but as someone making the best of their circumstances. It’s hard for others to understand until their disabled themselves and everyone handles that differently. Do what’s best for you 💕
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