To the Editor:
I am an individual who walks with a heavy cane in the public. I have a lot of unsteadiness and pain whenever I walk or move around. Sometimes around home I have to depend on a walker to get around. I am only 56 years old and I find it very frustrating having to do so.
Up until a couple of years ago I was a excellent walker and thoroughly enjoyed going for long walks all the time. Now I have great difficulty going on even short walks. Stairs are next to impossible, especially in public places. I dislike having to ask people to help me. Using a cane in one hand makes it extremely difficult to balance myself and carry something in my other hand at times.
I move around at a very slow pace at times. I know that it is frustrating to people around me — believe me, as I experience it every day of my life. I live in a small community where most people are very helpful and supportive. I usually try to be as independent as possible. Everyone knows me around here and I usually get the help that I need, in some cases even before I ask for it.
However, there are times that I do feel like a nuisance when I ask for help. This really upsets me as if I didn’t really need the help. I wouldn’t be asking for it in the first place. I am certainly not looking for pity.
I simply want people to respect disabled people and know what it is like to need help every once in a while. I have spent my entire life helping others and still do whenever possible. If someone does ask you to help them and you aren’t able to do so at the time, I just say simply I am sorry, I cannot do so at the present time. Perhaps you can find someone else to ask to help you. There is no need to be rude or inconsiderate because none of us knows when we may actually need help ourselves.