Crutches and canes and visible disability

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One of the things I’ve learned through this process of knee surgery and recovery is how much people want to help, when they judge help is needed.

Walking around campus with my cane or with crutches and students leap to help me. They open doors and they offer to carry my books or my coffee. If I’m waiting and seating is limited, they offer me their chairs.

It’s lovely and I don’t refuse offers of help.

But I’m actually much more able, in much less pain than I was before surgery. And without the cane and crutches no one offered to help. I’m not blaming other people. They didn’t know. But it is a reminder of how much we rely on visible signs of disability.

I’m not sure what the answer is. I am heartened by how lovely and attentive people are being. Now I just have to figure out how to get that switch into helpful mode to activate without the cane or the crutches.

What’s your experience been using a cane or crutches?

Sam in her office with crutches


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