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Scooter Phobia

Hi All, I would like some help/advice re. my scooter phobia. I can’t walk very far with crutches and if there are no walls/objects to hang onto, then unaided is virtually impossible. I really need to use a scooter to get out and do the ‘simple’ things in life again, like walk the dogs, buy a pint of milk, just the things everyone takes for granted when it isn’t a struggle to do. My problem is, I have such a problem about using a scooter, completely irrational, I know, but I just cannot bring myself to go outside my house and use a scooter. It makes complete sense that I should get one, and I look at them on line and see how some look quite cool, but in my head I do the journey and feel confident, but when it comes down to it I feel completely paralized emotionally at the thought of actually using one out in front of people who have absolutely no idea I have a problem, because I avoid going out as a rule. I feel physically sick at the thought of using one in front of neigbors or other people I’ve known in the past. I think it’s got something to do with me feeling so vulnerable to use a scooter and vulnerable to have a disability when I have always been a very independent, active person, but this stupidness is keeping me a prisoner in my own home and I don’t know how to get over it! Sorry have posted Anon as I’m so embarrassed that i’m being so silly.

Hiya, I know just how you feel, I’ve needed to use a scooter and wheelchair, (not at the same time, obviously), and it can take a while to lose the self-conscious feeling, and realise that people are not interested in how you’re getting around. One thing I have noticed is that alot of young people seem to be the ones that will offer assistance, help if they think you are struggling.

I can understand how you don’t like going out, it feels safer at home, if you need to use the bathroom etc, I feel the same.

Just know you’re not on your own, and it’s not stupid, I think at the end of the day there is not an answer the suits everyone, we’ll just have to find the best way for ourselves.

Best wishes and I hope things sort themselves out for you!

When I got my scooter I had to really force myself to go out on it every day or I knew that it would just sit in the garage. I felt a twit – I had all those worries you have but after a few minutes every day I was soon venturing further afield. I used to plan my routes endlessly on Google maps and this gave me lots of confidence about where to cross the road etc.

I dreaded the first time I used it in the park in front of dog walking acquaintances but do you know they were all lovely and made me feel really comfortable.

I know it’s easy to say don’t bother about what other people think but people won’t have negative thoughts – most likely they won’t have thoughts beyond “Oh look Mrs X at number21’s got a scooter”
Also do you really think that people have “absolutely no idea” that you’ve got a problem? You walk with crutches and hang onto walls – it’s a hint!

Do you have a friend that could take you to somewhere where you can use a shop mobility scooter. You could even go to the next town to minimize chance encounters. That way you get to have a little go with no commitment. BUT it will be in a town where it is busy, you will do 100% better on short ten minute rides round your own streets.

Don’t let this phobia rule your life. You can get out into the world with a scooter – it will expand your horizons no end.

Jane

Do you have a shopmobility near you? Maybe borrowing one of theirs for an hour or two would give you a feel for the benefit of it? I use shopmobility on regular basis as well as having a scooter at home and one in the office. I’ve got used to all these now as just a means to be able to get on with my life rather than stuck at home. S.

i understand you, i am in the same position,i started to use a w/c and hated it,so i didnt go out, then i thought i would be better with a scooter,so bought one,i used it a few times,but then had a very bad relapse,so havent been out in over 15 months,only to the dentist,and i feel really strange about having to use a w/c or scooter again,its like ive never used one,i am too ill to go out,but i know that if and when i do,i will feel really conscious,i keep telling myself off about it,dont know WHY i feel so bad,but i do,but i do think thinking about it is worse than the doing,if you know what i mean.i do think though that people are not really interested in how we go about our business,i know i arent that interested in how others get about,so maybe we should remeber that.good luck,its not easy i know .

Hi, I use both wheelchair and scooter. I feel really self conscious in the wheelchair, far less so on the scooter. Perhaps becaused I feel more independent on the scooter and although I can self propel on the wheelchair I can’t get that far by myself. On the scooter I can whizz round the village, feel the wind in my hair, the sun on my back, get up some speed and it feels good. I hope you can come to terms with how you feel and can eventually get out on one - it will give you so much more freedom.

Hilary.

Hi,

me again. The only thing I can think of is have you tried going out with your partner or a friend, someone who will talk to you face to face, even though you’re sat down. I think that one of the main difficulties is that because we are at a lower level you are not noticed or talked over. If you have someone with you, even if just at first, it might help you build up the confidence to try it alone. I think the main scare I had using a scooter was when it stopped and wouldn’t restart, but even then a member of the public helped by pushing me back to my car, bless them. Personally, I prefer using a manual wheelchair, because I know I will get to where I want to regardless of batteries, etc. Like I said I think confidence is a big part of dealing with this horrible illness, sometimes feels like without bad luck wouldn’t have ant at all. Try not to let it screw any more of your life up, keeping you housebound, it’s not worth it.

keep your chin up, take care

hi

i saw my ms nurse on friday and told her how bad my legs are.

she asked me to explain exactly how bad.

i told her that i look at other people’s wheelchairs and wonder if i could fit one into my car.

she said it was a sensible thing to do, even if i’m not as bad as some.

she also recommended that i look at scooters.

well i intend to look at both but havent decided when!

i was self conscious about using a walking stick at first

carole x

Hi,

I was quite reluctant to use a stick at first but friends were great and most people do not even look twice at you.

Now the stick has been replaced by wheelchairs and a scooter. I love the independence that my scooter brings, once you have got through your first trip or two. On a day like today, scooting around with a nice breeze , I absolutely love it!

You say you are independent, same here, personally I live on my own and i still feel independent, through my scooter.

To be honest I also love it in winter too.

As someone else suggested, using a shop mobility would be good as you can gain the confidence etc.

Easy to say, but just go for it and take the plunge!

My scooters have opened up a whole new world to me - without l would be housebound and the dogs would not get walked.

lndoors l found l was ‘furniture walking’ - then after several falls l decided to get a rollator. And that has been a boon to me. Now l can safely get to cook and carry my plate/mug on the rollator. Even carry watering can down the garden to my ducks/hens. As it has a seat - it means l can pick the beans etc whilst safely sat down. l always carry a ‘helping hand’ with me to reach and pick up things. Now l have one at the top of the stairlift so l can get to from the lift to my bedroom - this one has a tray that l can carry a drink/remote control for tv/mobile phone/glasses/books etc. So much better then a walking stick - at least they do not fall with a clatter to the floor as soon as you let go. And the best thing is they hold you upright - and you can walk much steadier and faster [ especially to the loo]. So its wheels all round for me.

When l could walk better l did use walking poles - make such a difference to your balance. l have a pair strapped to my scooter so that l can have a walkabout when l get over the fields with the dogs.

Hiya Anon, I know exactly what you’re going through. My scooter sat in the garage for 8 months. Started using it a few weeks ago due to a relapse due to necessity, I now can’t walk more than a few metres so had to give it a go. Can’t say I’m comfortable with it yet, but will try and get on with it. It seems the only way to get some self confidence and mobility back. I’m still self concious about the whole experience but am assured that this will get better. I do hope so. Give the experience a chance and try it, if you need a buddy to let off steam to, the people on this site understand and have been through most things MS has to throw at us. Give it a go and good luck (i’m no good with things that move but at least I’m trying and I haven’t hit anything yet, or knocked anybody (or myself) over! LindaH

Hiya Anon, know exactly where you are coming from. My scooter sat in the garage for 8 months. I was totally self concious about the whole thing. Had a major relapse(still ongoing) a few weeks ago and decided to bite the bullet and try it out. I hated every minute of the first few goes and am still extremely self concious but am trying hard to get used to the idea that this is how it’s got to be. I’m no good with things that move but haven’t knocked anyone over yet (or fell off myself) so I need to try and get used to the idea that this is the way forward, it’s just our acceptance that needs to be understood. Must admit it’s hard looking from our side when we used to be so fit and healthy and active. Good luck and go for it. If you need any support, the people on this site have all been there and done things. LindaH