February 19, 2016 | 8:00 am | By Pants Up Easy
Fear is an incredible powerful thing. Just think about what fear can accomplish – it can be a motivator, a distraction, a source of anxiety. We position fear as some kind of anti-dream; basically, if our dreams are the great things we want to accomplish, then the opposite of those things must be our nightmares; and nightmares are all about fear.
Sometimes, people refer to fear as “crippling,” because we’re unable to move forward as a result. The fear keeps us in check or keeps us from fully embracing something – it limits us. And if you’re afraid of falling out of your wheelchair, that could easily keep you from doing a lot of things. Why would you want to leave the house if you’re worried you’re going to end up on the floor?
So how can I get rid of that fear?
It’s not an easy process, but coming to grips with the reality of your situation could help. Basically, you need to accept that you could fall. It’s a perfectly logical possibility. Accidents happen and if you don’t have the use of your legs, you’re already at greater risk. But just because an accident could happen doesn’t mean you should waste your time obsessing over it.
Compare it to being in a car. Automobile accidents are quite common, and unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of people still die from car crashes every year. So whenever you get into a car, you’re taking a risk – but that doesn’t stop people from driving, right? You just accept that risk is an inherent part of the deal and move on with life. That’s the same mentality we advocate here. Don’t deny that you might fall; just accept it as a possibility and move forward.
How about some more practical help?
Well, if positive thinking isn’t enough for you, let’s discuss some safeguards that can make you feel a little bitter.
Anti-tip bars or anti-tippers extend from the front or rear of the wheelchair, and essentially act as a failsafe. If you lean too far forward or backward in the chair, the anti-tippers provide a last ditch safety net that will keep you from toppling over.
It’s also critical that you find a chair that’s comfortable and a good fit for your body. There are many types of wheelchair on the market, and you should investigate which type is right for you. Head to a store that sells wheelchairs and try out a few. And remember, if you feel confident and comfortable in the chair, that will really help your anxiety about falling.