A week or so ago, an interesting comment appeared on my most popular family life vlog. The one of Celine receiving a new pair of colourful crutches that was donated by a theatre group. The comment read “there is nothing even wrong with her she is perfectly fine she don’t need crutches.” Grammar and punctuation issues aside, there is something else remarkably wrong with that statement.
Many people are under the impression that disabilities must be visible to be real. But they are not. Many disabilities are invisible and we only know they are in existence because of external indicators. Things like crutches, walking sticks, wheelchairs, white sticks, hearing aids, braces, glasses etc are sometimes the only way to know when someone has less than 100% physical ability and some disabilities don’t even have that. So to have someone comment in this day and age that because Celine “was walking perfectly” and did not need the crutches she was sent, came across as ignorant.
Perthes Disease is not a visible disease. You can’t see it. Some children may develop a limp as a result of it but not every child does. Many of the children suffering this disease are perfectly capable of walking and running and jumping like every other child in the world but to do so would be detrimental to the recovery of their femur head. The best recovery method for Perthes Disease? Keeping the weight and strain off that femur head to limit the damage that the disease can cause and give it a better chance to heal.
Some children go through surgery to accomplish this. Others are wheelchair bound or wear braces. Celine spent just over a year on crutches to limit this damage while keeping almost perfect range of motion.
Here’s the point to my message today:
Just because a person can walk perfectly well, doesn’t mean they should be.