Do You Think You'll Ever Walk? 🤔🚶♀️
This week is a big question. Peta's answer might surprise you...
You can ask Peta a question for a future episode of the podcast via:
The website: www.icantstandpodcast.com
Peta [00:00:03] Hello and welcome to The I Can't Stand Podcast, the podcast answering your questions about what life is like when you have a disability. This week we're going back to old school. I'm answering a question from you, the audience if you'd like to ask me a question for a future episode of the podcast. There are three ways you can contact me. One by email. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Via my website www.icantstandpodcast.com or by Instagram. My handle is my name @petahooke spelt PETA HOOKE. All the links will be in the description. OK? Without any further ado, let's get into it. T.
[00:01:10] His week's question came from Janine. Janine asked me, Peta, do you think you'll ever walk? And do you hope that you walk one day?
[00:01:25] Now, of course, this is just my opinion. It doesn't reflect everybody's feelings on the ability to walk if you have a disability. But here's my perspective.
[00:01:40] Being asked if I hope to walk one day is one of the most uncomfortable questions somebody can ask me. It's up there with what's wrong with you, which I spoke about in the very first episode of this podcast. And the simple answer to do, I think I'll have a walk is. Well, realistically, probably not. Many people might consider this to be me giving up. Or possibly even a tragedy. Don't get me wrong, I had years and years and years of physiotherapy trying to get me to walk. I was in frames walking up and down the aisle, I have photos of me in plaster for goodness sake, trying to work with plaster on both my legs. I have photos of me in what's called a K Walker from the time I was about four until the time I was about 12. I had a pink walker. I had a standing frame. I did physiotherapy. I had operations all in the hope that one day I could walk. The emphasis on me having the ability to walk has been always a bit uncomfortable for me. My inability to walk. Has always been something that people seek for me to overcome. And I've really never felt that way. I used to get really irritated when I was a teenager, when people would ask me this question in particular. Because for me, I would sit there and think, well, am I not living the full life that you will expect me to and my failing still in some way? Filing it something that I was never supposed to be able to do. In the end, I was born at 28 weeks, very premature. I can feed myself. I can do lots of things other people can. Despite not having that time. And yet people's fascination with my inability to walk has always been a thorn in my side. Don't get me wrong, I know a lot of the times people are asking me this question because they really value their ability to walk. They don't know how they would cope if they couldn't. This is probably no different to me in the same way that I would consider it to be really hard if I couldn't feed myself. But just like my inability, not walking. Lots of people can't feed independently and they live their life. Close friends and family have asked if I ever become engaged. Will I try to walk down the aisle? And the answer is probably not, because I don't consider myself to be a person who walks. My identity doesn't include that, and I'm not going to be someone I'm not. The day I walked down the aisle or we'll. I will make just of a grand entrance. Sitting down as anybody ever will standing.
[00:05:58] Why am I so against the idea of walking? I hope one day that science will figure out a way that possibly will enable me to become more independent, even being able to walk a metre transfer myself onto a normal toilet would greatly improve my independence and my quality of life. I'm not shirking or discounting what those sort of opportunities would give me. Things in my life would completely change and open up for the better. But until science catches up. I see no point of killing myself in the gym again after many years of trying to walk. And not really walking in the manner that I want. I believe if I did learn to walk in the current state of our scientific knowledge and rehabilitation, I would not walk in a way that I would want to. And what I mean by that is it would be so exhausting and unsustainable. I know in my own self that I've pushed myself. I know I would probably think, oh, no, I'll take a few more steps and walk to that object. The truth about it is when you have a disability, walking does not remove your disability. I would not walk in a quote unquote normal nature. It would still be extremely difficult for me. I would probably have to use still a piece of mobility equipment, whether that be a cane or a walking frame. People's lives when you have a disability is difficult, regardless of whether you can walk or not. Me walking isn't going to really change my life. Yes, it would be really handy on planes. Yes, my bladder would probably thank me. But I am under no illusions that it would probably also cause more issues. I would fall over for a start.
[00:08:31] I can't really fall over in my wheelchair. I feel safe. I can live independently knowing that really, as long as my equipment works, I'm in full control. I mean, if you're someone with a disability that can walk, that's great, I'm really happy for you. I only see it as a positive figure. You're living your life in the way that you want to be with choice and control. As I've said on this podcast before, I want to be independent. I don't want to be the damsel in distress. I don't want a more difficult life than it already is. And I feel like. Walking would only make life more complicated. If I could grab a magic wand and walk completely with no disability, then that's a different thing. But that's not reality. Life doesn't work like that. I would still have my disability regardless if I learnt to walk.
[00:09:51] I hope you enjoyed my very frank conversation about whether I think I'll ever walk if you did enjoy this episode. Can I encourage you to leave a writing interview if you listen on Apple podcasts? It helps the podcast get discovered by more people. If you listen on Spotify or Google or another podcasting platform, share the episode with a friend that you think might enjoy the podcast. As always, thank you for listening, guys. Until next week. Bye.