By Mariana Solarte Caicedo: For Complete Post, Click Here…
I’ve had fibromyalgia for four, almost five years now. After a couple of months, or the first year, I started having debilitating symptoms. I was very stressed out, and it was a very cold, rainy season where I live. One day, when I got out of bed I felt like I couldn’t move my legs. They were as stiff as if I was made of tin, but weak as jiggly as JELL-O. I couldn’t get out into the world like that. I couldn’t go up stairs; I even tripped when trying to walk a regular distance.
And then the idea of a cane came up. Me? Using a cane? I was 19! I wasn’t old. I wasn’t dying. I didn’t want people to see me as someone who had a disability, because I couldn’t come to the idea that I could have a disabling condition. At 19. I wasn’t even in my twenties!
I finally resigned myself to go cane hunting. All the canes I found were dark and thick and heavy, like the ones my grandfather used in the 1960’s. So I bought one, and repainted it with colorful lines and a purple stone on top. It looked like something Willy Wonka would use, and when people looked at me, they saw the cane for its beauty instead of viewing it with pity.