Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About mySMAteam

Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About mySMAteam
SMA
NEWS

The Decision To Get a Scooter

Posted on November 24, 2021
Article written by
Lisa Velez-Batista

I was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 3 when I was 20 years old. Although walking was difficult, I had been ambulatory my entire life. After a knee injury, walking had become more arduous than ever. I was using a cane, and I found myself avoiding going places because of the tiresome struggle to get around and the fear of falling. When I went to the mall, I was only able to go to one or two stores. I was irritable and anxious. The stress of going out started to outweigh the fun.

A Sign of Defeat?

A physical therapist had suggested that I use a scooter to get around. My first impulse was to reject the idea. I thought that if I started using a scooter, I would get weaker faster and lose my ability to walk altogether. She explained that I would only use it for the things I was avoiding, and I could still walk at home. She also said that I could do more while feeling safe doing it.

I knew what she said made sense. I also knew this day would come. I had started to prepare for it. When buying a home, I chose a model with a master bedroom on the ground floor and an open floor plan. I even had a ramp put in my garage so that it would be accessible in the future when a chair would be needed.

So why was I resisting? I fought hard all my life to sustain my mobility. I think on some level, I thought getting a scooter meant defeat by SMA.

Share your thoughts with others. Click here to add a comment.

Living Life to the Fullest

At the time, I was enrolled in a study at Columbia University. I was privileged to meet another participant who also had SMA type 3, and she was using a scooter. She told me how much her quality of life had increased since getting her scooter. When I saw her on it, I didn’t see defeat. I saw independence, confidence, and strength. She was out and about, living her life to the fullest. Because of her, I decided to get a scooter.

More Active Than Ever

Getting the scooter has definitely improved my quality of life. I’m able to shop at as many stores as I want without getting tired or anxious about falling. I have the stamina to keep up with my husband when we go sightseeing on vacation. Sometimes I even have to slow down so that he can keep up with me. What I thought might hinder my mobility has instead freed me.

It’s been about nine years since I got my scooter. I’m still able to walk at home with the use of a walker. When I’m out, I’m untethered and more active than ever.

Columnists on mySMAteam discuss SMA from a specific point of view. Columnists’ articles don’t reflect the opinions of mySMAteam staff, medical experts, partners, advertisers, or sponsors. Content on mySMAteam isn’t intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.
Lisa Velez-Batista is a member and ambassador on mySMAteam. Learn more about her here.

Related articles

Historically, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) has been difficult to diagnose. The doctors I saw as...

Learning Self-Advocacy at a Young Age: My Experiences

Historically, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) has been difficult to diagnose. The doctors I saw as...
People in online gaming communities have a wide range of personalities, outlooks, and behaviors —...

Gaming With SMA: Beware of Trolls and Hackers

People in online gaming communities have a wide range of personalities, outlooks, and behaviors —...
Becoming a better gamer can enhance your enjoyment and expand your gaming opportunities. Getting...

Gaming With SMA: Leveling Up Your Gaming Skills

Becoming a better gamer can enhance your enjoyment and expand your gaming opportunities. Getting...
When you first get started with online gaming, finding friends can feel virtually impossible...

Gaming With SMA: Finding Friends in Online Gaming

When you first get started with online gaming, finding friends can feel virtually impossible...
If you’re just starting out as a gamer, you’re in for endless hours of fun. In the modern era of...

Gaming With SMA: Choosing Your First Game

If you’re just starting out as a gamer, you’re in for endless hours of fun. In the modern era of...
You were always there, hiding in the shadows like a criminal. For a long time, you were...

My Perspective: A Letter to a Thief

You were always there, hiding in the shadows like a criminal. For a long time, you were...

Recent articles

About one-third of people with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) are adults.Adults with SMA may have...

Treatment Options for Adults with SMA

About one-third of people with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) are adults.Adults with SMA may have...
Clinical trials may test new drugs or new dosages or combinations of drugs for spinal muscular...

5 Reasons To Consider Participating in SMA Clinical Trials

Clinical trials may test new drugs or new dosages or combinations of drugs for spinal muscular...
Clinical trials for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) test new treatments, new dosages of existing...

How Do Clinical Trials Work for SMA?

Clinical trials for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) test new treatments, new dosages of existing...
Clinical trials are designed with safety as a primary concern.Before a new drug, new dosage, or...

Are Clinical Trials Safe for People With SMA?

Clinical trials are designed with safety as a primary concern.Before a new drug, new dosage, or...
Costs for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) medications are high, but financial assistance programs...

Tips for Staying on Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Therapies

Costs for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) medications are high, but financial assistance programs...
The SMA community officially recognizes August as Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month. In...

UCSF Health and mySMAteam Partnership: SMA Awareness Month 2022

The SMA community officially recognizes August as Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month. In...
SMA News
SMA News

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close