What is it about standing and walking?! We all take it for granted until it’s taken away; like most things, I suppose. Most of us do it all day long, on autopilot, without thinking twice or paying any attention. Phrases and sayings about standing and walking are even embedded in our society.
I hear the most amazing words from Ekso™ users and I see the most amazing smiles from them. I feel like Santa, but the gift doesn’t come in a box. I feel like a labor and delivery nurse, but there is no baby. I feel like a superhero, but there’s no cape or special power.
People describe being in Ekso in many different ways. “I feel like a king.” “I can give a more intimate hug.” “I can have a conversation eye to eye.” “I can remember how tall I am.” “I can look down on someone rather than them looking down on me.” That is just the beginning of the descriptions I hear.
I can’t imagine the emotional storm that arises for people as they stand and walk. And, yes, some have used braces and some have standing frames, so maybe it’s not the first time, but there is something magical about emulating human gait. Some say it reminds them of a time before their injury. Some say it allows them to relinquish a little bit of control and feel a different kind of freedom. It’s not the same as the way they walked before, but it’s the opportunity to participate in an experience pretty close to it. I feel incredibly honored to be part of this opportunity. Like I said, it’s like being a labor and delivery nurse — being part of this powerful experience. It really doesn’t get old. Every person has a unique and amazing smile that’s worth a thousand words, some have tears, or sometimes it’s their family members. Then, I have tears too. It’s nearly impossible not to be jolted into an emotional state. I can’t and won’t pretend to know what the user is feeling, but all I know is it sheds some light on the simple things in life that may not cross our minds that often. These things may mean a lot to some and a little to others. Either way, it makes me happy to have met so many independent and inspiring Ekso users and to share the experience with them and others in the future.