By K W Warburton, The Reluctant Spoonie
Do you consider your personal safety when you’re out and about? Sure, we all know not to use our phones in the street or to use the white headphones that came with our new Apple product. But what about clothing? Do you prioritise safety when choosing a new winter coat? I didn’t until I became disabled. Choosing to dress safely during winter is much more than wearing a hat and scarf in cold weather.
Prior to becoming disabled, I would only wear dark winter coats. Living in the cold north of England, I wore dark coats pretty much all year round. I never gave safety much thought. Even in the winter months when I would be walking home by myself in the dark at 8 pm.
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When I developed my chronic illness, I did not feel safe leaving the house by myself for various reasons. My pre-syncope meant that I was dizzy all the time and could not walk in a straight line. That was if I could even stand up at all! My cognitive impairment meant that I could not judge if it was safe to cross the road. My biggest fear was that I would faint in the middle of the road and be squashed by a truck. A fear that few 22-year-olds hold.
I bought this red coat for £5 at a charity shop a few years ago. Charity shops are great places to shop for winter coats if you are on a low budget. I wear this coat whenever I go out by myself. It means that I am easily visible to drivers and could be seen if I ended up in the middle of the road. I don’t go out at night anymore, but if I did, I would add some reflector stickers so that I would be even more visible.