I wouldn't say I'm a fashion snob but when I was given my hand supports a few years ago and told I should use them to help with the pain from my Arthritis I think I wore them twice and put them away in a draw because I didn't like the look of them and associated them with old people!! But in the last month or two I've been suffering with a lot of pain in my wrists and hands. Particularly my thumbs which I was told had bad Arthritis in, so last night when I really was suffering I decided to find the hand and wrist supports out of the draw and put them on this morning and already the relief I'm feeling is amazing. So now I realize my pride got in the way of me helping myself with pain relief in my hands and wrist which is stupid. So what I wanted to ask is 'have any of you refused to use an aid like the hand supports just because you associated them with age or you giving up?'
I can't relate to your specific issue necessarily, but I have had my own hang-ups about how people might perceive me for sure. The nature of my disability is not apparent, I often hear the tired phrase of "well you don't look disabled". I'm not in the same situation as you, but I understand in my own way (I think... I hope).
I'm glad you decided to use them! It is far more important you worry about your own health than what someone else may think of you. I understand what you mean about pride... I guess it's a question of whether the help is more important than pride- but that's a tricky thing. Pride is a beast in its own category but it's not hard to understand how your feelings would affect the nature of how you go about things. Of course, you wish you didn't have to use them!
To this day I still sometimes struggle with what others may think of me (which is just silly, they are likely as self-involved in their thoughts as I am). I have fought with myself to be less hard on myself, no one can compare me to the standards of another, we're all unique and all going through our own struggles. I'm glad you're doing what you need to do, for you!