CCW while disabled, some challenges and not much guidance found

I’m a 59 year old male, with a seriously damaged lower back, from a work injury in the late 1990’s. I can walk, barely, but unless there’s something I can hold on to or use for balance (like the walls in my apartment) I need a cane in my strong hand or I’ll be picking concrete out of my face. I’m waiting on my CCW permit, as in my county there is a 3-4+ month lag time, but it should be here soon. In the meantime, I’m getting used to carrying my sidearm around the house, trying different positions for my holster both for comfort and concealability. Seems like 8:00 is about the best for me.
The first real issue was when I started learning to shoot left-handed (I’m RH) and with only one hand at that. Fortunately, I’m very much left eye dominant, so I get a pretty decent sight picture. I’ve been working on accuracy for now, as well as not bringing my right hand up for a better grip. I could do that at the range, as there are dividers I could lean on, but that wouldn’t help me outside. So far, so good, just keep practicing and my accuracy is increasing steadily.
However, one theme I see over and over online is “keep moving”. That’s just not really doable for me, for the reasons given above. Obviously that wouldn’t be something I could work on at an indoor range, but it does raise the question of what could I do outside? Taking cover is all well and good, but I cannot run, in fact a turtle could likely outrun me without breaking a sweat. Even if the rush of adrenalin let me actually move quickly, it would not compensate for the total lack of balance, and would likely make things real rough, potentially leaving me unable to stand.
Just to make things even more interesting, while I can walk maybe a hundred yards or so before the pain gets too much, standing still I have only a minute or two before things get unbearable, even with the support of a cane. After 30 odd years of this, I can take a lot, but after a couple minutes of standing, it’s sit down or fall down.
So. I’m an obvious easy target that can’t run away, and unless cover is very close at hand, trying to reach it would likely be a bad day made worse. I’ve found almost nothing in the way of suggestions for such circumstances in the countless videos I’ve watched, so I was hoping someone here might have some ideas other than the obvious of keep shooting until the threat is gone, or perhaps point me to some videos I’ve missed. I’m really out of ideas as to how I might increase my odds of survival.

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I’m in much the same situation as you. One thing I practice when I can is falling. Sometimes that’s the only move you have.

I also would recommend , even though you are probably doing it, is to do some physical therapy exercises in a heated therapy pool. Between that and my implanted Nevro unit I was able over the course of time to build my strength up to where I can now walk unassisted (the cane and walker were destroying my shoulders). Hope this helps
Back injuries suck.

YMMV

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Welcome, @Richard306!

The things you probably have going for you is being aware of what’s going on around you and the element of surprise.

Have you practiced shooting from retention? Chances are, people will probably be close enough to you during a confrontation that you do not need to fully raise and aim the firearm. Having your non-dominant arm braced against your body might help get quick, accurate shots.

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Welcome to the Community, @Richard306!

While being on the ground isn’t optimal for escape, it may be an option for you as @Zavier_D suggests. Working on falling correctly is important (I did a lot of fall work in Tae Kwon Do… and had bruises to prove when I did it wrong.)

Your situational awareness and common sense may also be your best friend. Do you carry something besides a firearm? Pepperspray?

Don’t forget your cane as a weapon either. While you may be losing balance, you may be able to use it for your defense.

If you do fall, can you draw from the 8:00 position?

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@Richard306 Welcome to the community! We share a similar history. I had two back surgeries and a year in physical therapy to learn how to walk again. Each day is a new adventure. Be careful about what type of training you do so you don’t aggravate your lower back. If you can, consult a physical therapist. Mine took me through a series of low-stress building exercises so I could regain some flexibility, lose weight and build some core muscle mass. Excess weight is a killer. Small steps, big gains. Hang in there, brother…

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Honestly, I’m very afraid of falling. I’ve fallen 3 times since this has gotten to the point of being disabled. Once in the shower; I was pretty fortunate that I landed on my arm instead of my neck, Both of the others were falls to my front, and I didn’t seem to have much problem rolling to my back, although I did need to roll back over to get up; that was no fun.
The damage is, IIRC, 3 herniated discs, and 2 ruptured ones, with some nerve damage caused by severe narrowing of the nerve channel. Sorry, don’t recall the specific name of the nerve, but it leads to the top of my left leg and that area is mostly numb. Heh, when I first start walking, my left leg looks like I had a stroke, because it drags for a step or three.
I’m not currently doing any therapy, and neither my doctor nor my insurance has suggested it, but I’ll make sure to ask my doctor about it, it may indeed help.
Thanks for the suggestion, I really appreciate it.

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Hmm. No, I’ve not practiced that. Do you mean the ‘point and shoot’ that I’ve seen mentioned? With the gun arm tucked in tight to the body? I’ve been primarily practicing with my arm fully extended and a solid sight picture, but you can be sure I’ll work on the point and shoot from here on out when I’m practicing. I’ll also make sure to work on getting a decent draw stroke speed, as up until now I was mainly focusing on getting decent accuracy at full extension.
Thank you so much for your answer and advice. I’ll put it into practice immediately.

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Google “shooting from retention”, and you will get a few videos on that technique.

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Heh, are you a psychic? Yes, the reduction in mobility has caused a marked increase in my waistline. I now have a closet full of clothes I can’t even come close to wearing. As I mentioned in another reply, I’m not currently in therapy, but will for sure look into it. Losing some weight would surely help with many things, including longevity. As you say, a decent therapist would likely help with both my weight and possibly my back as well.
Ugg to the surgery. When this first happened back in the 90’s, they wanted to do something called spinal fusion, complete with rods and stuff permanently installed. At the time, I actually knew 2 people that had undergone that and both said they wished they had not, as it was way worse after than it was before. I think I’ll stick with non-surgical solutions for now. Still, I appreciate you mentioning weight loss. It’s something I really need to get going with.
Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it.

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As to the point and shoot, Add a laser to your hand gun. Then practice while you are walking or sitting. “WITH THE EMPTY GUN CHECKED AGAIN AND AGAIN” Pick a target as you pick up the hand gun and point the gun at it. You will be surprised as to how close you come to the center of the target as you practice more and more. I started off with the laser at about a 2 foot circle from the center of the target and I got down to around 3 inches. This does take practice to only look at the target and not the sights on the gun. When I use to shoot every day I could do a 2 inch group from 5 to 10 yards with a Ruger MK III only looking at the target just as fast as I could pull the trigger. Everyone else in my group just did target shooting and could not do this.

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@Richard306 No psychic. Been there, done that and wore out the t-shirt. This isn’t shooting advice. You try drop drills and you may never get back up. Surgery has advanced. Less invasive and quicker recovery times. Might want to consult a Neurologist on the best course of action for your symptoms. Demand a Neurologist consult from your GP. Only way the medicos can really determine your condition is through a CT scan. On bad days I still get burning shins and a numb left quad. Had an SF buddy that tried gutting-it-out. Didn’t work out so well for him.

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If your mobility issues don’t allow you to run to cover or move quickly, I would think about using bullet proof jackets, or a back pack to give you protection while you are getting to safety. If you can’t rely on speed to avoid damage then armor up to absorb it.

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I would suggest that if you’re stuck in the open, get on the ground & sight your target. That MAY be your best option in a situation where you cant stand very long & have very limited & slow mobility. BTW, your decision to carry a pistol is a great one.

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My wife and I have had back surgery, read what you said and was compelled to respond. Almost all doctors (insurance do not want you to spend anything) do not recommend physio therapy. But I can guarantee that seeing one will definitely improve your quality of life. My spine issues were neck, eventually losing use of my right hand. Surgery fixed it but ended up with constant pain. Physio therapy alone now make it manageable. Please seek some PT, it will help. God bless.

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In 2005 Fused two disc in the lower back 3/4 and 4/5 one of them was bone to bone and I put up with it for about 7 or 8 years. Everything was good for around 3 years, now I am having a problem with the disc above of which the doctor told me would happen to the disc above and below. So for those that do not know any better, you do not have back surgery unless you have to. It would probably would not be a problem if I were a person to sit around the house all day every day, but I am not that person so 3 ea. Hydro Cordon pills help me to exist every day. Everyone does not get addicted, a lot of what they say is total BS. At 73 years old I try to stay busy every day. I spent the last 2 weeks riding 2,000 miles around the mountains in Bristol.

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Only half joking but have you seen Wild Wild West? The wheelchair shotgun seems pretty good and Joe Biden wouldn’t even take it away.

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You raise a very good question about the holster location. I’d not thought about whether it would be accessible should I fall, but after considering things, no, I don’t think I could draw whilst on my back with the weapon at 8:00. I’m really glad you brought that to my attention, as that choice of locations could have lead to disaster.
That, coupled with another suggestion to add a laser makes me think I need a different holster, I have a Beretta APX Compact/Centurion and it does have a short rail, so a laser will fit on it, but my current holster won’t support that. I’m now thinking a 10:00 or 11:00 ish IWB might be a better choice. It seems like that would lend itself to easier access both standing and should I be on the ground.

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Wow. You folks amaze me. So many helpful posts, and so much useful information. I already have numerous changes to make in how I carry and how I practice, as well as a couple on my health in general, and I thank you all so very much.
As those of you who are on disability or have a friend or relative on disability know, the fight to just be awarded that status is long and hard; it took me over 5 years (with no income as I couldn’t work) to finally win it. You feel, or at least I felt like everywhere I turned there was nothing but roadblocks. Even the medical community that was available to me at the time (a free clinic) seemed to think I was just lying to get drugs and even getting the CAT and MRI scans that finally proved my case was like being in a prize fight against Tyson or Ali. Finally, though, I succeeded. Yet, even then moving forward was like pulling teeth.
Then, when I decided to carry, I was looking at countless YT videos for suggestions, and I saw one talking about various companies offering to help you through a potentially deadly firearm incident. This peaked my interest and I started doing some research and finally settled on USCCA. Initially, my decision was based on cost effectiveness, and in truth, I really didn’t expect anything beyond what was offered, i.e. the coverage, training videos, CC magazine, etc.
Then yesterday, I checked out the community page, and let me tell you, I’m so glad I did. The outpouring of help and emotional support I’ve gotten in just 24 hours totally blew my mind. It’s so incredibly refreshing to encounter so many people willing to help, and people that both understand and indeed, share in the experiences I’ve had that I really feel welcome.
I thank you all very much, and want you all to know that you have made a difference,

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:+1: :smiley: We got your back

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Have you considered a chest rig? Put a jacket or light shirt for concealment. Could hold a pistol & magazines. Wouldn’t look out of place being in a chair.

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