I am a complete beginner at this whole wheelchair thing, and its been grand really, but I have noticed a few funny things, like the way people treat you and how easily you can hurt yourself in one of these things!!
Recently I went for a walk with my better half and the pup, I call it a roll up the road! So, there we were at the shop and this old guy pulls in with his car on the forecourt, gets out of the car, is hardly able to walk himself and I swear he was doddery as they get, but I had to laugh at what happened next.
I had Boo’s lead and keith was pushing me in the chair, this guy falls out of his car and just about managed to balance on his walking stick. He spots us coming and lamps me in the chair and automatically proceeds to treat me like I am mentally retarded!
“Oh! is that your cat!?” (pointing at boo with that look you give 2 year olds when you tell them you just stole their nose!)
“Thats a lovely little cat, oh, OH?” *big stupid smile at me!
I look back, somewhat sympathetically I might add, but just say,
“yeah… she’s my cat” and I smile
“AH! you’re too clever for me, HAH? HA? OH!” he turns and wobbles into the shop.
I look up at Keith and we just giggle.
Thing is, he did it AGAIN when he came back out! FFS!
Anyhow, that was the first funny thing, then yesterday something else happened. I dunno if I should call her a busy body or if she genuinely wanted to help, but considering she was saying it while she was in the process of storming towards her car, makes me think she is just a busybody!
Keith had brought the wheelchair around to the passenger side of the car so I could skooch over onto it, this ‘ould wan’ comes from the direction of across the road, she was heading to her car which was parked behind us. Lamps the chair, Lamps me and the looks at Keith and said,
“Is she alright, ja want help?”
Keith just said we were good and she continuously walks towards her car and eyes me suspiciously as she goes… it was a little uncomfortable!
While in doing shopping a few times I have noticed people insisting that I go ahead of them in the queue, or getting sideways glances, especially from kids. It’s like they cant help but stare, its funny though, they are just innocent, but you would imagine some adults would know better, but not really.
Thankfully it has been ultimately a positive experience in the chair. It has allowed me to get out more and has helped me get around home easier and even with people, they are mostly positive, inclusive and understanding. It is only a tiny few that stand out and there is a minority in every society! 🙂
On a light note, I am finding out new things about using the chair… and what not to do! :p
Wheelchair lesson No.1 = Get gloves and keep your fingers out of the way of wheel spokes, OUCH!!! Fair few bruises and cuts to the fingers at this stage!
Wheelchair lesson No. 2 (Learned all of about 5 mins ago – heart still racing!) = DO NOT lean forward to reach something on the floor… I may be very flexible but the chair isnt and will tip over… Jeebus me heart!!!!!
Wheelchair lesson No. 3 = Remember your toes will be the first thing to hit the on coming wall/door/kerb/car/everything!!! Mind the tootsies!
Wheelchair lesson No. 4 which was given by my friend Michelle Roger from “Living With Bob” Blog = watch that scarf. Just thought I’d give you a little heads up from my own painful experience!! thanks, Michelle! Hope your neck is ok! 😮
Wheelchair lesson No. 5 = remove the seatbelt as it gets caught in the spokes … I do have a feeling this will come back to haunt me sometime in the future where I see myself somehow launched from the chair and thinking mid flight, “Well that was a crap idea, Lette!”
Wheelchair lesson No 6 = testing to see how fast you can turn the chair in tight circles, will make you nauseous. Yes you will want to vomit
And finally, For F*ck sake, Use the brakes!!!