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Dave Hingsburger | 19:46 UK time, Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Well, it happened. It's been almost three years now since I've become a wheelchair user. At first I used the wheelchair only in public but walked at home and work. Then, as I wanted to fully participate in my homelife, I began using the chair in the kitchen and to get around in the bathroom. Finally a few weeks ago, I began using my chair at work too. My mobility has increased and I am now much more able to be part of the social world of work - but that last bastion of walking was a hard one to give way. I know, I know, 'disability pride' but allow me a relapse into the 'old me' every now and then.

So as the disability claimed more of my waking life I was fascinated to note that in my dreams, I not only walked, I ran. (I'm fat, always been fat, fat people should never run - I never ran.) My dreams have allowed me physical abilities that I never had. I flew. Over the heads of others. I saw through buildings. While not being superman, at least I was super human. I don't tend to nightmares - so dreams always seemed like a pleasant escape into a world wherein I had greater skill, greater ability and greater control. Rah Dreams.

But last night was different.

Vastly different.

I awoke from a vivid dream wherein I was in a wheelchair for the whole dream. I didn't fly. I didn't have supernatural skills. I just rolled about as things happened. (Forget the dream content, I bore when others tell me their night visions and I refuse to bore others with mine.) My dream wheelchair was much like my real chair. It needed to be pushed and it turns on a dime. The me in the chair in the dream was like me in all dreams - the center of the activity, the center of that world. But in a chair.

Sitting thinking about the fact that the wheelchair had entered my dream world. Had become such a part of me that I couldn't, even in my dream state, be without it. Like dreaming of myself without legs. Without hands. I realized that 'my self' had embraced 'my difference' and that the transition was smooth. One day flying, next day rolling ... move along.

Dreaming disabled ... at night.

Now I have to imagine dreaming disabled ... awake.

There is a challenge I think I'm up to ...

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  • At 06:19 PM on 21 Feb 2008, Kathryn Williams wrote:

I've had a similar experience with going from fully-ambulant to almost full-time wheelie. I forget when I started to include the wheelchair in my dreams, but I remember feeling very odd the following morning.

The biggest difference between my dream chair and my real chair is that I can push my dream chair up hill and down dale, over rough ground or smooth. So, in a way, I still have dream superpowers - strong arms! Also, my dream chair doesn't rattle my teeth out of my head.

Thanks for sharing this post - it's nice to know I'm not the only one who dreams on wheels.

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