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Wheelie and I

  • Posted by Giraffe-a-licious
  • 4 Jan 08, 11:39 AM

Elizabeth’s wheelchair blog yesterday was brilliant; absolutely spot on. I particular identified with her assertion that being in a wheelchair doesn’t mean that you can’t walk but nor does it mean that you are not disabled.

I only use a wheelchair every so often and I am deeply aware of the fact that I should be grateful for that. My wheelie friend usually only accompanies me on shopping trips and other activities where I have to be on my feet for an extended period of time. I’m fortunate enough to be able to get out of my chair in the shops and have a browse at my full height.

Onlookers usually fall into two categories. The first seem to assume I must be faking my need for a wheelchair just in order to procure myself a blue badge space. Blimey! The last time I looked, disabled parking spaces weren’t that desirable. Do they come with a valet service now? The second group seem to think that they’ve witnessed some sort of major miracle! “Oh my word! She was in a wheelchair and now…she’s walking. Call the Pope!” Actually I did once hear of a fellow M.E. sufferer making a pilgrimage to Lourdes one year. She got out of her chair and people had just that reaction. I’m not entirely sure of the total veracity of that story but I like to think that it’s all true!

In a perfect world it would be lovely if everyone knew and acted in accordance with Elizabeth’s wise words. However with that looking rather unlikely, it’s always a good laugh to see just how much you can get away with because you’re in that wheelchair. One of my favourite pastimes is the trying on of hats in department stores. I have no intention of buying a hat. Nor has my partner in crime, my sister. We use our phones to take pictures of ourselves in various outrageous pieces of headwear. We receive plenty of funny/accusing looks from people but strangely enough we’ve never yet been reprimanded.

So guess what? I shall continue to get in and out of my chair at will, continue to get those confused or accusing looks and continue to have a good old giggle whilst doing so.

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Great stuff! My new year's resolution (I try to make just the one, heh) is going to be something about using mobility and other aids in the way *I* want to. Very important.

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