timelady: hubiestubert: Years ago, I got a fairly nasty infection in my leg. Cat climbed me, and sank a claw deep, and I got an infection between the fat layer and the muscle, and it blew my thigh up by about a third of its girth, and I had to use crutches, and a wheelchair for about a week. The one thing I noticed, when I was using a wheelchair in public, is that if I was with someone--like my fiance--folks automatically turned to her to find out what I wanted. Man in my early 30s, not slurring or incapacitated, but suddenly, I was put into the role of someone being taken care of. I'd ask to see something in a shop, and the clerks would turn to her to see if it was OK. Go to pay for something, they turned to her for the card or the cash. Never mind that I was wheeling myself around on my own power--not being pushed, talking with her in conversational tones, and even bickering amicably--but suddenly, in a wheelchair, I turned apparently deaf, dumb, and mentally handicapped.On crutches? Everyone was sympathetic, and I was just a guy who had an accident. In a wheelchair? I was suddenly horribly brain damaged, and barely functioning, and if I asked a clerk a direct question, they turned to by bride to be for approval. It was an odd perspective, but one that has sort of shaped how I deal with the public when I have to.HAHAHA oh gods yes. Try being in a large electric wheelchair - think Stephen Hawking. It tilts, so it takes pressure off my spine.They talk to my kids or my husband. I am a University lecturer in computer science. Tends to shut them up when told that. But before, I get SLOW LOUD SPEECH DEAR. Lady, my spine is borked. Sometimes, in an act of presto spite, because I still have (for now, it is diminishing all too rapidly:( ) some small mobility, I get to my feet, yell "miracle" and collapse again. Great at concerts etc. Or for that first lecture where students are a bit uncertain about me. They blink, then laugh, and when I smirk, they get it. Ice broken. They are told it is okay to ask me questions about it. Break down some barriers.One woman told me I should commit suicide, in effect - the first day I had my wheelchair, after my spine just got to the point where walking stick wouldn't cut it anymore, I realised I could do so much again I had lost. And as I was waiting for one of my offspring outside a shop, a woman asked me if that was my daughter, proudly, I said it was. She then proceeded to tell me for ten minutes I was lucky, as most kids would not take on such a burden, that she would kill herself in my position, and much along the same lines. I was gobsmacked and went home to weep. But after, I realised she was telling me she was afraid if it happened to her, she would be alone and uncared for.The don't talk often because we confront them with a fear. As mine was accident and not congenital, it is worse - that could be THEM.Or they are jerks;)
cowgirl toffee: maram500: I'm a couple years away from being in a wheelchair (chronic, deteriorating pain, thanks), and having used a wheelchair a few times, here's the best advice I've got:You aren't a grocery cart. You aren't magically capable of going longer distances. No ma'am/sir, I don't use this chair because I'm "lazy." Stop staring, please. Yes, I can still feel you poking my legs--stop it.All that being said, it is still surprising how "nice" people can be when they see you have a handicap. I walk with a cane, and people go out of their way to open doors, clear narrow aisles, and so forth.Yep... they're all nice when they see you get out of a car with a handicap plate when you have custom leg braces and a device to stabilize your spine. But once you go through years of agonizing surgery and you look "normal", here comes all of the comments about taking someone's parking spot because you're driving "grandma's car".Just a tiny bit bitter. o_o
maram500: I'm a couple years away from being in a wheelchair (chronic, deteriorating pain, thanks), and having used a wheelchair a few times, here's the best advice I've got:You aren't a grocery cart. You aren't magically capable of going longer distances. No ma'am/sir, I don't use this chair because I'm "lazy." Stop staring, please. Yes, I can still feel you poking my legs--stop it.All that being said, it is still surprising how "nice" people can be when they see you have a handicap. I walk with a cane, and people go out of their way to open doors, clear narrow aisles, and so forth.
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