Sunday, September 2, 2012

Get Out of the Cotton Pickin' Way!

I'm normally a compassionate person with a pleasant disposition, but sometimes, there are moments I need to take a breath and just...RANT.

This would be one of those moments.

I've been getting out and about the past couple of days and it's been truly wonderful, however I remember why being in a wheelchair and going places (particularly busy places) is such a pain in my a%^; literally, mentally and figuratively.

Reason #1:

Yes, I understand that pushing a wheelchair up and down the hill, through grassy, graveled, and generally bumpy and uneven areas and through the thick of a crowd of people is a hard job; I'm not saying it isn't. But it's no picnic actually sitting IN the chair itself WHILE being pushed through these different terrains.

Every bump, jar, and pothole hit is like sending a jolt throughout my already aching and pain-ridden body and of course the more we go, the worse it gets. My back, legs, shoulders and every other muscle in my body starts to hurt from tensing up from each impact. I start to get a headache. My butt starts falling asleep despite the jarring, so I have to keep shifting to get comfortable, which never really happens.

So needless to say, being in a wheelchair tires me out more than walking itself would.

Reason #2:

Please, please, PLEASE don't tell me I have it easier because I'm sitting down and don't have to do anything.

Refer to reason #1.

Reason #3:

Probably the most important reason in this rant: People are rude.

Of course there are several people who go out of their way to help the cause; opening and holding doors, helping get me over electrical cords or nasty looking potholes, moving things out of my way, etc.

For every 1 person that's kind and actually helpful, there are a handful more that are just plain rude, especially in a crowded area. They don't pay attention and just walk in front of my moving wheelchair so I have to be jarred to a fast stop. When they see me, you'd think they'd apologize or at the very least move out of the way?


They stand there and either look at me and go back to their business or just stare. I want to shout at them, "Hello! You see this big hunk of metal I'm sitting on? It's not a piece of interpretive artwork, it has wheels for a reason."

Other people actually see that somethings in my way and instead of politely moving it aside or asking if they could help, they just stare.

It makes me feel like I should do a trick like a performing animal in payment for their help.

Then, there are the gems that I particularly love; the people that assume I'm healthy-enough looking that I don't need to be in a wheelchair, so they either give me nasty looks or say something snide like, "You're too young to be in a wheelchair."

Ignorance is bliss. Or so the saying goes.


So you see everyone, all I ask is the next time you see someone in a wheelchair, using a walker, or generally someone needing a little help regardless of the situation, please don't assume and just lend a helping hand.

I can tell you for certain it will be much appreciated and it just might make someone's day!


Durante said...

Wow... people never cease to amaze me, and not always in a good way. It sounds like it really is an exercise in patience. I had never considered this from that point of view.

It's eye opening, though I'll complain too.

I was almost knocked over the other day by a lady on an electric scooter... She was just rude, driving like she was at a race track; she was part of a caravan, she was too obese to walk, followed by her husband who was too obese to walk, and her daughter, who ... looked like she was working on it.

Charlene Canfield said...

I know what you mean Kayla, I try to help people at Walmart or other stores when they can't reach something or need help finding something. When I had my surgery and I was in the motor chair at walmart people could be very rude. It tore my nerves up. I would only go early in the morning on weekdays. I feel the same about really old people. They can't help it either. Rule of thumb: Treat someone the way you would want to be treated.

Are you now in a wheelchair?

Unknown said...

I hear you so much!!! When Gabe was about 3 or 4 years old, we applied for a pass for an handicap spot. True, he was able to walk and from outside he looked like every other little boy, but try to explain to an hyperactive kid that doesn't talk that he could not jump out of the car and run in the road......all the while unfastening a few months old baby from her car sit praying that a car won't run him over..... You have no idea how many times people harassed me all the way inside the store yelling that I didn't deserve a handicap spot because we could all walk and nobody needed assistance. people are just quick to assume that people are faker or moocher....really wanna make me scream!!! WHY OH WHY WOULD I FAKE MY SON AUTISM????

XmasDolly said...

AMEN - Maybe you need a Foghorn on your chair to scare the hell out of these ignorant people so they'd get the hell out of the way and WAKE UP PEOPLE! No matter what age you are if you're in a chair it's for a DAM REASON PEOPLE! I'm behind you 120% sweetie!

Jenine said...

People are rude and insensitive. Or I guess you could say that they have become desensitived. Is that a word? Where they don't actually go the extra inch (notice the word INCH here - that tells you something about today!) when they see someone in a chair or with a cane or on crutches.

I still believe though that a lot of people just don't know how to react to someone in a chair. I've seen people just kind of glaze over and look through people and situations that they don't know how to handle.

However, in the situations that you've described, that just goes to plain rudeness, obnoxiousness, and self-centeredness.

Betcha can't tell this is a strong subject for me too huh! :)

Terra Heck said...

It never ceases to amaze me just how rude and insensitive some people are. Thankfully there's more good people than not who are willing to help and get out of the way.

Krafty Max Originals said...

Although I haven't been in a wheelchair I have had girls - in my girl scout troop - and friends that are and I have to say, you are soooo right on! I am always amazed at people! I will watch people comment about people that have disabilities and it just amazed me! But, the reason some of it happens - the LAZY people who use the carts that don't need them... but that is for a different rant!! :)

Dee said...

Thankfully, there are more good people in this world than bad, but it's unfortunate that we seem to run across the bad more often. For those folks I say, just try not to let them ruin your day or your good mood, excuse it by thinking that there must be something unhappy going on in their life and say a quick prayer for them and keep going.

Rebecca said...

after being in a wheelchair for a year I have a new found respect for those you have to be in one it is definitely not easy

Colette S said...

I know these rude people. They seem to be more and more now.

Rant away love. It's good to get it out, trust me.