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.
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.
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.
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!