Life in a Wheelchair

I am NOT permanently in a wheelchair, nor do I need to be in one. I can move fine with crutches however for longer journeys or trips out I take my wheelchair so I don’t get too tired and it becomes a little safer. Although in a few months I may be back to walking normally I wanted to highlight a few issues I’ve seen from being in this position and the difficulties some people face in life.

Shopping

Now I loveeeee shopping even if I don’t want to buy anything I can still shop and never get bored. Being unable to walk around the Januray sales was not going to go done well for me.

I visited my local shopping center at 9am sharp to try and avoid the crowds. (Luckily I succeeded). Thinking about when you go shopping how often do you see people in a wheelchair, in my case it’s not very often. I never really thought it would be difficult for them. However I was wrong. Especially during sale season where there is racks and racks of clothes there actually isn’t enough space to fit a wheelchair. With my mums lack of wheelchair pushing experience we were pretty screwed. So not only can I not fit through the racks of clothes, I then cause difficulties in doing it and the attention is drawn to me. That’s what I can’t stand the most, people looking at me. In a wheelchair you experience it a lot more and being paranoid about it is the worst.

One shop I have a massive complaint about is Waterstones. In my local shop there are table at the front with books on. This isn’t just in the sale season and is there all the time. Now between these tables you CAN’T physically fit a wheelchair. I couldn’t actually get in the shop. Now this won’t just effect people in wheelchairs, what about pushchairs? How on earth can people get in this shop!! In this situation I felt so embarrassed and just wanted to leave straight away. This was only a natural response but now I look back I really shouldn’t of felt like that . Why am I embarrassed by the fact that store didn’t accommodate for those less able. In my eyes this is so wrong. We are excluding people from easily accessing a store that appeals to so many.

Clubbing

For a long time I didn’t want to go out. I didn’t want the attention being drawn to me. I felt like I wouldn’t enjoy it, would become an issue for my friends and people would look down on me because of it. Being a uni student every goes out a hell of a lot. I then suddenly realised why am I being so stupid? I’m letting something that I can’t even control effect me and stop me from having fun. So I went and you know what it was one of my favourtie nights out.A big shout out to my friends for being so amazing and pushing me around while having a whale of a time themselves.

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At first I was a little embarrassed but I did begin to enjoy myself.

The one thing that got to me was the amount of people coming to talk to me. Don’t get me wrong all of them were so lovely, but I was being told what I was doing was amazing. Sorry what? All I’m doing is out clubbing please explain to me how this is so ‘amazing’. We as a society need to change the way we think, seeing someone out in a wheelchair should just be considered as normal not amazing.

No matter what position you are in, don’t let it stop you from having fun.

Day to day life

Honestly little things every day have become a little bit challenging for me. Little things such a cooking and cleaning become so difficult and take me ages. I have so much respect for those that do this day in and out.

The majority of places I go aren’t wheelchair friendly. Even around my university campus, getting through doors that aren’t electric or even up and down curbs is a hassle. Seeing how difficult it is to get around makes it so difficult for those that have to life their life like this. I’m lucky I’ve got friends and  family to help up, but others may not and will struggle even more getting around.

So in my eyes we need to start accommodating for those with mobility issues. For people to feel embarrassed and not want to go out in fear of what others think is  so wrong.

H xxx

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18 Comments

  1. reading through is made me think that we take small things in everyday life for granted. I never would have thought about the struggles in shops, and it’s quite selfish really. I suppose it just really makes you think and that’s why this post is great.

    kayla | http://www.daintydweeb.com
    xo

    1. Thanks for you lovely comment. We are all guilty of not thinking about those things and don’t realise it until it happens to us!

  2. You know I’ve never really had a chance to think about the struggles people in wheelchairs actually have, some shops need to work on their accessibility, it’s unfair to people in wheelchairs and like you said, people with pushchairs too. Eye-opening post!!

    connor x

  3. Love the awareness you’re raising and I know that it must be hard for you to do things, but props to you for actually trying and being strong. It’s very admirable!

    – Chloe
    chloetommo.co.uk
    xoxo

  4. I can understand how you feel about being in a wheelchair, as my dad has to use his when he’s out shopping and etc because of him being disabled ( with arthritis and nerve damage). It’s very awkward to get around places/shops and having to deal with rude people who don’t move out of the way when they can see a wheelchair approaching. Well done for not letting your wheelchair stop you from having fun! 🙂 x

    http://www.astoldbykirsty.blogspot.co.uk

  5. I love this post. I’ve never been in a wheelchair myself but I witnessed how differently people that use wheelchairs get treated when my dad was in one. Simple things such as shopping I would have never imagined how difficult it is, let alone things like cooking and cleaning. Things like this don’t really cross the minds of people that don’t have to go through it, so it’s fab that you’re talking about it!

  6. Reading this makes my heart bleed, I can’t imagine how it must feel when places aren’t wheelchair accessible when they really should be. I also agree about Waterstones I’ve seen women struggle with pushchairs before! Thankyou so much for writing this post x

  7. Reading this has made me realise how lucky I am. Looking at things in my life, a lot of it isn’t wheelchair friendly and I believe this should change! Especially as we are all the same but when a place isn’t wheelchair friendly, we are excluding them. As you said, pushchairs are exactly the same with the space so Waterstones should surely be more open. Thank-you for writing about this, I think it opens it up a lot more to people.

    Gemma | http://www.anoceanglimmer.wordpress.com

  8. Such a shame that places like Waterstones are so poorly accessible! I suppose that it is just something that people don’t even stop to consider when sorting out their product displays, and that’s really bad form! Everyone should feel welcome and able to get around whether it’s a bookshop, a clothing store, or a nightclub! Good on you for posting this and raising awareness!

    Abbey 💓 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

  9. Very well said. It’s certainly a change in mindset, in perspective and stereotypes that needs to happen. I can see the small improvements made over time, but there’s still a long way to go. Thank you so much for sharing, it also made me more grateful for the smaller things I do and enjoy, but also the way I say I don’t (but still do) give too much care to what others think. x

  10. I really admire you for talking so openly about this and I totally agree with you that being in a wheelchair shouldn’t be seen as ‘different’. Wheelchair or not you’re just a normal girl! X

    Kate// itskaterose.blogspot.com

  11. I’ve had my wheelchair for 22 months now, I can walk only so far with my crutches and I go in my wheelchair when I have to go shopping or the doctors as it is safer as I went the Asda on crutches once and I slipped on a bit of wet floor! I’m nearly on 1 crutch now and hopefully will be off them before my birthday in July but having to use a wheelchair was a big wake up call for me at first, and I felt embarrassed but now I don’t feel like that! Shopping is a nightmare so I’m glad my mum is with me and public transport is dreadful for disabled people! I love this post, it’s nice to see something different and I like that you talked about the negative things that disabled people have to go through! Even if you are not in a wheelchair forever, you still get to experience the positives and negatives of living life that way!

    1. I completely agree with you! It’s so horrible at first but learning to accept t makes it all okay! I hope you get off them soon!!!

  12. I’ve never seen someone in a wheelchair when clubbing, but I have seen people on crutches. I agree that Waterstones is really unsuitable for wheelchair users, they should really look into changing that! But well done for going out!

  13. Reading through this made me more and more grateful for the smallest of things, so firstly thank you for the reality check! But you’re being so strong! We all need to think again and sometimes be a little more considerate, so much love for this post and you! xxx

  14. As I read through this, I never really thought much about people in wheelchairs and it sucks in a way that they have to go through this, that you have to go through this. This world and people need to be more considerate about people like those in a wheelchair. Love you xxx

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