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.
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.
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.
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.