Sincerely, Wheelchair People.

My biggest pet peeves when it comes to being in a wheelchair.
The shit people say and do….
1. Telling me to turn off my wheelchair.
I’ve been in a wheelchair since I was like 3 years old… And for SOME reason people feel the need to tell me when to turn my chair off… I think I know how to control my own chair. Personally, I hate turning my chair off so that’s probably why it bothers me so much.

2. Telling me HOW to drive.
Back to being in a wheelchair since I was 3… Some people try and tell me which way I should be turning and places I can and can’t fit. I don’t tell you guys how to walk. Just like you guys stub your toes, I run into things here and there. Same concept.

3. When people pet me.
I’ve come across a few incidents where people like to pet and stroke my head when they first meet me… I feel like a freakin dog. I think it’s the equivalent to shaking peoples hands or giving them a pat on the back. I haven’t quite figured out why but it’s quite annoying. Also, you’re messing up my hair! C’mon people.

4. When people apologize for disability.
Now it hasn’t happened to me personally but I feel like people have apologized to my mom before after she tells them I have a disability. WHY?! I’m not dying people. Apologizing for something I was born with is like giving condolences after someone’s death. So… Watch how you reply to news like this.

5. When people assume I’m paralyzed.
I CAN FEEL EVERY BODY PART. Some people feel the need to answer other peoples questions about my disability by telling others I’m paralyzed. False. Paralyzed means you have no feeling or control in a certain part of your body. I have feeling, I just don’t have the muscle to move it.

6. When cops tell me to slow down.
This happened a lot in high school. The security guards would tell me to “slow down or they’ll give me a ticket” and I just ignore or give them a quick fake chuckle. I don’t know why, but it’s very annoying when cops do this. I feel like an 8-year-old on one of those electric cars that go like 3 miles an hour with my dad screaming behind me “slow down I can’t catch up you’re too fast for me” to make the experience funner and more exciting….

7. “Going for a walk”
If I say this, please do not correct me. Clearly I cannot walk but saying “I’m going for a roll” just sounds weird.. Plain and simple.

8. Being stuck behind people.
This is the worst. People generally walk at a pace of about 3 miles an hour. My chair can go twice that fast. So when a group of people decide to walk right next to each other and there’s no way for me to go around, my god it’s annoying. Imagine if you were on your longboard or bike and this happened. Yeah, I feel the same way.

9. “You’re so lucky you don’t have to walk”
…..believe it or not I’ve been told this a hand full of times. Not being able to walk is not something to be lucky about. I’ve gotten this mostly when I’m out with people and there’s a lot of walking involved. Like at a mall or amusement park. I’m not “lucky” I can’t walk, you’re just lazy and out of shape. When you get tired of walking you have the ability to sit down and relax. I do not have that option. Just a little thought.

10. Random wheelchair people say hi
So at school there aren’t that many wheelchair people maybe like seven. I know two of them… Yet when I pass one I don’t know, they feel the need to say hi to me. Okay, I don’t wanna sound like an asshole or anything but it’s obvious the only reason they’re waving is because we’re both in wheelchairs.. For some reason, this is a pet peeve of mine. I say hi to lots of random people but not specifically because of a certain feature. I may be over exaggerating this one but it’s something I’ve noticed.

11. Accessible. One step.
If a building has ONE step, it’s not accessible. A number of times I’ve had people say “yeah it’s accessible, there’s just one step.” That “one step” is usually a huge step that my wheelchair cannot go up without assistance. Therefore, it is not accessible.

12. When people call me speedracer.
I feel like an 8-year-old when people say this. Just don’t do it.

These are just some things I’ve thought about. I know there’s more so I will be adding to the list as life goes on. (:
I still love you all, just some things on my mind. (:

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6 thoughts on “Sincerely, Wheelchair People.

  1. I can’t exactly say “I know what you mean!” but I can imagine this all being so frustrating. Possibly something else to add to your list….Have you ever had people address an able body instead of you? I get asked stuff sometimes when hanging out with wheelies and it bugs the hell out of me.

    “And what would he would to drink?”
    “I don’t know. Ask him!”

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  2. I too have been in a wheelchair since I was young due to a condition I was born with. I agree 100% with everything you said! Most days I wish I had a neon sign over my head that said “I’m a 25 year old, intelligent, capable woman. Don’t treat me like I’m an invalid or a toddler.” People, sometimes you just want to “accidentally” run over a toe here and there.

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  3. Lol these are all so true. I’m 27 and have been cruising around in a powerchair since I was 2. I hate the odd compliments on my driving, “wow you can really zip around can’t you?” And “you’re really good”. Maybe I should start complimenting their walking skills.

    Quick tip: when I got told to slow down, I’d tell them that the speed limit, as posted in the parking lot outside, was 10mph. The top speed of my chair is 8.5mph. I know, it was a bit of a smart ass answer, and I typically did slows me anyways, til I was out of their sight. Anyways, loved reading this and look forward to more. Check out my blog 🙂

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