In response to an article published on the BBC News Ouch page regarding ‘Lesser-know things about being a wheelchair user’ I’d like to add my top ten irritations of having to use a wheelchair.
For the people that know me, they are probably thinking “only ten?”. Well, yes, ten to get started with.
- Having to use my lap as a dinner tray because I can’t get my wheelchair under the table.
- When people try to push me before asking whether I need help or not. Not so easy these days as I have removed the push bars from all my wheelchairs. My new wheelchair was made without push bars.
- When people use my wheelchair as a leaning post. If they do I try to move away quickly and make them lose their balance.
- Benders and patters; those people that bend over to talk to you or pat you on the leg or shoulder. If you like your hands please don’t place them on me!
- Running over cigarette butts! Can’t you smokers dispose of cigarette butts properly? At least have the decency to put them out first!
- Punctures, just as bad as getting a drawing pin in your foot!
- Looking at everyone’s backside in a crowd. Obviously this only happens if the crowd are travelling in the same direction. You could turn around but then you just get everyone’s groin at eye level and most likely an accident.
- Having a back wheel fall off. It’s happened! At a petting zoo, the wheel came off and I head butted a goat!
- People think they are funny by saying things like ‘Ooh, give me a lift!’ or ‘You want to put an engine in that’ or ‘You’re get a speeding ticket you will’ chuckle, chuckle. Grrr!
- The assumption that anyone walking beside me is a carer.