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The hardest part of being in a wheelchair has nothing to do with my limitations.
The hardest part of being in a wheelchair has nothing to do with my limitations. Yes, steps are my kryptonite, getting in and out of cars is a pain, there are more curbs than you think, and grocery shopping is next to impossible, but there are solutions. Due to imagination, tenacity, or both, most things can be overcome. What can’t are how other people treat you.
At a hotel, I am arranging for a room. I am paying for it. It is my license they copy the address from. But they will always talk to the standing person with me, as if I’m too feeble to understand what I’m doing or what they are saying. Handing forms and my credit cards back to the standing partner and saying to them “have a nice stay.” is the norm. I have literally interrupted people saying, “Hey, down here, remember me? I’m the one doing business here. Talk to me.”  Happens in banks, stores, everywhere.
Or how about Miss Helpful when facing a hill?
Miss: “Here, I’ll give you a push.”
Me: “No thank you, I’m fine.”
Miss, now moving around behind me: “Oh no, its no trouble really.”
Me: “Really, I’m fine. Thank you anyway.”
Miss, now pushing on my back: “Its ok, where do you want to go?”
Me in my head: “Listen Bitch, I don’t want to be pushed! Go get your gold star sticker for the day from someone else! Maybe you would like me to push and touch you against your will, oh wait, that’s called assault! Leave me the fuck alone!”

Of course I don’t say that, but its what I am thinking while being pushed by a feel good miss. I actually had to re-adjust my chair’s breaks so they are less useful to me for day to day living, but I can stop Miss Helpful in mid stride so fast her breasts bounce off the back of my head. Its not really peoples fault. I understand the sentiment and the ignorance but don’t always put up with it. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate people who hold doors, or move bags out of the way with a smile, or even those who offer to push me up a hill, but like everyone else I have a choice to accept that help or not.
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