Monday 1 February 2016

My elephant in the room -The wheelchair conundrum

I've mentioned several times before in past posts how embarrassing it can be, stuck in between the two worlds of the enabled people and the disabled people. Sure, not everyone ya meet out there is dumb-as-fuck/ is aware that disabilities differ -Some extremely visible, some hidden. But I can't stress enough, this world view is not as common knowledge as you may think.

For some it's either able bodied/ 100% fit and healthy Vs. little Sally has no limbs and is blind and deaf, lets stick her on a Facebook post with some inspirational words and say Oprah said it (Oprah didn't say it? That's ok, it's the internet, no one will check) so we can all feel better about the situation. Maybe even type AMEN, then we're all defo going to heaven. For some, it is indeed that black and white.

Example -the recent news stories of people getting shit for either stepping out of their wheelchair for a minute, ('cause ya know, never ever in the history of people has anyone eeeeever had to only use the chair on a part-time basis) or not owning a chair to begin with, and notes left on their cars calling them fakers -even though they have disability badges (because things like Crohn's disease or other internal diseases do not exist either). See some examples here:

EastEnders star Lisa Hammond abused in the street

Coronation street star Cherylee Houstan falsely accused of being a benefits cheat

Mum of disabled toddler returns to car to find threatening note

Woman suffering from fibro finds cruel note branding her "fat and ugly" after she parks in the disabled bay (although this one should really get a badge if she guna be at that!)

For people like this, it's a simple case of if you weren't in a wheelchair at birth, why would you be now? They don't view conditions as progressive. If yo momma didn't pump out the wheelchair from her vajayjay straight after you plopped out, then you're a faker. Because wheelchairs are super fucking kewl and everyone wants them. For others, it's the very common, over-stated "you're too young to be sick" mantra.

These prejudices and extreme/ bizarre/ old fashioned misconceptions exist even without the visible elephant in the room that is the wheelchair. A cane doesn't really
help much either, but people get used to it quicker -It's smaller, I can hide it well, etc.

But of course, forget what others think -I am my own worse enemy. I have my own prejudices. Some of my thoughts involve worrying what others think of me (as detailed above) and I don't think I could really handle it. Every time I read a new news article on what is happening to others, I pull further away from the part-time wheelchair idea -Nope, nadda. I'd rather just not leave the house...

But that's what is comes down to. I'm getting worse. I'm luckily working a part-time job that I love, which will be for a year, but even that is a struggle, tbh. I can't get out much besides that -I have very little spoons to do much else (Google the spoon theory/ spoonies -I'll do a separate post on that another day). I don't know what will happen after the year, there is a big chance I will have to go on disability, but I rather not think of that for now... For now, I need to concentrate on what I can do to help when I can't walk very well and/ or feel very weak, to get out more and see people and live the life any 30ish year old should be living... And unfortunately that is not doable with out the dreaded wheelchair.

Sooo... I'm getting one. No biggie, no huge rush... Me and Bicky hope to go on holidays to NY in the summer, so definitely by then. I'm going to ask my GP about the possibility of getting one or getting one partially funded by the HSE -I assume this a massive no way, in today's health system, but might as well ask. If not, will get one myself.

I had a brief look on a site and found these gems under "wheelchair accessories" -Apparently when you are in a wheelchair you can't wear normal people clothes and have to spend €300 bagillion on what appears to be clothing made from sleeping bags... ? Did anyone know this? Why? Fabulous. I knew there would be a silver lining... A silver, waterproof lining.

You had me at "sleeved wheelchair cape"...I can't friggin' wait.

[If anyone wishes to buy these amazing products, they are available from: The Mobility Shop]


  1. So true. People perceive disability and illness based on their own thoughts as to what that means. Being ill has taught me that illness comes in many forms - seen, unseen, totally debilitating and debilitating on some days while tolerable the next.

  2. "Apparently when you are in a wheelchair you can't wear normal people clothes and have to spend €300 bagillion on what appears to be clothing made from sleeping bags... ?"

    I laughed so hard there were actual tears!

    As for the rest of the post, I nodded vehemently along to so much of it that if my husband had walked in, he probably would have thought I was head banging to heavy metal music!

    Great post <3

    xx S.

    P.S. Get a wheelchair. Use it. Stuff all the ignoramuses. Don't let them limit your life.

    1. Haha, thanks so much for the comment! A chair is definitely on my to get list :) ♥