I am so into Christmas right now, enjoying all the magic that happens at this time of the year. I have tried all day to avoid saying anything about this subject but it is really bothering me.
It is really hard to live in a wheelchair. I know who I was, even feel myself running and jumping through life. It's heart breaking to know you can't do something so little anymore because you don't have the use of your spine or legs. It also makes me angry & depressed but at the end of the day, there is nothing I can do about it.
People in general either don't see you or are annoyed that you are there. I can't tell you how many times I've used a handicapped ramp only to find that I am shut out of a building because they don't have an electronic door. I'm not talking about little privately owned stores. I'm talking about the Post Office, Social Security and even my doctor's office. It takes away a lot of your dignity when you have to travel with a poker so you can beat on a door for entry.
Recently I visited the moving wall across the street from my home in the community park. The city had recently repaved the street, raising the street level above the handicapped payment ramp. This caused my front wheels to become trapped in a ditch when I tried to cross the street to the park. People stared at me, ignored me or looked at me annoyed because I was out and not home where people like me belong.
What has me wound up today is reading the blog of an injured military boy. I know people make suggestions from their heart but maybe they should put themself in that persons place before they decide what should be done with them. To stop people from staring, it was suggested that a "sign" be pinned to the wheelchair saying your looking at a hero. Or, wear a hat that makes this statement.
Maybe everyone should wear a sign pinned to them..head lice, divorced, gay, herpes, welfare victim, retarded, diseased. How would they feel? The little dignity those of us manage to hang onto when sitting in our chair would fly out the window once we had our "sign" pinned to us. Adding the word "hero" doesn't change anything, in fact, those who might not stare will stop to read the sign.
You have to get a tough skin when your in a wheelchair. You have to learn to deal with rude people. I'm not going to wear a sign or a hat so people know how to treat me. It's much easier to look them in the eye and tell them they are being rude.