Some people may wonder why a perfectly healthy looking 20 year old is using a Wheelchair to navigate the mall or other public areas.
A lot of you will probably think that I have no right to use a wheelchair because I look fine on the outside. And maybe the only thing that you can see wrong with me are some knee braces. But knee braces are supposed to help people walk, and you’re right. But you don’t know what’s going on in my head and how I feel at that exact moment.
For me it takes a lot to admit that I need to use a wheelchair, using a wheelchair is like an absolute last resort. It’s mainly reserved for the days when I’m out with my friends and there’s no chance that I could possibly keep up with them. Or when I’m in so much pain that the idea of walking makes me dread my entire existence.
It takes so much strength to use a wheelchair, often times I get stared at or ridiculed for using a wheelchair. I once had a woman try to take a wheelchair away from me when I was starting to sit on it and I fell on the floor. At that time I dislocated my wrist and I got really mad.
There’s so much judgment around using mobility aids when you are younger that it makes my life and I’m pretty sure other peoples lives really hard. Usually only people that are “allowed” to use wheelchairs are older people, people that are paralyzed or missing a limb and so on.
But I’ve learned when I use a wheelchair to just not care about other people. I’ve learned that you just have to do what helps make your life easier. So just don’t care what others say or do, it’s your life and no one can stop you from using a wheelchair or other mobility aid.
But for the able bodied people that may be reading this, you should always ask before you start pushing someone’s wheelchair. I’ve found that using wheelchairs does do some damage to my pride, I want to at least have the ability to wheel myself around and feel in control of something. People are in control of their movements when they walk, I should have control over where I wheel myself. If you see me tying bandanas around my hands, at that point in time I’m going to wheel myself until I get tired.
So that’s how I feel about using wheelchair. Love it or hate it, that’s what I have to say.