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Thread: Moments that make you feel REALLY disabled....

  1. #1
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    Moments that make you feel REALLY disabled....

    I use a wheelchair or scooter and I work. I'm lucky, I'm well qualified, do a reasonably demanding job and manage a team of people. Today I had a day off, and a few things I wanted to get done - none of them difficult, an easy straightforward kind of day.

    I was in a shop, buying a greetings card, so went to the till. The till lady congratulated me on my choice of card and told me I'd done very well to choose such a lovely card, counted my change out very slowly and carefully, reminding me I'd given her a fiver so she had to give me £3 change, checked if I wanted to buy anything else or if I needed any help with carrying my shopping (it was obviously a big bulky bag to carry with one card in it!!) then told me again she thought I was doing very well and people like me were inspirational to her! Imagine, I'm so good at buying a birthday card I've inspired someone. Who knew?

    I had no idea what to say to her! not like me, one of my most patronised moments, ever! Don't have many, and generally find people are lovely. I know she meant to be kind.....

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    I often get assistance from waiters or waitresses bringing coffee and sandwiches over. Strangers run in advance of me to open doors.

    The latest thing is complete strangers coming over to my car saying 'I'm sure you've done this 1,000s of times before but would you like me to help you packing the wheelchair away' - I'll just say sure why not then give them instruction on how to go about it. I'll thank them, they'll say you're most welcome and everyone is happy.

    I've not experienced any patronising behaviour when out on my powered wheelchair but is that because I leave them all standing!!

    It goes to show you Fliss how people can jump to conclusions - people seem to associate wheelchair users with learning difficulties. I scotch that issue right away by initiating conversation with politeness and flattery - so they know I'm on the ball!!

    I'm sure you've thought it over and realised that this woman was trying to be nice but over doing it!

  3. #3
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    Yes of course, she was a kind lady. She was so OTT tho, and unusually I couldn't work out what to say to make her realise I was able to cope with situation OK! I sort of behaved as she treated me, funny to reflect on her assistance with my change - I have a meeting at work with an accountant this morning to talk about the budget I manage...

    I have no problem with people offering assistance, and accepting it. If you do decide you would like a boot hoist you will find that people continue to offer to lift your chair in/out the car. I then explain that I don't want them to do this as I won't be able to lift it out next time if it's not attached to the hoist. Then they often stand and watch!! All fine, but sometimes I'd like to just get on without having to be smiley and chatty. I do appreciate people's kindness though. One of the car park men in my work car park has talked to me while I'm using the hoist so may times he knows how to do it now. He appeared in very heavy rain earlier this week and told me to sit in the car and he would do the hoist for me. As he had proper waterproof gear on (and I was just in work clothes) I decided this was a good plan. He's made it onto my Christmas list

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    Off topic, but hopefully LT will read it. Apologies to everyone else.

    Worth keeping a towel in the boot. Although the hatch does give you some shelter you'll find on a very wet day the seat of your chair will be wet by the time everything is assembled. Not nice, you'll be glad of a towel to quickly dry it.

  5. #5
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    Well LT the motor is quite obviously heavy and awkward shape as well. People are often curious as well. Its not a manual.....so whats this bit??? COUNTLESS taxi drivers have watched me or my son take apart/fit together. ANOTHER taxi driver came over to watch...I did say we'd charge for a demo....
    The wet seat dilemna....I got pair of waterproof trousers for exactly that reason. Nothing worse than wet bum!!
    If folks wanna help, lifting heavy stuff, I'm okay with that, just watch em. Taxi drivers aren't always that careful. "It'll fit!!!" "Er no it Won't mate and that £4000 worth of kit so go easy there......"

  6. #6
    Senior Member catlover's Avatar
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    Sorry you had a bad experience, Fliss. It's fine when people want to help but sometimes they go over the top and end up being patronising which is not good. I have no problem with people offering to carry things for me but sometimes it's frustrating when people insist on doing things I'm perfectly capable of doing myself - I don't want to lose the ability to do the things I still can do because others insist on doing them for me!

    I get offers of help to get my scooter into the car but have to politely decline because it needs to go in just right otherwise I won't be able to reach to get it out. I keep a towel in the car mainly to cover my battery and protect a little against being bashed when I get the rest of the scooter in but it comes in handy to wipe the seat.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Well, I've not had the issue of a soggy seat so far. The Ability Centre loaned me a deep contour gel cushion that's very comfy, light and supportive - it's about 3 inches thick. It should have cost £500 but nobody seems to be in a hurry for payment so I'll sit on it until I hear from them.

    I've just had the proposed adaptations assessment papers to fill in - very thorough - better fill them in and get things moving.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    On another point - as we tend to live near the Trafford Centre - Fliss I'd be interested to see your Hoist in action as I've got the same smaller Scenic then after we could wheel over to the Orient for a coffee or light bite while people watching or running over!

    Let me know next time you're free - it would be nice to put a face to the name.

  9. #9
    Didn't know where to post this comment.
    Why do people always assume disabled people are in wheelchairs.
    My point is why in most car parks disabled bays are of a stick person in a wheelchair when not all disabled people are in wheelchairs.
    Why not just paint the word disabled users only on the tarmac.
    When you look around where you see disabled entrance on shops it is the same sign a stick person in wheelchair
    I think a new sign is in order.

  10. #10
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    Ah Rasy, was thinking of you after I posted- glad you replied. Knew you'd understand, frustrating that it happens a lot to you. I think you've observed before that ladies of a certain age are more likely to behave like this, and I agree. I met a 10 year old boy yesterday with a very cool chair (wanted to know brand, but would have spoilt the moment if I'd asked and it wasn't easily visible!) He was confident with his friends, ignoring his mum, and knew what he wanted! And confident in his chair, which I suspect gets a bit of bashing. Yes I'm certain he'd like to have been up a tree (it was the park) and I'm certain that people look at him a lot but he wasn't thinking about any of this. I hope so much that he grows up with little experience of what we're describing! I can remember being about 13 and realising for the first time what some people assumed about me, it seemed so strange.

    Enjoy your day, I never iron on a Saturday! x
    Last edited by Fliss; 01-08-15 at 08:04.

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