This post is going to be a bit more doom and gloom this week i’m afraid. It focuses on the challenges i’ve faced as a disabled person, but I am going to explain it from 2 different stand points. Unfortunately over the years I have had some negative experiences, but as they say: you gotta take the good with the bad!I am going to break it down into 3 main categories and have 2 sub sections looking at the viewpoints from a wheelchair user and a long cane user.




Physical Challenges.

As a wheelchair user:

 

  • Steps / flights of stairs. these have been the bane of my existence since my arthritis hit full throttle. I used a wheelchair to get around easily but that was always hindered by steps. Getting into places such as restaurants, or shopping stores, If I was by myself and there were no ramps or lifts available I had to get out of my wheelchair and get it up the step. If it was a flight of stairs I had to make an informed decision on whether firstly, I could manage the stairs, and secondly, if it was safe to leave my wheelchair unattended. The reason I got so upset wasn’t just because it was an inconvenience for me, but I thought of all the people who were paralysed or unable to get out of their wheelchair for other reasons. I’m glad the law has changed but I always made sure to make a point of complaining either directly or indirectly to the staff members of the establishments.

Pavements:

  • Another source of vexation for me! I don’t think people are fully aware of just how high pavements actually are, unless I was being pushed by someone who was happy to bump me off the kerb and then recline me back again so I could get back up the other kerb, it was like strapping yourself into Oblivion at Alton Towers, and just hanging there, waiting to plunge face forward. If the persons’ body weight was not counterbalancing my tipping point, I would fall forward and have the wheelchair on top of me. Trust me on this, don’t try doing it yourself, it hurts! I learnt that the hard way! And what if someone wasn’t pushing me? I would have to wheel myself halfway down the street, passing the path I needed to be on, just to find a sloping pavement. Imagine how annoying and not-to-mention how tiring it is when that’s just a small part of your journey!

Buses:

  • Before buses in the UK had hydraulic suspension fitted getting a wheelchair on and off them was a total nightmare, combine that with the previous challenges I mentioned earlier, and you’ll understand why I was extremely displeased to get on one of the older buses.
  • One time I can’t go without mentioning, again,buses. My partner and I were on a packed bus home at rush hour, full of people of all ages:specifically referring to 3 women with pushchairs sitting at the front with their toddlers. As you can imagine, traffic was practically at a stand still, and the journey was extremely long. If it wasn’t bad enough that it was hectic, one toddler insisted on screaming the bus down until his Mother lifted him out of his pushchair. When we eventually got to the next stop there was a gentleman in a wheelchair waiting patiently to get on… The bus driver opened the doors and shook his head at the man in the wheelchair; because there were women on board with their toddlers in pushchairs!! The driver did not ONCE ask any of the women to fold up their pushchairs and hold their child on their lap, which is a policy of UK bus companies! I’m still so enraged to this day thinking about the injustice that the poor gentleman suffered! The woman already had her toddler on her lap, yet the driver didn’t even acknowledge this and do his duty as a bus driver! I even tweeted the bus company just after the event and got no response! It baffles me why some people can be so completely ignorant!!




As a long cane user:

  •  Being a long cane user is quite physically demanding, and unless it’s a route I know like the back of my hand, I have to be fully vigilant at all times when travelling around. If wheelie bins have been left out, or cars are parked on the pavement, my cane gets caught in the smallest of gaps and cause me to jar my wrist or stab myself in the stomach. Not a pleasant experience!
    Pavements: walking through the town centre or generally around the area I live in, i’m almost guarantied i’ll trip, or my cane will get snagged on the raised slabs and cause me to twist my wrist or have my cane fly behind me, as I try to continue and I haven’t noticed it’s stuck! It’s sort of painful, but in truth, more embarrassing than anything else…

People:

  • On several occasions people have not paid any attention and caught me with their body part, pushchair, or handbag, and as strange as it sounds, it’s physically demanding to retain your balance and not steer off track when this happens. I think it might have more to do with me being more unsteady on my feet due to my arthritis, but using a cane in public really takes it toll physically on a visually impaired person.




18 comments on “Challenges of Being Disabled: The Physical side.”

  1. Thanks for this Sassy. I never thought about the difficulties with using a cane before. I’ve always thought blind people look so graceful as they sweep their road ahead, I never thought about it being a hindrance. #tribe

    • Thank you Sarah, I don’t think we’ve ever been called graceful before 😉 I really appreciate the comment and #TribalLove xxx

  2. Sassy you really are an inspiration and it frustrates me to read this post and hear that it is still so difficult for you to get about and that the selfishness of people about you to rush and not take care. I will share this post with the hope that more people who read will just try to take that little extra care and have just a little bit more compassion #triballove my lovely xx

    • Oh thank you lovely lady, I appreciate the kind words and you sharing it. I do hope that by blogging about it i’m brining just a little more awareness to the world of disability and navigating the world 🙂 hugs and #TribalLove to you xxx

  3. Oh Sassy, it saddens me that you have to go through this lovely. How hard would it be for people to take a bit more care – that would go a long way. Thank you for sharing this, even though I try to be vigilant around me especially in Brighton with narrow streets and a pushchair that takes up a lot of room – it’s good to understand how we can help more. I also find that so bizarre about buses in the UK, I’m sure any mum would be more than happy to fold up their pushchair to accommodate. You’re such an inspiration and I’m going to share this too xx #triballove

    • Thank you Bridey, it is people such as yourself who are vigilant and accommodating that make all the difference! Thank you also for sharing! Big hugs and #TribalLove to you xxx

  4. Wow, I guess I’ve never really taken the time to think of things from a disabled person’s perspective, which is shameful, really. That said, I would always empathise in the situations you have mentioned and like you, can’t understand why a bus driver wouldn’t be more considerate. I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be and so glad that they have made changes to make things a little easier.

    • Thanks Tracy, I guess it’s one of those things, we are so busy living our own lives that we don’t think of another persons’ perspective until they talk about it 🙂 xxx

  5. I think people who design towns, bus services etc really should be more considerate. I’m so pleased you complain when companies are getting it wrong, it’s sometimes just sheer ignorance as to why they haven’t. Even from the glimmer i’ve had from using my pushchair it’s a flippin pain. I can’t even imagine what it’s like (other than frustrating) in a wheelchair. #triballove x

    • I know Kelly, I wish the government and local council’s would take this into consideration when building new areas! 🙂 #TribalLove xxx

  6. Thanks for sharing this – I think a lot of people aren’t aware of how difficult it can be for people in wheelchairs or cane users to navigate their way around busy streets, buses, etc. And I can’t believe the bus driver didn’t let the man in the wheelchair on the bus – I’m sure any mother would be happy to fold up her pushchair! #triballove

    • Thank you 🙂 Yes I do believe that unless you are faced with it yourself in a direct or indirect way we don’t notice theses things.
      Yes I am more than sure that one of those women would not have minded at all, I think that is why it angered me so much; they bus driver didn’t give them or the man a chance! #TribalLove xxx

  7. It’s such a shame that as a society so many of our public services, shops and just all public places aren’t accessible. I really hope this changes dramatically soon as it must be so difficult for you and other wheelchair/cane users. I don’t like the sound of the kerb!! Thank you for sharing this with us, I hope it helps others become more considerate. #triballove

    • Thank you Ellen, it is such a shame that in this day and age we are still fighting for accessibility and the rights that non disabled people have.
      Thank you for the lovely comment 🙂 #TribalLove xxx

  8. This was such a great post to read. I’ve never had to deal with such a situation, but reading this from your point of view really hurt my heart. I cannot stand how cold hearted people can be!
    The only thing I have to say though is you should not be embarrassed when certain situations come your way. You are who you are, and there is nothing wrong with you. While you may have to work harder to get places when there isn’t someone there to help you; if you end up in a situation where people look at you with some type of judgement, just know that they are pieces of shit. You’re a better person than them!

  9. It’s so frustrating that things are still how they are, and that people also can be so stubborn re:bus. I have before got annoyed at being left out, literally in the rain, with my small baby in a massive unfoldable pushchair due to parents with 5 yr olds in strollers on the bus, (This isn’t an exaggeration because the couple happen to live in my street and I know full well there is no reason for that child to be in a stroller, nevermind on a bus in one) but I have no words for the reaction I had when a man in a wheelchair was unable to get on for the same reason. Needless to say I had a bus door closed almost on my face.

    Lu xx

    #TribalLove

    • Oh Lu, it’s so frustrating isn’t it? That would seriously bug me if i knew/saw that… It’s just laziness on the parents’ part! xxx

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