The perception of wheels…

Hello again & welcome back…you’ve probably guessed the subject of today’s post. Not a subtle image…but there really is nothing particularly subtle about ‘wheelies’! This is a little about my experience of needing to use one.

I will say first of all that I am not, and am thankful that I’mΒ not, confined to a wheelchair. That is a very different situation all together. For me the wheelchair helps when I’m able to go out for a little while …. and like everything else has to be paced & managed, as ME/cfs setbacks can last for days, weeks, months or years. So wisdom is the key. I still need quite alot more of that!

It’s about 10 years since my hubby and I first fairly reluctantly ventured into this territory. Thankfully we’ve managed to remain generally light hearted about this need. The sales person didn’t really get my humour at the time when I enquired “are they’re any other colours”? …actually I was being serious, it was interpreted as sarcasm as I was promptly furnished with a silver spongey seat accessory.

I’d had enough of being maroonedΒ & struggled to get in or out of anywhere, when ‘well’ enough to go out in the first place that is. Or just couldn’t delay the next medical appointment any longer, despite yet another setback being sadly inevitable. I’ve found myself marooned in a variety of settings as I came to the harsh realisation of what ME/cfs does. For a person who previously could function ‘normally’, ie. walk the family dog for an hr+ etc, it was difficult. But it was either try to float or sink… I’m not sorry we made the choice to get sturdy armbands.

Moving on…it really is incredible or should I say incredulous how a person in a ‘wheelie’ is perceived. I have been glared at for the following:

  • laughing whilst in wheelie
  • not crying whilst in wheelie
  • edging out of wheelie to don a coat
  • being in a wheelie

I have also nearly been mown down by a bus as the wheels became jammed in a kerb with wheelie helper desperately trying to free said wheels, whilst noticing the bus continuing to accelerate! We were all laughing hysyerically at the time. KERBS…the dirty word of all wheeled mobility aids. I feel another blog coming on…

I’ve been tripped over (minus apology), I have made appointments with walls (counter too high), been patted on the head and spoken loudly to, ignored, apologised for myself too many times & had to laugh politely at ridiculous jokes when a complete stranger (not in the wheelie) felt or feels uncomfortable. I often think that the first thought for some folk on sighting a wheelchair & user is PANIC…then RUN AWAY! My finest moment so far is getting hooked onto stacking type seats in a hospital waiting room and nearly dragging several unsuspecting people out with me, with my wheelie helper calmly trying to tell me to please STOP trying to help!

One highlight, (apart from seeing beyond the entrance of a park), is seeing family (I’m mentioning no names) doing a very good impression of a ‘Bond’ villain whilst trying out the wheelie…fluffy toy cat included!

The number of people who are considerate and understanding far out weigh the unpleasant experiences. Those who talk to you as an individual, who genuinely care & who don’t see the wheelie at all just the person needing to use it. I should also mention my hubby’s shoulder…my head has needed to rest on that many many times, when it’s just too much to remain upright.

I hope that I convey some hope and encouragement. Admittedly it’s a mix. Humour helps. I’m so very thankful that we could afford to purchase the much needed wheelie however alien it felt (& feels), that my family deal with it with such humour and support and never complain about pushing the wheelie. It helps me participate when I’m ‘well’ enough (& gets me into med appointments etc, yawn.. {& again, when I’m well enough bizarrely}…plus additional chairs of course!). I’ve also learned that accepting and adjusting to change isn’t a failing.

Thank you for popping by and reading today.

NB. A stick + wheelie = an excellent lift button jouster!

 

Romans 12:12 (NIV) ~Β Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

 

Song suggestion: You Raise Me Up ~ sung by Josh Groban ~ is particularly poignant (for my & all faithful cheery wheelie helpers).

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8 thoughts on “The perception of wheels…

  1. Penny, you’ve managed your adjustment to your changed circumstances with much grace and courage. And I have to agree with you about humor… it helps immeasurably! God has blessed me with improbably funny moments so many times throughout the past year.

    I am particularly impressed that you haven’t allowed your circumstances to keep you from getting out of your home. Thank-you for sharing some of the highlights (and lowlights!) from this particular aspect of your journey with M.E. You are an inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Wendy, so kind of you. I so miss getting out as I once could, but with some planning & help (& at times just sheer desperation!), I catch a break for a while. Which often generates a little story in my mind & much laughter. God is so good. Your beautiful writing inspires me greatly, you have such a wonderful gift.

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  2. First off, I can’t imagine how difficult it has been to adjust from your prior active life to the one you endure now. Penny, you are such a strong and mighty warrior! I just LOVE your positive attitude and your adorable humor behind this post! I’m also sorry for any negative experiences you have had with other ignorant dismissive people in your path. I’m thrilled to know you have had more positive experiences though…

    And I thank God you have your husband’s shoulder to lay your sweet head on, when needed. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Christine, that’s so kind of you to say so. It is a challenge, having been a very active person. I cope better on some days than others. But I am so very thankful that I’m not confined to bed, as so many ME sufferers are. I do have to rest alot & as I’m pretty sure you’re aware…resting can be very hard work, bizarre as that may sound.

      I’m so glad the humour comes across. I do enjoy a good laugh. It often happens when I look back on a days happenings. Faith, hope & humour definitely keep me positive, along with the support of my husband & his trusty shoulder. Thanks again. I so appreciate your encouragement. ❀

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  3. Hey you! I’m really proud of you for your efforts and adapting to the world outside your house! You’ll need to become quite proficient with that wheelie thingamajig, Heathrow is really big! But you’ll benefit by being able to board the North Carolina bound plane with Pete and coming to visit Joolsie and you’re new brother in law. Keep up the excellent progress, I’m sure your blog is an inspiration to many people other than Julie and me!
    Steve (shellbot)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Shellbot…ha ha, that would be quite a miracle to get to Heathrow AND fly to North Carolina. Yes…I’d need to practise weaving in & out of queues, luggage areas and boarding. How exciting that would be. Thanks so much for your support, encouragement & enthusiasm, I really appreciate it. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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