Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Only Me (Or Someone Like Me)!

Yesterday, two things happened to me that could only happen to me. First, I was waiting for the DON'T WALK Signal to change so I could cross the street when the turning car stopped in THE MIDDLE OF THE INTERSECTION, honked their horn at me and motioned for me to cross. I pointed at the signal and waved them through, because I was following the Signals and more importantly, just because he stopped doesn't mean the other cars are stopping too! He was creating a very dangerous situation! As the driver finally went by me he gave me the finger! All I can figure is that the driver was freaked out by my wheelchair. Since he flipped me off, I am not going to give the possibility he was just trying to be nice much consideration. A tip for driver's out there...people who use wheelchairs can handle crossing a street!

Situation 2: On the way home from my walk a car pulled over, the driver got out, ran up to me and asked me if I needed help. I waved her off and kept going. I know I am not as fast as I was in my racing days, But come on. I wonder if non wheelchair users out for a walk on a beautiful day, ever have drivers pull over and ask them if they need help?A friend of mine had a great comeback for me to use the next time this happens. She said to say, "My Mom told me not to talk to strangers!"

I think both of these situations come from something called "spread of disability". The idea that if a person has one disability, they must have other things wrong with them too. Both of these people assumed that since I used a wheelchair I couldn't handle a simple everyday task like walking home or crossing a street. I am closing in on 50 and have been dealing with incidents like this my whole life. I just hope that in the near future, other people who use wheelchairs won't need to anymore!

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