I’ve noticed over the years that many people view being in a wheelchair in a negative light. Obviously, being disabled brings daily challenges, but the last thing I want is people’s misguided sympathies. At the end of the day, this life is more than I deserve, so with a little humor, I’m here to set the record straight. Being in a wheelchair isn’t so bad after all, and I’ve compiled a list that proves just that!
1. We never have to worry about driving…a car. Many wheelchair users can’t drive a car, so instead we have our own “chauffeurs”. It’s great for so many reasons. For starters, we never have to stress over the rush hour commute. People can be ruthless on the road, and the last thing we want to do is deal with people and their questionable driving skills. Also, since we’re always the passenger and never the driver, it’s completely acceptable to treat ourselves to a cocktail or two. So, go ahead, attend that happy hour.
2. Handicapped parking is always a plus. Don’t get me wrong, parking lots these days could use a few more handicapped spots, but at least we have the option available to us! And no, you may not borrow my handicapped placard!
3. Alright, this one only applies to all the ladies reading this. Being in a wheelchair, shoes can easily be avoided by wearing the proper clothes. Trust me, I do this all the time. During those sunny and warm months, simply throw on a maxi skirt or dress that is just long enough to cover your feet, and no one will ever know you’re completely shoeless in public. It’s really fantastic and liberating, and your other non-disabled friends will definitely be jealous. (Side note: the last time I ever wore anything, other than boots during the fall and winter, was probably back in 2002 when clogs were the latest trend.)
4. Although, when I do wear something on my feet, it always looks brand new! Shoes will never get dirty or worn down when confined to a wheelchair since our feet never actually touch the ground. Unless our feet have a major growth spurt, our shoes are going to last a lifetime in excellent condition. So, yes, purchasing Manolo Blahniks is easily justifiable when we’re in a wheelchair.
5. We never experience tired, achy feet and calluses. Win.
6. Little kids are mesmerized by such “cool-looking” chairs. My day is made every time I see the dumbfounded looks on children’s faces as I drive my wheelchair around. They’re curiosity is absolutely adorable, and it’s great showing them all the ins and outs of a wheelchair. For example, my 3-year-old cousin just recently discovered I can give wheelchair rides, and I’m pretty sure it earned me the “Best Cousin Ever” title.
7. There’s always the option of running someone over. Sure, 9 out of 10 times we can’t help but accidentally run over a fellow friend or family member. However, there’s always that one other time, that once-in-a-blue-moon moment where someone is practically asking to get run over with their rude and disrespectful behavior. In times like these, yes, we are deliberately doing it. So, don’t mess with us, because we have a 300-pound motorized wheelchair, and we will surely use it to our advantage (kidding…maybe).
8. We will never slip and fall on ice. Think about the pure and utter embarrassment someone feels after they have completely wiped out. Just thank your wheelchair later.
9. No matter where we go, we can always be sure we have a seat thanks to our wheelchairs. I realize I may be pointing out the obvious here, but having a nice, comfortable spot to sit 24/7 is pretty great if I do say so myself. We never have to worry about being in a crowded bar with no chairs or tirelessly waiting in a Black Friday line that wraps around the store because we have our very own chair. Wheelchairs not only give us a comfortable seat to sit on, but also a little personal space that everyone needs in crowded surroundings!
10. We’re usually eligible to receive a service dog. I cannot even begin to describe how much my service dog has changed my life. He’s been my best friend since the day we met and, truthfully, the best thing to have ever happened to me. Plus, these dogs are potentially smarter than some of the people we come in contact with on a daily basis. What could be better than that?
11. All the humor aside, we have the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Being confined to a wheelchair, we often need to hire some extra help, and sometimes we find lifelong relationships in these people. Whether it’s homecare nurses, certified nursing assistants, therapists, or personal assistants, unexplainable bonds form that we might not expect to experience. As these bonds strengthen, we begin to realize how blessed we are to have the opportunity to meet these extraordinary people. And, no matter where life takes us, they become an integral part of our lives forever.