At one point I’m sure this thing had a name.
My old blue one was Wesley and I think this one was Wendyline. But the novelty of thinking of this thing with affection has worn on.
Yes it’s great that it allows me to get out. But I’m a Jones. We we’re know for being sporty at school and now one of us is using a wheelchair, and not for sporting reasons like wheelchair basketball.
People say “oh you haven’t needed your wheelchair for ages.” Not true. I just don’t go out to places where I might need it. I feel heavy in it. I’m 5’7 and now fairly hefty. It must be hard work for people to push me. It’s part of the reason why I’d always prefer not-so-little bro to wheel me around. He’s 6’2 and a big lad.
I need a wheelchair. Me. Anna Jones. Netball captain. Member of the athletics team. The football team. The cricket team. Me.
Granted, I don’t need to be wheeled around the house anymore. That must have been awful for my family; this metal contraption on wheels that was a constant reminder that I was no longer the Anna they’d known for twenty years.
Being pushed around makes me feel like a burden and an inconvenience. Someone has to navigate their way through the streets. We have to avoid certain restaurants because their wheelchair access is not up to scratch. We have to sit at the front of buses where the rest of the passengers can stare at you and wonder what has caused this healthy looking young woman to need a wheelchair. I can tell my family would rather I want in it. I think it’s hard for them to stomach.
I wrote the majority of this blog post a few months ago. But just as I was about to publish it a friend of mine got her own set of wheels. For the first time in almost a year she was able to leave her house. That stopped me in my tracks. My wheelchair should be my ticket to freedom, not a token of shame. It’s not my fault I need it! My friend’s adventures reminded me what my wheels were for. It takes a brave soul to lower/plonk themselves into one of these moving chairs and hand over control to another person. I was once that brave soul. And she’s inspired me to take a step back and try to Accept and Adapt once again.