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(24 Posts)
Kimi Thu 11-Jun-09 21:36:04


Since my mother became wheelchair dependent I have also had to look at thing in a new way.
Not only do we have to deal with the simple now made hard but we have to deal with the stupid.

So far we have had people let go of doors on us, shop assistants handing change to me not mum (ok some times it is easier to do that but not always) people speaking over mum and directing questions to myself or my sister and not to mum (hello leg missing, brain still works) and when booking a table for mums birthday for 10 people and explaining we needed space for a wheelchair had the booking read back to me as "so thats 9 people and a wheelchair" NO its 10 people one of whom uses a wheelchair!!

Today we got a bus and the drives shouts back to us "so where does the chair want to get off?" The reply...SAME PLACE AS THE PERSON IN IT I WOULD GUESS!!!!!!!

Ok maybe I am being a little over sensitive but my mum is a person not a chair, why do people quickly forget that.

chegirl Thu 11-Jun-09 21:49:50


At all.

Its horrible and frustrating.

The only way to not go mad is to laugh.

Me and my lovely DD used to. It was either one extreme or the other.

People would leap out of the way with huge grins on their faces and virtually push others out of the way saying 'DONT YOU REALISE THAT CHILD IS IN A WHEELCHAIR YOU SELFISH LOT!!!' whilst we were quitely making our way down the street


Ignore us, tread on us, flick their fags behind them onto DD, tut and moan etc.

I really hated it when we went into a shop and asked them if they had a lift and they would say 'NO' and walk away. I KNEW they had a bloody lift because all the bloody shops in bloody oxford bloody Street have bloody lifts (for staff and goods). But they couldnt be bothered so my DD couldnt go shopping.

Sorry your rant sort of turned into mine there blush

The bus driver's comment was dreadful BTW. Your poor mum!

Kimi Thu 11-Jun-09 21:56:18

Please feel free to rant along with me.

We do get over helpful people too, mostly elderly men who want to "life" the chair in to shops with you and look like they are going to have a heart attack if they do grin

I also love the people who stand in the wheelchair space on the bus and look hard done by when you ask them to move.

9 out of 10 people on the bus with pushchairs will fold them but you do get the odd stubborn one that jams the pushchair in with the wheelchair.

My sister was out with mum and the bus came with a woman with a puchchair on it who refused to move so the driver told sis she could not get on the bus, sis reported him and got a groveling letter from the bus company.

Kimi Thu 11-Jun-09 21:56:50


PigeonPie Thu 11-Jun-09 22:06:45

YANBU and it is horrid for all of you. It was one of my relatives who coined the phrase 'does she take sugar?' after she experienced being talked over as she was in a chair.

It's happened to me too when I've used a mobility scooter in a shopping centre and my sister was talked to rather than me.

Infuriating and I don't know how attitudes can be changed.

2shoes Thu 11-Jun-09 22:45:08


Hangingbellyofbabylon Thu 11-Jun-09 22:48:41

yanbu , total ignorant bastards. My 3 year old dd just got her first wheelchair yesterday - one of the weirdest comments so far has been 'oh, you'll have to get her on a wheelchair basketball team next' ! wtf, she's 3 and I have no idea if she'll ever want to play basketball, but hey, that's what people in the chair do isn't it? hmm

chegirl Thu 11-Jun-09 22:50:34

I took my DD to Asda one day.

We were having a look at the clothes and people kept smiling at DD. I mean really really smiling and nodding. I know they were being kind and trying to be nice but it was weird.

DD was 13 at the time. She had cancer so look pretty poorly (and v.pretty as it goes). Random women kept coming up, getting real close and saying things like 'ARE YOU HAVING A LOVELY TIME DEAR?' loudly and very slowly.

Then they would give her a little pat shock

DD thought they were all nuts.

You have to larf.

Pigeon pretty impressive about the 'sugar' thing. smile

cheesesarnie Thu 11-Jun-09 22:54:46


TheLadyEvenstar Thu 11-Jun-09 22:57:38

YANBU but get used to it. I was 5 when my dad became disabled. I was 28 when he passed away. I had many a run in over him when he was in his chair.

there are far too many ignorant people in the world...but dont let the bastards get you down hun.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 11-Jun-09 23:01:30

R4 called their program dealing with disability issues 'Does he take sugar?' - one of those phrases that so sums up the problem.

Its occurred to me in the past, that for anyone who can use those motorised trike contraptions (I'm sure theres a proper name that escapes me), it must be better because (a) you're higher up so less likely to get talked over and (b)clearly the one in control. Chairs are too low and - even if motorised - look like they are meant to be controlled by someone other than the person in it. Sorry, excuse my late night ponderings, even some radical reengineering wouldn't stop a lot of people still being wazzocks would it.

Kimi Thu 11-Jun-09 23:28:32

Dear God if we gave my mother anything motorized she would not be the only person with a limb missing by the end of the week grin

Loved the letter from the DWP that told mum it needed more info to process her claim (she had filled in that she had had a leg amputated in triplicate on the forms but anyhow) she got a letter asking "when did you first relise you had trouble walking?" She wrote back "on the 6th of January when they cut off my leg"!!!! grin you gotta laugh at that one really.

ChippingIn Thu 11-Jun-09 23:52:36

Kimi - this is probably very wrong and I apologise - but I love your posts and your comments, clearly you get your humour from your Mum? Have you thought about writing a book (not about your Mum obviously!), your humour would be a winner.

I do know how hard it is, I have been there, done that. Fortunately the person who was in the wheelchair can now walk again, but it was a long 2 years.

With regard to smiling at people in wheelchairs or who have other noticable differences - I think sometimes I come across as a demented woman - I notice someone in a wheelchair, look away - look back so they don't think I'm ignoring them - look away again so they don't think I'm 'looking at them'... it must be a bit like I'm watching a tennis match! Although I know what it's like to be on the wheelchair side, I'm still worried I'll upset the person in the wheelchair (or someone with them), no matter what I do, so end up acting like a prize prat!

Kimi Fri 12-Jun-09 07:41:50

Chippingin if I wrote a book about my family no one would know where to put it, it would be too far out for "real lives" too real for fiction, and bordering some where between drama and horror, grin I also think the men in white coats would come take me away.

I must admit to coming out with the odd thoughtless/tactless comment, such as yesterday mum said she was going to get a bottle of fake fan for her leg and without even thinking I said "well it will last twice as long now" shock

misdee Fri 12-Jun-09 07:47:48

lol, this reminds me of when i wrote this

Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Just a little rant.

Things are bothering me a bit today, dunno why but here goes.

please dont look disgusted when you see my Peter out and about, he is not a freak, and yes i know you can see his blood, but so what. yes it does tick all the time and it is loud, yes it did keep me awake for a few weeks, but not so bad now. He can talk, its only his heart that is bad, and his memory is poor due to his stroke but you can ask him directly himself. No, we didnt know he would be like this. Yes he is on the transplant list, and no we dont know when iut will be. Yes i know someone has to die so he can live. I try not to think about that bit too much. No, i dont think he will die.

And yes he does take sugar in his tea.

Kimi Fri 12-Jun-09 08:07:33

No sugar for mum, we are trying to hang on to the leg she has left....of it is off to shady pines grin

Kimi Fri 12-Jun-09 08:08:13


psychomum5 Fri 12-Jun-09 08:11:18

I have much sympathy.

when I was doing my nursery nurse training, back in college (many moons agowink), our tutor had a daughter with cerebal palsy. Now, I now know looking back that she was the best tutor ever for giving us girls on the course an insight with living with disability.

we learnt a lot from her, and she often bought her daughter in with her so we knew that she was just an absolutely normal, gorgeous little girl who had a problem with walking.

one day, the teacher gave us an assignment. we were to do our xmas shopping while in a wheelchair, and put us into day being me in the chair with my friend pushing, the next day swapping. the one in the wheelchair was the one doing the shopping, we were the ones paying and needing to get to the shops etc.

the attitudes were astounding........I was completely stunned at how rude people were, the treatment I got when I was in the chair, and then the next day how my friend was treated in the chair.....the ignorance is hugeangry.

I was 17 then, and I have never forgotten it. I would hope now that I still treat people in the way I would if they were on a level with me. I know sometimes life gets busy, but there really is no excuse to treat people as tho they are invisable.

I wish that everyone had a teacher at some point during their schooling who would teach the way my teacher did. we would all learn a lot, and also, realise that people with disabilities are people first, and so should be respectfully treated as such.

Kimi, I wish you the best of luck with not thumping someone in the future with their rudeness, altho I think your sense of humour will serve you well

am so sorry about your mother.....I hope she can shout loudly to some if the fuckwits and make her voice heard

ChippingIn Fri 12-Jun-09 09:43:31

Kimi - I take it back - don't write a book... do stand up comedy instead. You have to do something with that sense of humour grin

Mind you - you might need all your reserves just to cope right now I guess

Where are people like you in RL??

Kimi Fri 12-Jun-09 12:34:17

I could be the new Jo Brand...just not as sexy grin

I cover the whole range, mum in the wheel chair, DS1 Tourettes, sister with cancer, I would be a sell out at the 02!!!!!!!!

DS1 pushing mum in the wheelchair is a good one, who needs thorp park for a thrill ride grin

Kimi Fri 12-Jun-09 20:32:41

Think I will get mum some bumper stickers for the back of the chair.

laumiere Fri 12-Jun-09 21:26:04


My son has CP and we have a Major Elite for him (looks like a big pushchair) and we get attitude for him not looking disabled enough for the wheelchair space!

When I was heavily pregnant I was out at a bar with my friend who has OI and uses a wheelchair for most things. She went to the loo (she could walk short distances) and I sat in her chair to rest. People started to smile and nod at me, and the look of sheer horror when my friend came back and I got up so she could sit down was hilarious. We started giggling about how wheelchair use must be contagious.

Kimi Fri 12-Jun-09 21:31:02


When you got up your friend should have shouted "it's a miracle"

Never really thought how little every day things become so difficult once you are in a wheel chair, shopping is bad, so many things out of reach in the shops

Kimi Sat 13-Jun-09 20:47:28

Shameful thing is mum has little Man United stickers on her wheel hubs hmm

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