Get Over It!

I recently read this article “15 things wheelchair users hate hearing.”  I found the article to be so much more annoying, more than I found any of the 15 things to be.  People in wheelchairs this goes out to you: get over it.  We aren’t a common occurrence.  There are far too many of us, but we aren’t common.  Most people aren’t around paraplegics, quadriplegics or any other type of wheelchair user.  They are curious.  They are trying to be nice and relate.  Why can’t you just acknowledge that people who ask questions or start conversations are trying to be polite.  They’re trying to make you feel comfortable or trying to understand better. Start a dialogue.  Don’t shoot them down.  Kylie didn’t hurt you by posing in a wheelchair.  The nice woman at the grocery store didn’t try to piss on your parade by telling you she’d pray for you.  Get over yourselves and pass on knowledge instead of more judgement!

Here is my 15 responses to those 15 things the author claimed bug all wheelchair users:


1)      “I’ll pray for you”


Why would this bother someone?  I pray daily that I will walk someday.  I pray for a cure for paralysis.  I talk about cures for paralysis.  Why would it be offensive for someone else to pray too?



2)      “What happened to you?”


If someone is genuinely curious why would that be bad?  If it’s too personal, then say that.  I like sharing my story so I would never mind.  This especially cracks me up when reporters and bloggers complain about this because you’re publically putting yourself out there!  Get over it!



3)      “Congratulations”


Thank you!  Life in a wheelchair is hard.  And I’m out there conquering life.  A little acknowledgement and support is awesome!

4)      “How fast does that thing go?”


Whenever I can, I am racing around in my wheelchair.  If it’s level and there aren’t too many people, I’m flying.  I think it’s funny when people ask this or when they challenge me to a race.  Heck, I challenge other people to a race!

5)      “Stay positive”


Again, life in a wheelchair is hard.  And overwhelming at times.  It does take work to stay positive every now and then.  Why would I not want encouragement?  That’s not offensive!


6)      “I’m so glad I don’t have to be in a wheelchair.” I’ve never heard anyone over the age of 11 say this.  But, if they do, then yes, I’m glad you don’t have to be also!  It sucks.  I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else.

7)      “Is your significant other in a wheelchair too?”

People always ask me if my hubs is a lawyer too.  They ask him if his wife is a teacher.  It isn’t uncommon to be with someone who has something major in common with you.  That’s not a weird question.

8)      “You are too good looking for a wheelchair user”

Thank you, I think so too.  And I take enough selfies to show that I agree with you.  But I’m in this darn thing (for now) and I will rock it to the best of my abilities and make it look good. 

9)      “It’s good to see you are so productive”


SO many people in wheelchairs aren’t productive, so I get why this is a stereotype.  I’m out there killing life and it’s good for people to take notice of that to break stereotypes. 

10)  “Do you know Brian?”


No.  Is he cool?  No need to be annoyed by that question.  The way support groups and online forums work, maybe I do know him. 

11)  “Can you be cured?”


If it’s too personal, then tell them. But some people aren’t permanently in wheelchairs. And some people do have things that are fixable. Wanting to know if it’s a permanent thing shows concern and compassion, so why would you not like that question? 



12)  “I had to use a wheelchair once”


If a person is trying to find common ground, then who cares.  I’m sorry that they had to use a wheelchair at all.  And they’re better now, so tell me what you went through or what you did because maybe that will make me feel better.

13)  “You are inspirational”


Thank you.  I am inspirational.  I lost the ability to walk at 32 years old, 4 months after getting married.  And I didn’t fall into a pit of despair.  If I can help just one person get through the same thing, then I will be happy! 



14)  “I don’t know how you do it?”


People think they can’t get through something life shattering.  They are genuinely impressed.  A lot of people don’t make it through and give up.  I usually respond with “what other choice do I have?”

15)  “My grandma uses a wheelchair”


When I was 10 and used a walker, I used to think everyone would tease me because only grandmas use walkers.  Then I grew up.  If you have a family member in a wheelchair, even an elderly one, then you probably know some of the issues I face and we can chat about it.  They’re not calling me an old lady.  They’re relating.  Not offensive!

If anyone has questions about my wheelchair, why I’m in it, or wants to race, I welcome you!