There are plenty of things that I have come to terms with when it comes to my illness. Or should I say plenty of things I at least pretend I have come to terms with. I would give examples but I just can’t think of any right now. Okay maybe I really can’t accept any thing that comes with my illness. I do know that there are certain areas that are easier to deal with than others. For instance not being able to go on a roller coaster for the rest of my life doesn’t bother me so much most days. Sure sometimes it sucks, like when we went to Vegas in 09 and I couldn’t go ride the New York, New York. That is the same coaster Me and Mark rode while on our honeymoon, but this time Mark had to go solo. While standing there for nearly a half an hour waiting for Mark to ride I pictured the coaster falling off the track and plummeting on The Strip. See so I still have issues with not being able to go and ride roller coasters like I used to but day-to-day, it just doesn’t bother me. However there is one thing that I have yet to be even a little okay with. This thing, even though it has some very good benefits, I still have an enormous problem with. I’m talking about my wheelchair. I hate it. I hate everything about it. I hate its fans, I hate its…..er I mean, I hate its wheels, I hate its handles, I hate its seat, I hate its foot rests. To be fair its a used wheelchair so it is not made perfectly for me but honestly it is not a problem of comfort. It is actually not bad comfort wise. It is a child size so it fits me quite nicely. The only real problem I have with its fitting is that it has one leg/foot rest that adjusts when it shouldn’t and I have the hardest time putting it back where it should be. My real complaint is that I hate being in one. Am I really whining cause I have to sometimes be in a wheelchair? Am I really complaining that I get to be pushed around while all the rest of you guys are walking? Yep I am. But let me lay it all out there for you, the pros and cons and you decide for yourself, if I’m just being a spoiled, pampered brat or what.
Pros: I’m going to start with the pros because I just spewed a bunch of hatred. Biggest pro is that I need it. It’s that simple, no matter how much I hate my wheelchair, I can’t live without it. I can no longer walk unless it is a very short distance. If I go anywhere the chair comes with. There have been times I have just tried to just do it without, and it got me days of pain and bed rest. I was lucky I didn’t end up in the hospital. The next pro is that I get some nice special treatment of the best kind. Pac 12 day, we got front row seats, and so did our friends. We didn’t expect it, but some people were in front of us and I told an University of Utah employee and she grabbed me (my friends followed) and stuck me right in front where the VIP’s were. Same thing happened when College Game Day came last season. The event staff there grabbed me and had a special place for me, right up front. Also have you ever been to Disneyland in a wheelchair. There is no wait. My boys didn’t know what waiting in a line was. We seriously waited at the longest 15 min. at Disneyland!!! Okay that is it. That is all I can come with. I may be on of those glass half empty folks but that is all I can come up with at this moment.
Cons: Unless you are forced to use a wheelchair my cons might seem just silly but please bear with me. The first con on my list is, people look at you. I told you silly, right? But let me explain. If you know me you know that I don’t lack in confidence, but it doesn’t mean I like people staring at me murmuring to themselves and their friends. Saying “Oh gosh I wonder what happened to her?” “What do you think is wrong with her?” “I don’t see a cast anywhere, I bet she is paralyzed.” And it gets even worse the moment that I have to stand to get back into my Jeep or to reach something on a shelf at the store. That’s when I get the death stare, they all think I’m faking it or being lazy. Again if you know me you know what other people think doesn’t usually even show up on my radar but when it involves my kids it always does. When we go out as a family and I am in my chair people see me first and start their murmuring and then their gaze goes directly from me to my young boys. “Oh those poor little things, their mom is in a wheelchair” “Oh my heart just breaks for those two” I can not take the pity stares, not for a second. My boys are fine, they are well taken care of. They are not poor little things. They are happy and don’t need you looking at them like that. We are like any other family. Another huge con is one that starts unnecessary fights between me and Mark. It is the fact that I am being pushed instead of having the Independence to go where ever I want. I am a very independent person, not to be confused with spoiled-ness. Yes it is true, that once, back in a far off time, I wouldn’t tie my own shoe laces or pump my own gas for years, but that is completely different from not being able to go look at something at the zoo with out first asking someone to take me over there first. Now this all could be fixed if I had one of those motorized wheelchairs, a jazzy or whatever but those are pricey so I am stuck. The fights start when I try to tell Mark I would like to go a certain place or stop or whatever while he is pushing me, and he can’t hear me. The fights can be traced, in my opinion, to Marks hearing. He will tell you he has fabulous hearing but, various surgeries as a child and years working in a machine shop has left his hearing less than ideal. But if you ask Mark he says I talk too quiet. It’s really no ones fault. But what happens is I will get frustrated that he isn’t listening to me, he gets upset that I am frustrated, then I will start feeling guilty that he is even pushing me at all, and it all snowballs from there. Furthermore Mark is not the best driver and I have been told I can be a tad bit critical from time to time. Although in my defense when your neck jars at every bump and you can feel, actually feel your skull missing, by the time I say anything to him I am in immeasurable pain. If I didn’t have so much guilt maybe I would say something earlier and perhaps I could avoid the pain. There are other cons like that a wheelchair is big and bulky and doesn’t fit anywhere. Even my small one takes up so much room and when we have to take it every where it is just a hassle. Nobody respects someone in a wheelchair. I will be at an aquarium or something looking at an exhibit and someone will just push right in front of me with out so much as an ‘excuse me’. When I am on the sidewalk no one moves out of the way or even notices I am there and don’t get me started on the hearing impaired group that stood right in front of me the entire time at “College Game Day” I can’t go certain places in my chair. My University of Utah football, and basketball for that matter, season tickets I would not be able to take my wheelchair to my current seat. They have ADA seats, they just aren’t as good.
I don’t know maybe I should just be grateful that I am not living in my chair, because some people are. Maybe I should be grateful that I can get around my house and don’t need anyone to help me go to the bathroom. I am but, I also hate that I have to use a wheelchair at all. I hate that 4 years ago I felt great, I could run, hold my son’s hand as I walk him to preschool and now I can’t walk. I hate that a stupid chair causes me to fight with the love of my life because he can’t read my mind about what direction I want to go. I hate that I feel Self Conscious ME! Self Conscious about being handicap. It is stupid. But I guess all I can do is make the best out of a bad situation. As you can see from the picture I included, I have added a Block U to my wheelchair, but I think it needs more personality. So please let me have your suggestions, the silly ones, stupid, cute, whatever. You can comment on here or send them directly to me at email@example.com Also tell me am I just being a hater and is Sean Smith and the Why Hate team gonna come after me? Or do you agree with me? Chiarians I want to hear from you.