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So many times people have just grabbed my wheelchair and started to push me. These people haven’t asked, or they have but have ignored my reply of “no I don’t need help” and they’re strangers. Grabbing my wheelchair and randomly pushing me isn’t helpful or appreciated.
Firstly it is scary. I can’t see people behind me, so to suddenly feel myself going faster and to not be in control is scary and horrible. I’ve often just grabbed the wheels to try and slow down and try to tell the person I am fine and don’t need help. This has often been met with an angry response as if I should be grateful that I’ve just been pushed by a stranger with no warning.
I bet these people wouldn’t want someone to suddenly come up behind them and start to push them whilst they were walking. What they do to me is no different.
It is frustrating too. To be going along perfectly fine and suddenly someone starts pushing you. It to me says “you’re in a wheelchair and therefore you can’t cope, I must help” and I feel frustrated and patronised by this.
A lot of people also expect me to be so grateful, they expect me to thank them and to think they’ve been so helpful. I am not going to thank, you for scaring me and making me feel frustrated and patronised.
I know how my wheelchair works, how to be in control of it, how fast I want to go, how best to go over dodgy pavement. If I am suddenly pushed by a stranger I don’t have that control anymore and someone who doesn’t know these things or isn’t aware of them is suddenly in control.
Ask before trying to help me and if I say no don’t ignore my no.
If I am rolling along the pavement looking perfectly fine then you don’t even need to ask if I need help as I will be fine, and you certainly don’t start pushing me.
If you do push me without permission, or any wheelchair user, we don’t owe you a thank you. We are allowed to be scared and frustrated and annoyed.
2 thoughts on “G is for Grab-why grabbing my wheelchair isn’t appreciated #atozchallenge ”
Crikey, what a cheek! I don’t blame you. I have an assistance dog and it is amazing how many people think it is ok to come up and stroke her without asking. Thanks – but she doesn’t like people she doesn’t now stroking her, especially suddenly without warning. And you aren’t the only person who has wanted to today – it can be one after the other. How would you like your head patted every two seconds while trying to do a job of work? She is supposed to be concentrating on ME to check i don’t collapse. Also – asking us about her while we are eating with friends in a restaurant – dinner in front of us, stopping (after they have finished of course) to ay, hope you don’t mind us asking but e just had to know, what does she do? They might as well ask you, Tudor lover, sorry i can’t find your name, why your legs don’t work! Ruse question and rude timing. The more i think of it, the more I wonder why I haven’t written a similar blog – but we have to be polite as the dog charity needs us to be! Great blog. Liz (and Lola, medical detection dog)
J is for Dame Jane Goodall #AtoZ Challenge
Hi Liz, thanks for your comment.
I can imagine you must get a lot of people just randomly stroking your service dog or asking about her, must be so frustrating.
I just think it’s rude to stroke someone’s dog without asking even if not a service dog. Unless the dog has literally jumped on me!
Yep I get asked a lot why I use a wheelchair or a lot of comments about my Tourette’s or things like my noise cancelling headphones and tinted lenses etc, people often being rude and why they think it is there business.
I am Oliver by the way 🙂
I’m looking into getting a service dog one day