Tuesday, September 26

A New Perspective

Today the girls, Grammy, Pop Pop and I went to Wal-Mart. I’ve done it hundreds if not thousands of times in my 40-some years. Gone to Wal-Mart. No big deal, right? Well, let me tell you that it’s an entirely different experience in a wheelchair.

Other than going to swim lessons with the girls last week in the wheelchair, this was my first foray into the world in my (borrowed from Robyn) wheelchair. And, let me tell you, it opened my eyes wide!

Here are my observations…

First, it takes twice as long to grocery shop with two children, two grandparents and a mommy in a wheelchair. And, we only grocery shopped! We didn't even venture through the housewares section, the children's clothing, the book section, the crafts section or the seasonal section (which I saw from afar filled with all sorts of adorable fall items for the home and yard).

People are excessively apologetic to someone in a wheelchair. At least half a dozen times today I was looking at a shelf of products looking for what I wanted and the person I was behind would see me out of their peripheral vision, jump slightly and exclaim, “Oh! Am I in your way? Let me move!” Would they have the same reaction if I had been standing there on my two feet look at something that they may have been standing in front of while they were also looking for something themselves? Probably not. Was I offended by this? No, but it did make me wonder if people who spend their life in a wheelchair are bothered by this? And, it did make me wonder why we aren’t this kind to each other in crowded store aisles when we’re both on two feet.

There are 4 to 5 shelves in every aisle of the grocery store that I could not reach. I could not reach into the open freezer cases in the meat section – the sides are way too high. And, forget about trying to open one of the doors in the dairy section to get out a gallon of milk. That requires super human strength from the sitting position.

There are a lot of cars parked in handicapped parking spots that lack a handicapped parking placard or a handicapped license plate. Does that tick off permanently handicapped people or was I being overly sensitive?

Finally, I am not doing as well as I thought I was. And, well…that just irritates me because I’m tired of sitting…I’m tired of not being able to care for my children myself…I’m tired of asking for things…I’m tired of not being able to clean my house…WAIT…I’m okay with that one!

Okay, that’s enough of my own little self-made pity party! I was just ready to be up and about, but my foot had other ideas. Like that it would swell up and make my big toe feel like it was going to pop…and that is just downright painful!

I go back to see Dr. Makes Me Sweat tomorrow morning…oh the joy! Check back tomorrow to see what tortures he bestows upon me and my poor foot that he keeps saying “looks great!” In my mind it won’t “look great” until it’s pedicured and in a cute strappy sandal! Like these...