When I was first diagnosed and told I might eventually lose my ability to walk in the future, I was devastated. I couldn’t imagine anything more humiliating than being at belly-button level and wheeled around by others.
I immediately learned to ride a motorcycle, something I had wanted to do for years, figuring that I’d only have a short time left to do it. I even kept some old beat up shoes I could wear in the wheelchair to prove to others that I used to be able to walk.
Time went on, it didn’t appear likely to happen, so I eventually got rid of the motorcycle and threw those old shoes away. And when I did finally need a chair, I viewed it only as a necessary tool to get from A to B.
Strike a Pose
Now most of us like to have pictures to remind us of happy memories, or to prove that we did something and document who was there.
I am kinda stubborn and proud. I realized I’m no longer embarrassed by my chair; I kind of like it in the picture now. It marks time as “before” and “after”.
I started collecting pictures of people in wheelchairs. These are some of my thoughts.
- Posing is hard except for taking a selfie with friends.
- Try to be about the same height with at least some of the others.
- Ask one or more others to lean on the back of or sit on arms of wheelchair.
- It's friendlier if someone is touching you.
- I need to be more of a director with pictures; I can’t assume others know what works.