MSers: Resist brain atrophy
My spastic leg

Group wheelchair posing

image from lorna.typepad.comWhen 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.

Be Eye-Level ish


seated family


family leaving hospital

As much as possible, arrange everyone to be at the same height. Be a group!

It’s not contagious

The wheelchair is just another piece of furniture. You might want to ask permission first, but it is usually ok to touch it.

image from

 image from

In a Selfie

A selfie forces you to be at eye-level, and you probably will be touching. I think it is friendlier if others lean on the chair or sit on it, or touch it in some other way.

Over the Shoulder

It may provide more interest in a picture to have us in poses other than straight-forward. I noticed a lot of pictures where the person in the wheelchair is looking back at the camera, over the shoulder.

  image from

  image from

Another interesting pose is sitting at an angle to the camera and having the camera only slightly above or below the eye level of the person in the wheelchair.


I want a group picture to show that I’m part of the group, not the centerpiece of it; not me with the group but the group with me in it.

Here at least others are leaning on chair. But why does the wheelchair have to be the centerpiece? Couldn't she be closer to the end, say?

  image from


  • 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.

Related Stuff

Nothing found here should be considered medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making any changes.


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