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Thread: Incoviences & Family

  1. #1

    Incoviences & Family

    I've been in a wheelchair for 5 years, and the first 3 years were physical therapy and depression. But now for the last two years I've finally just accepted it is what it is.

    My biggest thing though is my family. I live in a small community where a lot of my relatives host different parties and stuff. Or have a big family dinner for everyone at one of their house's. Well they never invite me because it's hard for me to get into their houses, since they have no ramp.

    It drives me nuts, plus that I have purchased a portable ramp to use, but it still seems like it's too big of an inconvience for everyone. And I know it's not because my family doesn't want to be around me. They'll come to my house to visit, but whenever there's a birthday dinner or any other family event, no one even bothers to tell me and I assume it's because it's an ordeal to get into their house.

    How can I polietly tell them I want to be involved and I understand the inconvience. (my family are kinda hot-headed runs in the Charley Clan I guess )

  2. #2
    Senior Member lurch's Avatar
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    Is there something in the way that houses are designed in Alaska that makes them particularly hard to access ?

  3. #3
    Sounds very familiar to me, I haven't been in another apartment or house in Oslo more than a couple of times the last 7 years. It is no elevators in the apartment buildings here, and it is a big job to carry the chair and me up four floors. I have tried different thing, I have rented places that are accessible when somebody have birthday but it is getting too expensive for me. I have tried to explain which restaurants who are accessible and have a HC bathroom, but it is never the right one and now everybody think I am the difficult one because I don't want to go to places where I have to be carried inside and can't use the bathroom.

    I have a ramp in my car too, but it seems like it is still too much work to have me visit.
    TH 12, 43 years post

  4. #4
    Sorry for that. I also think it is hard for them to see you like this or they presume that somehow you are unable or want to do things.

    I've lost all my friends and family save a precious few. I'm not pleasant to watch with spasms and pain that will drop me or cause me to vomit and pass out. Often a no-show due to complications. I guess I'm a challenge to have over, but I have become lonely and isolated too
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  5. #5
    My wife and I are both in chairs, as we age it becomes more difficult to visit with her 3 sisters who live in this state. Their spouses have aged as well and we are uncomfortable having them trying to lift our chairs up steps. My folding 4 foot ramp which weighs a ton just doesn't get the job done over the assortment of architectural barriers. On big holidays no problem as the young, fit grandkids just pop us up the steps. We either concentrate on having visits at our completely accessible place and when we visit them we are now arranging group visits at restaurants, mall food courts, etc. This works really well and often we meet with all 3 of the Michigan sisters plus spouses.

  6. #6
    I understand completely. My husband in his chair too heavy to lift, the portable ramp heavy and does not work everywhere. Everyone seems to have split level houses or narrow entries.
    We usually end up having holidays and get togethers at our home, but this can be a lot of work even though everyone pitches in.
    If he is having a bad pain or breathing day we have to back out making planning and committing to anything iffy.
    I don't blame you for feeling hurt AK. Is there anyone in your family that you are closer to and can talk to this about?

  7. #7
    Most of my family and friends have been quite accommodating. However, where there are a lot of steps and mult-level houses it is a problem. I do not like to be lifted or carried because of the risk of being dropped and the risk of back injury to the carriers.

    Many years ago before ADA I had a problem accessing some work-related places. I invested in a set of 10' telescoping track ramps (http://www.ezaccess.com/ramps/trackramp.html) and keep them in my van. They have served me well. Each section weighs about 20 lbs., and they have been handled by two 60+ year old ladies without problem. With a power chair in the immediate future, I see these as a real necessity.

    Some friends and family have made ramps, sometimes just a piece of heavy plywood, they can place at an easy entrance. Also, a brother and sister built accessible homes when they relocated, and some friends moved to more accessible homes when the need to move arose. They came to realize they may have the need one day. In fact, that became a need for my brother and sister after they sustained serious leg injuries. I really think some accessibility requirements should be included in residential building codes.

    AK, I have been a disability rights activist most of my SCI life and have no problem making friends and family aware of my accessibility needs and advocating for accommodation of not only my immediate need but for their needs when they arise...and they will sooner or later. Also, making them aware of the painfulness of of an insensitive and uncaring society drives home the message without getting personal.
    Last edited by SCIfor55+yrs.; 05-14-2011 at 12:03 PM.
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  8. #8
    Sure it may not always be the easiest thing in the world, but to not invite you?? I can't imagine ANYONE in my family not inviting me somewhere because of my chair. Horrible!

  9. #9
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    You answered it yourself. Just politely tell them you want to be invited and involved, and you understand it's an inconvenience, but family is family. Lots of people are afraid of chairs. Some need to be talked to and told it's still all good.

    Good luck!
    Quote Originally Posted by AKspacey View Post
    I've been in a wheelchair for 5 years, and the first 3 years were physical therapy and depression. But now for the last two years I've finally just accepted it is what it is.

    My biggest thing though is my family. I live in a small community where a lot of my relatives host different parties and stuff. Or have a big family dinner for everyone at one of their house's. Well they never invite me because it's hard for me to get into their houses, since they have no ramp.

    It drives me nuts, plus that I have purchased a portable ramp to use, but it still seems like it's too big of an inconvience for everyone. And I know it's not because my family doesn't want to be around me. They'll come to my house to visit, but whenever there's a birthday dinner or any other family event, no one even bothers to tell me and I assume it's because it's an ordeal to get into their house.

    How can I polietly tell them I want to be involved and I understand the inconvience. (my family are kinda hot-headed runs in the Charley Clan I guess )
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