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Thread: ever encounter strangers who ask you questions about your wheelchair?

  1. #61
    Maybe it's just because I have only been in a chair for ayear, or because it's just the way I am, but I have never gotten any questions thrown at me that bothered me, if anything I have on occasion thrownout answers that made the other person uncomfortable. Like for example although not a complete stranger the other day I was talking to a guy in aclass that I am taking andhe gave me the old you shouldn't smoke so much line, and I turned around and explained to him that he didn't have any idea what all was involved with a sci. All he knew was the obvious that I can't walk, but there is so much more involved with it. I proceeded to tell hi about using a catherter to pee and the whole bowel program thing, which I still haven't gottten down, and the fact that I can not even feel my penis any more etc. and basically just gave him a quick course in gimp 101. I think that after that he kind of felt stupid for thinking that he had any right to tell me that I should give up something that I enjoy, smoking, just to possibly add a couple years to a life that I do not enjoy, and am just trying my best to make the most of right now. I was not mean or offensive or anything at all. I ust told him straight up and without sugar coating anything how different things are for me than before because of my sci. Before my injury I was completely ignorant to most of the things that an sci changes. Had I know before what I know now I probably would not be here, because I would have been more careful. I used to take some pretty substatial risks before, but for the most part in everything that I did that was risky had I messed up would have definitely killed me. I planned to die if I was involved in a serious accident, becoming crippled never even entered my mind before.

    But anyway, maybe it's because there are a lot of disabled people around here, but I have never gottten any questions thrown at me that I was inany way uncomfortable to answer. And I also check out other peoples chars cuz Ii am in the market for a new one myself and I hate the one I have. So don't be surprised if I come rolling up on you and ask you about yours. If that offends you then I guess all I can say is I'm sorry, but also that you must be one seriously uptite person if it does. I might even ask you about your inury, but only because I am a curious person and from my perspective being in achair gives us some common ground. I always try to smile and say hi when I see someone else in achair, just the same as I would have done the same to someone I saw riding a motorcycle or carrying a helmet before. Am I wrong for doing so, maybe, but I really don't think so. If you have aproblem with someone speaking to you or being curious about you and your chair then maybe you should just stay home, or get a sign that says that you are deaf too. People these days are way too uptite if you ask me. We are all just people diffeent in each of our own ways if we want to be understood then what better way than by one question at a time. If some hot chick came up to me and started asking me about my sexuality I would probably invite her back to my place so she could find out for herself. Like I said maybe I'm just alittle bit different. I am also still having a difficult time coming to grips with it myself and stuff though too. For the most part I hae found people to be very helpful and I appreciate it when they open doors etc for me.

  2. #62
    NM, for a guy being in a chair for only a year, you have it fairly together. Good job. It'll really hit home around the two year mark so be prepared for that. I trust you are working your butt off getting strong and looking at getting into sports, if you aren't already.

    There are a lot of we motorcycle injuries here. Typical type A personalities.

  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    NM, for a guy being in a chair for only a year, you have it fairly together. Good job. .
    Agreed. I like you NauticalMike.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob clark View Post
    Hi Eileen,

    I totally agree with you. What's up with this crowd of Scrooges?

    Hey peeps, what's wrong with someone asking any of us questions about what happened to put us in these wheelchairs or merely looking at our chairs? I'm a bit embarrassed at times because my chair can be a bit dirty and dusty at times and I don't really like cleaning the thing but other than that these strangers are probably just curious or maybe even concerned about why I'm/we're in a chair at such an early age (I'm now 56 but I look 40!). Or for other reasons. Or maybe they're lonely people who find us more approachable than your average able-bodied Joe or Josephine rushing around with scowls on their faces.

    I think lots of people haven't seen sportchairs with cambered wheels before so that may elicit their curiosity. And powerchairs aren't very common either.


    I bet you'd be dying for someone to ask you a bit about yourself and/or your car if you were the owner of or driving a brightly painted red tricked-out Lamborghini!

    Bob.
    Yes & no… My point was when I made this post, was to see if this happens to other people (not just me). Seems like it does. I guess I shouldn't have put stupid questions, but rather "rude & ignorant" questions.

    My point is… If you saw someone missing an arm or a leg waiting in line (in my case Panera, but could be anywhere)… You wouldn't approach the person and start asking them about their prosthesis, and what it does and how they move it, and you certainly wouldn't ask them how did they lose the limb, where, how old they were… Etc.

    I've even had people ask me if I was compensated for my injury… These are total strangers that I don't know and never met, who think it's just completely okay to start asking me personal questions about my whole life story and injury while I'm out and about minding my own business.

    I'm just trying to get a freaking sandwich people! Ha ha

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlam24 View Post
    Hi, to me it is bad manners to ask me questions just because ppl are curious. I do not approach someone with scars and ask what happened? Or someone with a missing tooth and ask them questions. I find being in a wheelchair has become a loophole for bad manners. When I am asked I make it awkward, I say car accident and when they ask more questions to get the details I say that it is hard to talk about because it still makes me cry. I then get the awkward apology. I know there are ppl who do not mind but I do this for those who do. If ppl did not bug me before, being in a wheelchair does not justify ppl doing it now. As for staring, I usually stop what I am doing and stare back. I do take into consideration that they may stare because they see something I have or am doing that may help them but if it is curiosity, they can go on YouTube and watch a video, I am not a show.
    When we r young we r taught not to stare, point or approach strangers because it is rude, yet as adults it is ok to do so.
    What you said is pretty much my point, except if people are staring at me or looking at my wheelchair or watching me do something… That doesn't bother me. It did when I first got injured, but I guess I've gotten used to that, I think that looking out of curiosity is just a natural reaction, but when people approach me and just start asking me questions about my injury I don't get mad… It just annoys me that they think it's okay to do that.
    For the people that say it's okay…, I kind of disagree, because it's not like they are approaching me (us… Wheelchair users) and asking me how my day is going, or asking me about the football game

  6. #66
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    I don't notice the stares. I just completely tune them out somehow. One time I was out with a friend and he looked around and then asked me how I deal with the stares. (there are a lot with a service dog, that's even more rare to see than a wc) I said I didn't notice them, but then I mistakenly looked around and DID. The next 10 minutes until we left the store was pure torture!!
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Lin View Post
    I don't notice the stares. I just completely tune them out somehow. One time I was out with a friend and he looked around and then asked me how I deal with the stares. (there are a lot with a service dog, that's even more rare to see than a wc) I said I didn't notice them, but then I mistakenly looked around and DID. The next 10 minutes until we left the store was pure torture!!
    I hope you don't mind me asking, but where did you get your service dog from? Also, how long were you on the waiting list for?

    I got a dog that I adopted last year in November. She's a real great dog, but she's about 5-7 years old and was neglected for the most part of her life up until adoption, so it was hard for me to train her to even play with toys. I got her to learn sit, stay, lay down… Down pat. She was learning stuff really quick so, I thought I would spend the most part of my spring, summer, and fall training her. I did, but she wasn't interested in toys, therefore it was impossible to train her to pick things up and get them for me… She just wouldn't acknowledge them, or she would just look at them and not do anything. She would be the perfect service dog if I can get her to do that, but I even had a trainer come in, and try to help privately train her, but it just wasn't happening. So, I applied for a service dog and I am now on a 6 month-2 yr waiting list. I applied through New Horizon Service Dogs in Florida, because that's where I'm moving next week.

    I really need a dog that can pick things up for me, because I am by myself for most of the day and night.

    Also, if you don't mind… Do you notice that you meet more people because of the service dog? I'm hoping that the service dog will also allow me to meet more people. I noticed that when I was training my dog this summer, when I had her out in public I got to meet a lot more people because of the dog.

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