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Thread: Observation on Push Handles

  1. #1

    Observation on Push Handles

    I swear to ABs these make me less of a person.

    Chair The First: Old black clunker that weighed a ton, black composite wheels but was still light enough to be classed as "lightweight" Had push handles that I couldn't remove.

    Typical Reaction: People ignored me, didn't notice I was there. Kids asked me how I hurt my leg/legs. People talked to whoever was with me instead of me. When alone, people were shocked that I was "out" and often commented on how good it was that I was "handling this so well" and these were people who didn't even know me. Oh, and also I was "so great" for doing "what you do" and they wouldn't have been able to, and would have killed themselves.

    Chair The Second: Large chair that felt like I was in an SUV with spiffy spoke wheels, purple that was so dark it was effectively black, and no handles.

    Typical Reaction: People getting out of my way. Like. For real. Most of the time. And when I spoke with someone they more or less treated me as a normal person, although, often stole a glance at the chair. Complimented me on it. For the most part, I was a "short person" as opposed to sub-person.

    Chair The Third, BEFORE full setup had completed: More more well fitting chair, same model as the second, spoke wheels, glittery frame, I left the push handles on at first.

    Typical Reaction: See Chair The First.

    Chair the Third, AFTER full setup: After I finished getting it configured the way I wanted, which included swapping the short back canes with handles with my taller back canes with no handles, it was the same as Chair the Second, except better. No one notices the chair, unless it was someone I know or used to know who hasn't seen me in the last three years - then they're surprised, and after that it's as if I'm just a short person. They don't even notice when there are steps there, and expect me to just follow them. It's seriously as if I'm not even chair-using, just short.

    Conclusion: Somehow the "well fitting" and "no push handles" part makes me seem more human to people. Something about push handles equates to "sub-person" in their minds, unconciously. Why? No freakin idea. That's just my assumption.

    What is the up with that?

  2. #2
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    I can see that happening. I see a few chairs with the "push cripple/retard/whathaveyou here" handles on the back and that kind of looks wheelchairish. Then you see a few chairs that are basically a set of wheels with no handles or unwieldy footrests sticking out and it almost looks night and day appearance wise. You kind of just see the person, not a bunch of chair appendages. I'm sure if I'm thinking the same how the chair makes the person look less of a person in a strange way, I'm sure others are too.

  3. #3
    When chatting with hubby about it, he suggested that perhaps it was the apparent lack of control - if someone, walking or not, is obviously being led around or carried around or pushed around, the unconcious default is to speak to the person doing the leading/pushing/carrying as opposed to the other. Perhaps push handles automagically mean "I'm not in control"

    An interesting psychological delve.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeannette
    Perhaps push handles automagically mean "I'm not in control"

    An interesting psychological delve.
    Person in handless w/c: "Hear, here!

    Person in handled W/C: "Where, wear?

    "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."
    J.B.S.Haldane

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