Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Recovered And Angry At EVERYTHING


The mind is a funny thing. While I recovered my mind was always lagging a little behind my body. Like it hadn't quite come to terms with the fact that I was healing up. I found that I was about 2 weeks removed in my dreams from what was happening to me physically in the waking-world.

Particularly after I began walking again my dreams reminded me of how pre-occupying an injury is in your life... like it's all you can think about or concentrate on most of the time. Then you heal and you think "I won't think about that time in my life anymore..." But you do. It's transformative being disabled (temporarily or not).

So now when I walk down the street and see a garbage can pushed way into the sidewalk, far enough that I know a wheelchair can't go around it... I hulk out... and it takes everything in my being not to sling it with all the force I have into their yards loudly yelling the whole time. Seriously, it's bad enough to deal with the sidewalks when they're in working order... let alone when there are piles of yard clippings or trash cans weighing 50+lbs sitting on them that no person in a wheelchair could have any hope of moving. So yea, I have found in my able-bodied-ness that I'm a rage fueled monster.

I try to remember that maybe not everyone is out to cause misery and suffering to their fellow humans through the placement of rubbish bins but I can't help it. I think of how I felt, how helpless and alone, doing the best I could to get around from place to place. The 10-15 minutes it took me to even get up the 3 steps to the outdoors or the 30-50ft of single-leg hops I had to do to get out of my apt door and to my chair waiting outside. I think about large sidewalk holes and heavy trash cans and the people who, unlike myself, won't ever be able to stand to move them again. *steps away from keyboard to reduce blood pressure*

All I'm saying is that in the United States of America the last ADA survey revealed that there are "Roughly 30.6 million had difficulty walking or climbing stairs, or used a wheelchair, cane, crutches or walker." And that's pretty substantial number... or about 10.1% of all Americans that this included in the 2010 statistics.

Ultimately all I'm asking you to do is notice when there isn't room for a wheelchair on the sidewalk. You don't have to hulk out and throw it or raise a ruckus but you can kindly and quietly push it out of the way. Just think "could a grandmother in a wheelchair by themselves deal with this obstacle?" If the answer is "No." and you are able, you should do something about it. If the other 89.1% of people made sure that the paths (as wrecked as they are sometimes) are as clear as they can be for these people... there'd probably be less angrily thrown trash cans... at least here in Lex. ;-)

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