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Wheelchair Face

So, I've been stuck in the house with fibromyalgia for more than three weeks now. I won't lie. It's a little dull. Been hanging out with my computer, watching TV and reading books. Bren's finished his teaching rounds for uni now, thank God. He was placed on the other side of town (with a teacher of the wrong subject, what's more) and was getting up 5:30 every morning for a two hour bus ride.

Now he's hanging out at home with me, which is much better than being all by myself, as you can no doubt imagine.

I can't drive, and I can only walk very very slowly around the house. I have to have a nap after I walk between bedroom and living room. No energy, which is very frustrating. Or it would be, if I wasn't too tired to be frustrated! I'm getting kind of used to the pain now, which I'm not sure is a good thing. But lots of leg exercises and getting myself up and shuffling is helping keep me from getting worse.

On weekends, my parents/Bren take me out shopping or whatever, in my wheelchair. Which brings me to the title of this post.

Wheelchair Face.

When you're young and in a wheelchair, you go out into a public place and you get nothing but Wheelchair Face from all around you. Except other people in chairs.

Maybe you've guessed that Wheelchair Face is that look people get when they see someone (especially a child or young person) in a chair. That look that says "Awww... poor thing is in a chair."

Some people give the look loud and clear, while others try to hide it and avert their eyes. Rest assured, world. When you make Wheelchair Face, we DO notice. And personally, I laugh at it.

The best one was on Saturday. Bren likes the feeling of power he gets from pushing me and he likes to go fast. He was pushing me fast through the shopping centre and I threw my arms up and went "Weeeeeee!!!" We were passing a lady, and the Wheelchair Face she had on was PRICELESS. It was like "Awww... poor thing. She mustn't get any fun except going fast in the wheelchair. Awww."

I laughed out loud.

The worst was when we were waiting for the lift (that's the really annoying part of needing a chair). It was a long wait, and the same woman gave me Wheelchair Face four times. Every time she looked at me, she pulled this utterly patronising, pitying face. And then she would pull one for Bren like "Awww... aren't you sweet pushing your crippled girlfriend around!"

And I said to myself "Bitch, if you're gonna look at me like I'm the most tragic person ever, at least give me some charity money!"

But what, you may ask, happens when two people in wheelchairs pass each other?

A nod happens, this look of solidarity that says "I don't need sympathy and neither do you."

But sometimes, you pass an elderly person in a chair, and you know what you get???

Wheelchair Face. Because oh my God, you're so young and would have had your whole life ahead of you and now it's all over because you need a chair.

Or maybe I'm just suffering a bad bout of illness and I'll be fine soon. And even if I never recover, which is a possibility I must accept, given the statistics, you know what? I'm just in a wheelchair. Not the end of the world. And you know what else? My legs and back are not working so well, but the brain is just fine. Don't need to be patronised.

Oh! And one more thing.

Doors are heavy, things in shops are up high and it's not always easy if you're out in the chair by yourself. If you're desperately trying to open the door into the toilets, you do NOT want to be given Wheelchair Face and pitied. Know what you want in that situation? Someone to push the door open for you. And no one ever does. They just watch and go "Awww". Not helpful.

And that's how it is.

Comments

( 2 comments! — Make Remark! )
mysticaingeal
May. 31st, 2010 11:12 am (UTC)
You know, I think maybe people don't help cause they don't know if it will seem patronising? Also *hugs* Am sorry you are in pain. Although I know being in a wheelchair is not the worst thing in the world, it still sucks that you have to be in somuch pain =(

On a complete tangent, have you seen the most recent series of Dr Who? What do you think of the doctor? And Amy?

Also, too tired for Somerset journal updates? (she asked hopefully). I am far too involved in the love life of Miss Kathy, for my own good =P
starlingthefool
May. 31st, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC)
If you're desperately trying to open the door into the toilets, you do NOT want to be given Wheelchair Face and pitied. Know what you want in that situation? Someone to push the door open for you. And no one ever does. They just watch and go "Awww". Not helpful.

I shall take this into account. Also, this entry is full of win.
( 2 comments! — Make Remark! )

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