If you are a wheelchair user and when you say you are tired, you are likely to be told, “How can you get tired when you are sitting all the time?” Can they ever understand that hours of friction, sweat and heat can hurt your bums like hell?
If you are on a wheelchair your friends may get envious that your thighs don’t get chafed. But they don’t know that you also experience burns not in your thighs, but in your armpits by overusing your arms wheeling all the day!
If you are a wheelchair user and you want to wear long flowing gowns or skirts they will inescapably end up destroyed as they can wrap over large wheels, get caught in the small wheels covered in mud or get torn while getting entangled in footrests.
If you are a wheelchair user, the pushing and rolling, dragging and panting and whiffing in a manual chair, will leave your hands, arms and shoulders completely exhausted.
If you are a wheelchair user, no matter how well you maintain your nails – they would break. Even the best manicure would not prevent your hands from becoming as rough as a fisherman’s.
Sometimes the muscles in shoulders get so tightened up that it becomes impossible to move without a grimace. Every spasm, every thud of pain means something and if you ignore it, it can build up to make you all the more immobile even when you are fighting so hard for independence.
If you are a wheelchair user you may often come across toxic ableism that would unapologetically treat you as a child, even if you are nearing your middle age – so much so that your wheelchair can even be called a perambulator!
If you are a wheelchair user you can be blamed for occupying a lot of space even in your own house.
If you are a wheelchair user you can find yourself in a paradoxical situation. On one hand you may find yourself continuously stared at or may get an unnerving level of attention, and on the other hand you may not even be considered a human being just like everyone else.
And ironically, without knowing you and your struggles you are billed as a product of sweat, perseverance, and technological progress. Those known as ”able-bodied” stand up to salute you. Looking at you from a distance you are valued for the pains you endure and not for who you actually are!