There are a few things I wish someone had told me before we got the chair in order to make our life that bit easier:
1-- The wheelchair can be used as a weapon. Do not be shy about rolling over feet after you’ve asked a few times for those feet to be moved.
Normally you don’t have to go through with rolling over actual feet, you just tip them with the wheel and they jump!
2-- When using the chair as a weapon and being called out on it, just smile and remind that person that you did ask them to move, but you have to be somewhere too.
Ask them why their need comes before your child's - they won’t know what to say and tend to just ‘let it go’.
3-- People think if you're pushing a wheelchair that you are ‘nice’ and a very ‘patient’ person.
I have no idea why they think that. You get a lot of smiles and nods when you push a chair.
This could be because my son is still at the ‘cute’ phase, despite being 15, he looks about 8. It's nice to have random people smile at you, despite their reasoning. Smile back!
4-- Disabled toilets are going to make your blood boil; it's akin to road rage except its, "loo rage".
Loo rage will take over when you see that there is nowhere to change your child but the dirty ground.
5-- You will become a ninja when it comes to cleaning your child without touching the floor.
Also, you will carry a huge changing bag as you now need to cover the floor.
6-- You won’t judge anyone for using the disabled toilet, you will do your best to presume that they are decent humans...on the days when you want to yell at them, you’ll stare instead.
Despite what many may say here; those who are genuine will smile at you, those who aren't find the ground fascinating…
7-- Disabled parking will also cause parking rage.
You will watch for the blue badge, if they don’t have the blue badge you have zero issue giving out stink to them.
Seriously, you are like a hawk when it comes to spotting the blue badge.
8-- You will try to pull a wheelie, your kids will love it including the one in the chair but strangers will give you a look of shock. Smile at them.
9-- Hills will become a great way to shape up your butt.
Your friends will argue over pushing your child up a hill; let them push that chair!
10--most people will hold the door for you, watch out for their toes.
You will roll over that nice person's toes and they will say it's ok, but it hurts, it hurts a lot.
11—Kids will stare at the chair, adults will too, save the annoyed look for the adults.
12-- Always ensure you have the brakes on if you stop to talk to someone; use both brakes especially if your child likes to rock in the chair.
13-- Paths and routes become annoying but you just get used to it.
You will ring every place before you visit it to ensure its wheelchair friendly, this will become akin to ringing a venue to see if they are family friendly.
Our manual wheelchair has served us well.
It’s been there when we needed it.
We got an electric chair recently, it’s battery needs replacing, we can’t pull wheelies or run down a hill , or work our butt out but hey, it does give my back a break !