Today I got new wheels. I had to make the decision on whether or not I was going to go into a power chair or stick with my scooter. A physiotherapist recommended a power chair to elevate my legs, but I decided that as long as I can walk, I will not get in a wheelchair. They seem so final. And while they are a safer bet when going to events with handicapped seating (they won't take them away from you) I still prefer a scooter.
What's that you say? They take your scooter at events? You wouldn't believe the stories I've heard. I've even had my walker taken away from me - in my own church of all places. And here's the ironic part - I was at an event where Nick Vujicic was speaking (he's an inspirational speaker who was born without arms or legs) and an usher came and told me someone complained that I was "in the way."
Really? Someone in church complained that a disabled person was in the way? I thought at first it was a joke, so I laughed and said, "Yeah, right." Then the usher stood there looking incredibly uncomfortable and said, "Ma'am, I have to take your walker because you are a fire hazard."
"I'm a fire hazard?" Oh, my goodness I thought this was so funny I started laughing at the guy, but he was serious. And that's when I started to realize he was really going to take my walker.
"You do realize that if you take my walker you take my legs? This is my only way to walk without falling down. Plus...Nick Vujicic event...hello! You are going to make an issue about this at this event?"
Yes...he was and he did. He took it away and I was stranded for the rest of the evening, unable to use the restroom or if there was a fire, escape if necessary, because I had no way to walk out of church!
Then I heard about the poor soul who was asked to leave a movie theatre because she chose to sit in a seat with her scooter parked beside her in the place for the handicapped. Apparently, if she wasn't sitting in her scooter she wasn't allowed to watch the movie. Who makes these rules anyway?
So, now I'm getting nervous - will Budweiser Gardens take my scooter away from me when I go to see Michael Buble at the end of the month? I hope not. There is nothing like being stranded in your seat for four hours. I honestly cannot fathom why people who are in scooters (or walkers) are treated differently than those in wheelchairs. Honestly, would we be using these things if we didn't need them? Of course not! So, listen up Budweiser I'm giving you a warning - if you take my scooter away and leave me more disabled then I already am, I will be writing about it and talking to every news outlet who will listen. It's time to stop treating the disabled like they don't have feelings or don't matter.
I am not a fire hazard. I am unable to walk without assistance. If you take my legs, you take my freedom.