Festivals and Gigs, Musings, Restaurants and Cafes, Shopping

11 Perks Of Being A Wheelchair User

I feel I’ve been ranting to you a lot lately. There’s been a fair few negatives in life with accessibility to the cinema and Latitude Festival being a bit of a downer.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. So I thought this week I would share with you some of the upsides to having wheels. The bonuses it can bring.

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Having Patience

Having to rely on other people to assist you with almost everything often means working at their pace. It also means learning to explain yourself very well. My vision of how a task is done isn’t always the same as that of the doers. It may always feel like I’m the one with the common sense, but there must be a reason to their ways?! You learn to accept that we all think differently.

I can’t just fetch a book, grab a drink, take a photo, put my leg in the exact position of comfort. When you can’t do the small things you learn to wait, direct, explain and often explain again.

Special Counters In Shops

I didn’t realise this until quite recently but if you shop in Primark (who doesn’t?) and you’re a wheelchair user you don’t have to wait in that mile long zig-zag queue and try to steer your way around without knocking down displays. You can go straight up to the end till where the next free staff member will serve you straight away. You’ll get some evil teen girl stares, but probably no more than normal, plus that’s more time for coffee after!

This brings me on to

Queue Jumping

Having wheels often means you don’t have to wait. Don’t ask me the reasoning behind this.

Isn’t it frustrating when the ride you want to go on at the theme park has over an hour wait? I wouldn’t know! Usually theses rides have a separate accessible queue and entrance point, which means I get to board the ride swiftly.

Always Having A Companion

I have some of the best friends, and we have some fab times. But you can’t always do everything together.

Ever really wanted to see a film that your friends don’t, and you’re not sure about going alone? Want to attend a gig but your best pal is working? Well having PA’s means that I’m not often alone and can drag them along to almost anything. OK so sometimes they are paid to be with me!

Having a PA also means having a chauffeur. No need to stress about public transport or delegate a driver. I’ve got mine on standby. Never getting lost alone is also a bonus!

Carrying Bags

We can all get a little carried away when on a shopping trip. Buy more than we planned, see too many thing we ‘just need’. This can be bad on the wallet (virtual or physical) and the shoulders. Not if you have your own sit in buggy to hang bags on the back of. And unlike toddlers there’s not much chance I’ll stand up and the thing will topple over, bags crashing to the ground!

It’s not just shopping trips I get loaded up on though. Going out for the day with a giant picnic, at a festival with bottles of water, a jumper, a coat, a waterproof, food, toilet roll, wipes, suncream (I like to be prepared!). Just shove it on the chair.

Don’t use me though!

Clean Shoes

Not being able to walk means that my shoes never have to touch the floor. No walking through muddy puddles for me! Even after a festival I can come home with my Converse gleaming. This also means no wear and tear, no soles coming apart, holes forming. My shoes can look the same at 5 years old as they do the day I get them. That doesn’t mean I don’t like shoe shopping though, I still buy plenty! It just means I can pass them on or sell them to a new owner, only to wreak them within weeks. Poor shoes.

Always Got A Seat

Sore feet? Not me. Achy legs? Nope. Tired of standing? Ha!

Not only does sitting down on the move mean that I suffer none of the above, it also means that I never have to find a seat or hear the words ‘pull up a chair’. I’ve got my own thanks!

Get to a pub or bar and there’s nowhere to sit? I’m over here, pretty comfy. Standing on the spot in queues can be tiring… So they tell me. At the park or a festival and the grass is wet or muddy, need a plastic bag to sit on? Whatever. It’s dry and warm up here!

Standing on the bus must be a pain!

Clumsy Accidents

This no standing lark can also mean less opportunities to make a fool of yourself (only slightly in my case). Although I may get stuck in snow and skid around on the ice, you won’t see me tripping over to plant my face in the ground.

And stubbing your toe… how does that feel?

Free Parking

Although having a Blue Badge doesn’t entitle me to park where I want whenever I want, as some assume. There are many carparks that offer a reduced price or a buy-an-hour-get-an-hour-free service. Having wheels can often make you a little slower at getting to places or running errands. So that’s pretty handy.

If you’re just nipping somewhere you can also park on double yellow lines for up to three hours without getting charged or clamped! But watch out for those pesky yellow marks on the pavement! You can’t park there.

Freebies

It’s not only parking where I can save a few pennies. Having wheels entitles me to a free bus pass, although access isn’t always brilliant this can come in handy.

As I need assistance with everything I do, I always need to take my PA, friend or family member with me when going out. Always needing that extra person, means buying an extra ticket to concerts, theatre shows and the cinema. Thankfully most venues offer a complimentary (free) ticket for wheelchair users. Extra bonus if you’re just going with a friend or family member that wants to split the cost of a ticket. Winners all round!

Best Seats In The House

Although you’ll know this is definitely not the case at the cinema. Often being in a wheelchair means you get good seats at the theatre and gigs. Yes these seats are extremely limited, so you have to book quick! But they are usually reasonably close with a great view. Easy to access, plenty of space and leg room. You know that really annoying person that makes everyone in the row stand up because they need to get out for a wee? Well I don’t.

It’s always good to look on the bright side, every cloud as they say!

So what are your perks in life?

45 thoughts on “11 Perks Of Being A Wheelchair User”

  1. I always leave your posts with a smile even when you rant you have such a positive outlook on life…We found a wheelchair was a great accessory when we had one for mum when travelling…V.I.P access everywhere it was great…and never getting your heels stuck in a crack on the pavement ever again what a bonus that would be …:) x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One thing I’ve noticed about being in a powerchair is that whenever I run people’s feet over (accidentally of course!) they are more likely to apologise to me first! Even if I was the one at fault which I find quite amusing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love this, looking at the lighter and brighter sides, you’re quite the trooper Gemma! Finding things to be positive about when dealing with so many negatives (with a wheelchair, with illness) can be difficult, so I take my hat off to you. Since my most recent op to revise my stoma I’ve been restricted with food so can only have very bland food – think all things beige – so it’s a pretty good excuse to ‘have’ to eat lots of chips, jelly babies also get the green light, mashed potato, extra salt gets a thumbs up, crisps aplenty..! Junk food without the guilt I guess is one way to look at it (desperate for a little salad now though!) 😉
    Caz xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Being encouraged to eat crisps and jelly babies is a great thing!
      Yes, it’s so easy for people to get immersed in the difficulties and negatives in their life that they can forget about the good bits. I believe there are always things to make you smile if you try to find them.
      Thanks for visiting and sharing yours 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      Definitely. There are so many reasons for a person to be sad or angry or annoyed at the world. But we have to make the most of what we’ve got, so what makes us happy and appreciate what makes us us!
      Thank you for your support and encouragement.

      Like

  4. You rant on my lovely, we all need a rant sometimes. I love this outlook. Im a true believer in always trying to find the sunshine in the clouds, and I think it makes you feel better to have a positive outlook. I actualy love the humour you talk about these oints with too, you made me smile. Thanks for sharing xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right it does make you feel better finding the good in things and thinking positive.
      Sometimes you have to laugh about things, it’s better than the opposite. I do worry sometimes my humour can be taken the wrong way, I’m that person that often says something without thinking, when the subject matter could be quite sensitive or serious, luckily my friends usually know when I’m joking!
      Thank you for reading 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved this Gemma! You have a dry sense of humour haha! I’m deaf – one of the perks is I can ‘switch off’ hearing aids if sounds are annoying me, something on TV, my kids music or noise from building work etc.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I wear my shoes out from the inside. About the cinema, a quirk in the American law lets theater operators put in 199 seats and stash the wheelies at the side of the front row. Head back, rotating to find the action on the looming screen.
    Would I go back in time and trade my chair for the unknown? Not on your life!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I never thought about your shoes before. Also don’t apologise for your more recent ‘rant’ posts you are absolutely justified for sharing this with everyone. If we don’t speak up nothing will change and I admire you for sharing the ups and downs as well as the good stuff.

    Rachael | https://rachaelstray.com

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This was an eye-opening read. I’d never thought about how your shoes last for years 😄 One of the perks of my chronic pain (although many dispute such a thing exists) is meeting one of my best friends, who also has chronic pain. If we didn’t have this in common we’d have never met. It’s always good to focus on the positives x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clean shoes are definitely a bonus!
      Oh yes that’s one I should have added to my list. I have met so many people I never would have without my disability. My closest friends.
      It’s also good you have a close friend who can relate to how you feel and what you’re going through.

      Like

  9. I’ve been on an accessibility rant this afternoon, so it was good to read this. I know our perks are different, but there will always be positives if you look for them. The one about good communication is definitely a thing – when you can’t just point or see other people gesturing, you have to be very clear about what you are asking people to do, or how you need them to give you information.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A rant is always good and often needed. But yes most things have a positive if we change our way of thinking.
      Yes I can imagine that’s something you learn to be an expert in too, the explaining your needs and requests. You must have acquired a good amount of patience too.

      Like

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