Working In A Wheelchair

I had another steroid injection a few weeks ago, which was followed by activity restrictions, all I’ll say about that is that is it’s worse than the injection itself. You wouldn’t think that would be the case given that I’m a wheelchair user, but the truth is it’s rare that I use my wheelchair on a daily basis. I don’t use it at work, mainly because the building isn’t accessible.

Let me back up: I have used my wheelchair at work in the past so I have an idea of what works and what doesn’t but it was years ago and with employee turnover it was going to feel like the 1st day of school, which I did not account for. What I thought would be a no brainer actually required thought, at times more than it should.

I decided to bring my wheelchair with me to work, here’s what happened.

In a lot of ways it was easier to get around (and easier to explain why I couldn’t do something). The work days didn’t suck, at least not any more than they would usually. However, there were moments of pure frustration.

-I was able to complete some tasks in a fraction of the time I can do on my feet.

-I can do these same tasks faster than my coworkers.

-I’m on a different level, which is good and bad.

-It’s harder to reach the phone.

-Computers are at the wrong level, unless I want to practice typing with my chin (or my tongue).

-People worried I had a “setback” or “regressing” (for the record CP itself does not change like MS).

-People thought I was ill.

-People wouldn’t talk to me, instead they’d talk over me, literally.

-People made an extra effort to speak with me.

-I backed over one person’s foot.

-People thought I’d deliberately run into them (prior to the foot incident).

-I got asked “Do you have a license for that thing?” so many times I got annoyed with being annoyed by the question.

-My hip was really sore by the end of the day, but my back didn’t hurt.

I wish I could tell you I learned something new and more importantly profound about the whole experience but it just affirmed what I already know because I’ve already experienced it before; the difference being this was in a microcosm of society.

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