Things I Have Learned in a Wheelchair:

There are cer­tain things I as a wheel­chair user wish were com­mon knowl­edge. These include:

  1. If I stand up from my wheel­chair, it is not a mir­a­cle. I, like many oth­er wheel­chair users, am capa­ble of stand­ing. I can also walk short dis­tances. It is painful and quick­ly becomes incred­i­bly painful. It is not a mir­a­cle.
  2. If you think when I stand up it is proof that I don’t real­ly need a wheel­chair and I’m “fak­ing it,” you are a ter­ri­ble per­son. There are more rea­sons to need a wheel­chair than a spinal cord injury result­ing in total paral­y­sis.
  3. I real­ize that you are try­ing to be nice and I do appre­ci­ate that, but it is real­ly not nec­es­sary to dart in front of me to open a door. I got this. All you’re real­ly doing is slow­ing me down by block­ing part of the door and putting your toes in dan­ger.
  4. Hon­est­ly, #3 isn’t that big of a deal, but the per­son who for­gets #1 and #2 is in dan­ger of going through the rest of his life liv­ing with the shame of hav­ing had his butt kicked by a guy in a wheel­chair.