Wednesday, September 1, 2010

When you meet me

I like meeting new people, but I always wonder what people think of me when they see that I'm in a wheelchair. I wonder if they think that I've always been disabled, or if I have some kind of disease or if I were in an accident, etc. A lot of times when new people meet me, they extend their arm in attempts to shake hands. This always makes for an uncomfortable few moments while I either wait for the person to put their arm down or I tell them I can't shake. (I think it's probably more uncomfortable for the other person than it is for myself, but either way it's an awkward situation.)

I think my situation makes me appear pretty intimidating to others because most strangers don't approach me on their own. They usually wait for me to introduce myself first (which I rarely do because I'm shy) or they wait for someone else that already knows me to do the introducing. I prefer to have people come to me since I can't go to them, but sometimes I have to improvise. Just for the record, I am approachable, even if my wheelchair makes me appear intimidating. I think most handicapped people feel the same way, so don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone who's disabled!


Tina said...

Hi Heather,

Stopping by to say hello! How are things?

I can't imagine you would be intimidating, wheelchair or no wheelchair?

I believe I would just come up and say "Hi"!

You are wonderful.

Little Tots Big Ideas

Cinoda said...

Heather, I finally got an online name so I don't have to be Anonymous anymore!

Anyway, I really love your posts such as this one. It really helps educating people about situations that arise.

I have a good friend with MS and she will share some stories with me. She has said that she hates when people ask her why she is in a wheelchair. The question itself doesn't bother her, but when she answers MS, strangers then tell her all of these horrifing stories about a relative with the disease.

Thank you for sharing and educating!

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