how to be a “pusher”

IMy wheelchair‘ve had a few friends become “pushers”.

Not so much drug pushers, but wheelchair pushers.

Although, drug pushers can make birthday parties more fun!

In the months gone by, I’ve seen people grow more aware of what people in wheelchair are dealing with every day.

A store where the aisles are too narrow.

Sidewalks with ramps that are blocked.

Bathrooms with doors that close the wrong way so they can’t be closed when there’s a wheelchair inside.

And I’m not into shaking babies or their syndrome but OHMYMYHOLYHELL am I going to end up with a case of it due to brick pavers and cobblestone.

There’s all sorts of things that we’re having to learn to differently or without….we have a back porch I can’t go on because the door’s too narrow.

But one-by-one we’re able to make people think about situations in a new light.

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9 Responses to how to be a “pusher”

  1. Kristina July 27, 2011 at 6:12 PM #

    …and besides all the narrow walkways and wrong-way bathroom doors and funky access ramps, there are all the PEOPLE of all ages who don’t even LOOK at the person and the wheelchair. They don’t seem to notice or care that the person and chair might need more room to pass, or maybe should be given right-of-way. Every time I’m out with my Mom we have to wait as dozens of people get in our path, ignoring us completely. It’s incredibly rude. Plus my Mom is not so great at maneuvering the scooters and she often has to stop short as someone walks right into our path. Then everyone behind her has to stop short — you get the picture, it’s like dominoes. I guess I’m one of those weirdos who holds the door open for people with strollers and offers older people my seat on the subway. It seems like there aren’t many people who even LOOK at my Mom let alone extend a polite move to let her pass. Grrrrrrr.

  2. Pam July 22, 2011 at 4:56 AM #

    What makes me even madder is when you tell the property owners, or store managers to fix broken down, concrete, so called accessiblity ramps and they say I will get that fixed immediately and 6 months later, they are exactly the same. If they only had to live in pushers shoes. I have to hold my husband in his chair a lot just to keep from “losing” him from hitting tiny bumps let alone pot holes in the sidewalks.

  3. Susie July 21, 2011 at 10:30 PM #

    I was a “pusher” for my mom when she had a stroke in the 1990′s. One thing I remember is a 2-story building (in Hawaii) where a health provider had an office. There were stairs in the front and a long, steep blacktopped “hill” in the back for wheelchairs. There were no elevators. That’s what they called, “handicapped accessible”. It was anything but!

    I was drenched in sweat pushing her up it. But what I really remember is the harrowing trip back down the very steep decline after each appointment. I was petrified that I couldn’t slow down the speed going down and thought any second she would topple out of her wheelchair or I would lose control. It was harrowing for me, but she told me later she had great faith in me every time and chuckled about it.

    If all of us would spend just one day in a wheelchair, I think our view would instantly change!

    Now go get tomorrow, Anissa, like you always do…

  4. diary of an angry pusher

  5. IzzyMom July 21, 2011 at 12:59 PM #

    When we were in New Orleans, I was just there, not even pushing you, and I was getting angry. I really do see the world through new eyes after that.

  6. Chunky Mama July 21, 2011 at 12:35 PM #

    This is always on my mind actually. We have infant twins in a side-by-side double stroller, and it is amazing how many places we are unable to access. I always think of those in wheelchairs and wonder how on earth businesses are still able to get away with such blatant disregard for their needs. I was recently at a hospital and could not get into the bathroom with the stroller, and the same thing occurred at my pediatrician’s office.
    Also, in all the time I’ve searched, I’ve only found 2 apartment buildings in L.A. that had ramps/elevators that could accommodate a wheelchair. It is appalling.

  7. Joy @ Joy In This Journey July 21, 2011 at 12:24 PM #

    I have left some pissed-off notes on car dashboards when they parked too close to my side-entry rampvan or when a tiny little compact car pulled into a van handicapped space. And I’ll never forget the older woman with a walker hobbling slowly from the handicapped bathroom stall and telling me, “They always put the handicapped stalls at the FAR END OF THE BATHROOM.” I never thought about that before. If only building and city designers could spend a day in a wheelchair.

  8. Kizz July 21, 2011 at 12:17 PM #

    I didn’t even have to push my friend, Michael, usually but I will never look at curb cuts (steep much? crap!) the same way again. The last time I saw him we encountered a doorway just narrow enough not only to stick the wheelchair but to allow the door to swing shut juuuuust enough to press and hold the power off button on his electric chair. Took me a little while to figure that out and figure out how to fix it, that’s for sure. Dear Starbucks, let’s look into that, shall we? Dear panicked postal work stuck in the Starbucks while I fixed it, The whole front of the store was glass, you weren’t going to be stuck forever, I promise. We’d have rescued you somehow. Chill.

  9. Maura July 21, 2011 at 12:04 PM #

    I was an angry pusher for years, when my mom needed a wheelchair for any distances. And oh, did I let people know it! (That I was angry about the complete lack of regard for the space needed by someone in a wheelchair, not that I was angry about pushing; I wasn’t :-)

    I am a year or so removed from the last time I was an active pusher, but I still get mad when people block off the hashmarked areas next to the disabled parking because they’re too freaking lazy to take the 10 steps to the corral for their shopping carts.

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