Are You Becoming Dependent on Your Wheelchair or Are You Becoming More Independent?

Are You Becoming More Dependent on Your Wheelchair or Are You Becoming More Independent?

The air is heavy with a fearful anticipation. A doctor, most likely an older male, sits in a blue fold-out chair. He leans forward with a Look on his face. He focuses his eyes on your too still legs. He asks leading questions about how far you can walk. You end up saying that you can walk further than you actually can. You make sure to remind him of the pain and the very many breaks needed.

“But you can walk a block, right?” he asks.

“I think so,” you say. He doesn’t try to figure if you mean that you can walk a block unassisted. It does not matter to him. What matters is that you walk. Walk.

“I’m afraid if I prescribe you a wheelchair that you’ll become dependent on it.”

There it is. The denial. The fear. Dependency is bad. It’s wrong, it’s unnatural. It’s as dangerous as being dependent on di-hydrogen monoxide.

You’re too shocked to fight. He’s the doctor. You’re the patient. The doctor knows best. And in your mind that squirming fear that you’re just not trying hard enough, that you’re just being lazy, that you’re not really like them, wraps around your brain and steals your confidence.

You keep walking for a few more weeks. Or a month. Or a year. Or for decades. But you’re walking is not a smooth, confident stride in which you strike your heel to the ground and lift off with your toes. It’s marred with frightful balance and pain issues. Every step is hesitant and carefully placed. Often, your arms do most of your walking, grasping onto canes, crutches, doorways and walls. You can walk. It’s told to you as if it is the most terrific thing on the face of the planet. Walking is better than world peace. It’s better than sunshine and rainbows and leprechauns. It’s better than winning the lottery. It’s far better than being wheelchair-dependent.

A smooth roll through life is improper. Immoral. It’s in the leagues of Satan. To voluntarily choose to use a wheelchair is as bad as going up to Lord Voldechair and asking to be branded with the Dark Mark. Every day must be a fight to keep one’s soul cleansed. The only solution for a cleansed soul is to walk. Left foot then right foot. Or even right then left. But they must be feet striking the ground. Always.

Eventually, you give into temptation. It has never tasted so sweet. As you collapse your tired body into your chair, perfectly fitted to your body, you breathe a sigh of relief. This is freedom. An unnatural, immoral, and evil freedom. But freedom nonetheless. You offer your arm to Lord Voldechair who burns the Dark Mark onto it, a blackened wheelchair-user symbol. You practically drown your body by drinking sweet di-hydrogen monoxide while you start doing frightful things like grocery shopping on your own or going to the gym or the mall.

You roll through curb cuts, up ramps, and into handicap stalls. Willingly. You ask for wheelchair accessibility wherever you go. You pop wheelies and have impromptu races with your equally immoral friends. You walk less and less. There is less need. You can get around this way. With every day that passes you become more and more wheelchair-dependent. But you don’t care because you’re immoral and evil. You find yourself free. Independent while being dependent.

You have your one-way ticket to Hell. Don’t worry, it’s paved and wheelchair-accessible. Perfect for your wretched soul.

*Any resemblances to JKR’s Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter is purely coincidental. Purely. Absolute truth. Just as this is.

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10 Responses to Are You Becoming Dependent on Your Wheelchair or Are You Becoming More Independent?

  1. Speaker of Words says:

    I have seen this scenario played out a dozen times; except instead of a wheelchair, it’s with all the opioid-type medications(which fall under the catch-all term “narcotics”). Doesn’t matter how much pain your in, they always try and make it seem less than it is, and you never quite get them to understand. And if you do use them, you become Lord Druggy.

    • Rachael says:

      So true! God forbid you be in pain and appreciate relief! If you like it and it makes your life better, it must be bad, bad I say!

      Forgive me for being jaded, but really, life is too short. No one should have to be ashamed of wanting to feel okay, or get around without exhaustion.

  2. SudsySoap2006 says:

    Hmmmm this sounds awfully familar…I wonder why? Oh wait was I one of those “equally immoral friends” you had impromptu races with…oops I think I was. *shrugs* Who the *CENSORED* cares! I’ve watched you push youself through pain and suffering enough in this last what year and a half since that bloody accident happened and you deserve the break having a awesome and comfortable wheelchair gives you! So keep on popping those wheelies, having those races, and giving those kids wheelchair rides. 😉 If you are happy and feeling better thats what matters! *e-hugs*

    Lots of Love From the SUDS! lol

  3. ZeeGeek says:

    Okay, so I don’t get the HP references, as I have only see a couple of the later movies (although the books have slowly been moving up my reading list – Honest!).

    But, I can’t help but wonder what said Dr.’s opinion of his own owning and use a car is? (provided he is in some place where a car makes sense, like LA, as opposed to NYC.) Does he feel that it is something horrible to have to use a car to get to work, or to go shopping, or for anything else? Does it matter that because he chose to drive, that he is less in shape to bicycle to those activities? To the point that he can probably no longer do it? Does having electricity give us the freedom to do whatever we like day or night, because we have light? Or is it a bad thing because we a society have become so dependent on it?

    Everything around us are tools, we have them and use them because they make life easier or better in some way. If they didn’t, they would be cast aside. I think people are judgmental however, and form opinions about those people who find it easier to use tools that they themselves find as not helpful, and fail to realize how helpful the tools really are to those who use them.

  4. Pingback: Wheelchairs: The Morality Play » brokenclay.org/journal

  5. Jennifer Fitz says:

    I’m always mystified by this. Then again, I have a car but I still walk places when I can and when it makes sense to do so. So I guess that explains why I can have a wheelchair, and yet mysteriously only use it when I need it.

    [But: Running Water? Totally dependent there. Am not walking a mile each way to fetch it from a pond and boil it. So you see? It’s a slippery slope.]

    Oddly though, I read a combox elsewhere in which full-time chair-users were bashing still-pretty-mobile folks, on account of how if they can stand and even walk some, they must be faking if they use a wheeled device.

    Seems to be an epidemic of illogic.

    Jen <– could rant on this topic much longer. Restraining herself.

    (And likewise, the use of the term "crutch" to mean "something you use even though you don't need to". Who are these people who these people with the amazing forearms that just can't get enough? Me, I'd rather walk with my hands free, you know? Given the choice. And I'd rather walk with crutches than go nowhere.)

  6. Jesse the K says:

    Excellent. Imagine if everyday folks needed prescriptions to purchase a car?

  7. chekoala says:

    Love it.

    ‘…You keep walking for a few more weeks. Or a month. Or a year. Or for decades. But you’re walking is not a smooth, confident stride…’

  8. Katy says:

    I have to keep reminding myself that there is no crime is using tools. When I want to pound a nail, I don’t use my bare hand, I use a hammer. Sure, I could use a block of wood, or a shoe, but the hammer is the most efficient. If I want to go from A to B in the most efficient manner, I should use my chair, without feeling guilty!

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