different attitudes to different aids...

Just an observation - I am struck by how helpful people are now that I am using a wheelchair - I work for Aberdeen University in the Medical School, and the students (who usually can't see past the end of their own noses) have been so helpful since I've been using the w/c - they open doors for me, and offer to give me a push when I'm outside.  On Friday and today, somebody (not students) saw me struggling to get the wheelchair into my car and came and did it for me - I can usually do it by myself, but I find it difficult, especially when I'm tired.

This is a big difference in attitude from when I am walking with one or two sticks - with the sticks, there are not so many doors opened for me, and not so many people who stop to ask if I'm ok (sometimes, I'm obviously struggling with the walking, hence the w/c).

Staff (who are mostly health professionals) are also more helpful to me when I'm using the chair rather than the sticks.

I just thought I'd share my observations - I'm finding the whole thing a bit strange, but in a nice way.

Luisa x

Dear Luisa, your observations are spot on and I've endured the same, but nowhere as cerebral as a Medical School.Anybody can use a walking stick, as they are easily obtained,but if you have lashed out the money or been issued with a wheelchair you must be poorly.I reckon your theatre of operation has something to do with this.There is also the 'Dole Pole',and where I live some of the scroungers have now lost the stick and head to the bookies at a brisk canter.I reckon they've been caught out by the Sosch


I cannot self propel in the chair any more,but when I did I would get more offers of help,smiles and nods in Aldi and Lidl than in M+S and a particular Tescos where the majority of the customers are "Right up 'emselves" and are up to their ears in personal debt.


I now use a big buggy,have done about 2,500 miles on the road but still get treated as per the above when I'm shopping.Benidorm is a poor advert for the use of a buggy but I have not seen a buggy being used by somebody that doesn't need it.I also get off the buggy when I'm drinking coffee and smoking outside cafes, for comfort really, but also get out of the chair when I'm talking to people as their perception of me changes and they talk to me and not the chair or the buggy.This is most important whan talking to health professionals.


Regards,   Wb



ps  Can you do anything about neuroligists and their dreadful attitude towards their customers?


Hi Luisa, I agree with you, I find people very polite when I am in the wheelchair, perhaps it’s just Aberdeen people who are polite, lol. But that’s not the case, I find wherever I am that people go out of their way to help when I am in the wheelchair, I’ve never had a problem with people being rude or inconsiderate.

I dont use a stick myself but have a push along walker which I use at work. Unlike you with your stick I also find people very helpful and considerate when I am using it, but I have worked there for nearly 18 years , including a little while before I had any visible walking problems, and everyone knows me and knows how I struggle to walk so I think that has something to do with it.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! You’re funny!! - Neurologists come under the blanket heading of Consultants - they mainly all have the same attitude towards lesser beings (this includes me, I’m a secretary, so not worth even looking at, much less acknowledging my presence). There are some exceptions to this rule, but they are so rare, they are thought of as mythical. Look out for the ones with the title Mr instead of Dr, they have gone through the process and come out the other side, unfortunately the process does appear to require them to be so far up themselves that it turns them inside out.

Happy days

Luisa x

Thanks for the insight. I do know of one neurotic who was 'bumped upto' professor a few years ago. Hopefully this elevated position keeps her away from those apalling three dimensional sentient portrayals of two dimensional case notes known as people.


I used to say as a joke,"I hope I get to meet a proctologist  one day, as they must have a sense of humour". Somebody was listening as I met one professionally and he had a superb sense of humour and even displayed some empathy.


I love your thought of neuroligists turning inside out. Do you think when they are pulled back into shape the A -ole will be in its rightful place..............................?   Where the mouth is.


Regards,   Wb



Yes I quite agree, people have a stereotype of what a disabled person should look like (much to our frustrations).  When I use my stick I do so because I sometimes suffer vertigo, have limp and because I tire so easily.  I dont use it much indoors yet people assume because they see different aids used at different times I must be having them on?  Expect most msers using different aids will get similar attitudes.


I was watching a few wheelchair users today and for some reason its accepted theyre disabled whereas a person using walking stick is expected to veer out of the way by some ignoramouses because theyre in a mood and want to hog the whole pavement.


Good observation.  Always said we msers should have stickers or badges to say 'we may look ok, but dont feel it all the time - hence aid'.


Take care, and happy wheeling.




It’s weird, it is assumed that because your legs don’t work well, there must be a lack in your brain too - I am noticing that if people talk to me when I’m in the w/c, there is a little hint of surprise when they get an intelligent, sometimes even witty reply (sadly from a few people who know me as well as from strangers).

I’m an individual, just like everybody else, haha - I have never fitted a stereotype in my life and I have no intentions of starting to do so now.

L x

I think it's the striking visual change, you may be using a stick but you're still standing so you can't be "that bad". Once you're in a wheelchair you could be paralised and so people automaticaly see what you can't do sitting in a chair regardless of if you can get out of the chair albeit briefly.

I've been offered a stick a few times and turned it down, I'm not currently using any aids and am mostly struggling on stubbornly leaning and stumbling about. I keep thinking if I start using something I'll start relying on it and I also just don't want to carry a stick around if I'm just holding it.

I'm over 6ft, if/when I end up in a wheelchair I think it will be quite a change for me to have to look up at people instead of down! tounge

I’m 5’8 - it’s weird

HAHAHA, you’re BAD!!!

I think that answer is bad & superb…up them I say!

I had to be pushed in a wheelchair many years ago when I had St Vitus dance and couldnt be trusted walking, as anything could happen !

The thing I vividly remember is that in a busy shopping area I was just at the right height to be bashed by peoples shopping bags,it was most unpleasant.

The worst bit was that when I tried to tell whoever was pushing me I'd say thing like I want the toilet,or the whole sentence backwards so they still couldnt understand.

The shock horror on peoples faces when I was then taken in pubs and given alcohol!!!!  and sadly yes alot of those looks were from people who had often seen me in there for years.


not a wheelie ,but must admitt when people see me with walking stick,tey open doors and are generally veery helpfull,again im from scotland,maybe us scots are nicer than we think :)

I’m from/in Aberdeen - generally people are very nice and helpful when I’m using my sticks, I was just surprised at how much more nice and helpful they are when I’m using my wheelchair

Luisa x

Have only really been to work, and one visit to Costco so far in my w/c, so haven’t experienced this yet. If I do, they will be in no doubt what I think of it.

Luisa x


Have you or anybody noticed the differemce in supermarkets.

When I could walk using elbow crutches I used to use the electric scooters provided by the store.

Nobody had the time of day and always got withering looks of disaproval.

In my wheelchair they can't do enough for me and the amount of young ladies.

Girl friend laughs she says bet you never had this attention and bet your enjoying it.

Well got to make a posative out of a negative.


An interesting batch of replies there! I am a full time wheelie and find the majority of people are very helpful and considerate.

If I encounter someone who isn`t so nice, I just smile and say out loud, `Thankyou very much!`

Remember this old adage;

If you see someone without a smile, give them your`s. You can always make another!

luv Polllx

Also, “Smile, it makes them wonder what you’ve been up to” :smiley:

Luisa x

I haven’t been in a supermarket for over 2 years now, I order everything online and the nice man brings it to me. Maybe I should test the water and go this weekend, might be some single bloke up for a challenge, haha

L x

Funny, I too am in Scotland and use a chair for distance and in work (school). People are generally kind although I've noticed when with my mum in the shopping centre (and she is pushing) people aren't particularly quick to move out the way! I've got this urge to be aggressive and growl 'move out the way'! But I don't! Having been wheeling myself around school since February this year (teach primary), children and parents generally very good. Colleague did inform me about a parent/grandparent/carer remarking to her on an open day 'is she still working'?! Not bothered about it - what's the point? I know (and so does the boss) that I'm still very capable of educating the children. At least two parents from the current class have told me to 'take care'! A grandparent who helps out did the Cake-thing for MS & my colleagues spoke to their classes about it - the P7s thought I was an 'inspiration'! (They all know about the MS now!) I am educating the world about MS!!!