Well meaning, but I wonder why?

This has no doubt been aired before, but I wonder why when people see me in my wheelchair some seem to get an almost irresistible urge to pat me on the head! Also those who bend down to shout at me, as though I’m deaf, or might not understand if they speak normally? And not forgetting those who stand next to me, but ask my husband who is usually pushing the chair, how I am?

I’ve no doubt they mean well, if a tad patronising, but it does amuse me!

Hi Flowerpot,

Sorry you’re having to endure the ignorance of our fellow humans.

Long before I was diagnosed I always made sure if I ever had to speak to anyone in a wheelchair I bent or sat down the speak with them (common courtesy), I only spoke to the ‘pusher’ (makes them sound like a drugs baron!!) if I was speaking to them directly.

I think this came from years ago, when one of my friends (who sadly died) was in a wheelchair and later through work where I came across a lot of people who were in wheelchairs. In the year up to my diagnosis I always had to apologise for not being able to bend down (if I couldn’t get a seat). This is due to my horrendous balance problems and and on/off bad back (the boxer look doesn’t suit).

I’m not a wheelchair user myself but I can imagine the frustration.

I’m glad you can see the amusing side!

Cherry xx

Oh yeah! I forgot about all those lovely people who at functions make a point of coming over for a chat and to keep me company for a while. I just wish they’d sit down, so that I don’t get a stiff neck from looking up, or I could just gaze at their navels I suppose! Lol xx

I’ve found you don’t have to be in a wheelchair for this one, since I’ve got worse I can’t stand for long, so tend to sit down at lot, even though they know what’s wrong they still insist on standing and talking to me. Its also a question of being able to hear them properly over the noise!!

Yeh, its a case of ‘Does she take sugar?’ In it?

Just summat else we ‘lesser mortals’ have to deal with, in it?

Humbug! Where’s me chariot, Boudicca’s about to charge!


I was discussing just this issue with some friends yesterday.

the way that complete strangers feel the need to touch me! I am not a “touchy-feelie” person and find it most intrusive to be patted and shoulder squeezed by goodness knows who. I know that it comes from a good place so I plaster a smile on but really I want to slap them!


Go ahead and slap them Jane - use a fly swatter if you need extra reach. You may need to do it two or three times but the message will get around.

I now have an image of a you & Poll in your chariots - fly swatter extended and yelling ‘Charge’ !!! - (hehehehe) Cheered me right up



Thanks for the images you’ve put in my head JBK, cheered me up too, lol

Had one guy behind me in a queue the other day who took to leaning on the handles of my chair - turned round to the cheeky wotsit and told him if he wanted a rest he should ask and I’ll get up so he could borrow my chair. Not to mention the few occasions I’ve had where strangers have wheeled me out of their way without asking! I’ve given so many people a piece of my mind I’m amazed there’s enough left to power me…

There’s steam coming out of my ears reading this

My mother in law has lived with disability for over 50 years because her some has cerebral palsy, but thinks it is ok to talk about me when i am walking away, the stupid woman doesn’t realise i have really good hearing , but it really annoys me when folk think you have walking issues you cannot communicate. I had a lot of this last year because i started to use a walker , it is amazing i didn’t thump some of them


What almost drove me to distraction was people behind me in a queue, holding or leaning on my w/chair…once I got my power chair I asked for the hand grips at the back to be removed…much better! I will not tolerate anybody talking ‘over’ me, I’ve been known to point this out, very loudly, to the person involved

Rosina x

Had some folks think they’re doing me a favour by giving me a push up a kerb or hill - without asking! They assume I need a hand, and jump in as the good Samaritan, only asking once they’ve grasped your handles and set off. I always thank them pointedly, before advising I’m I’m in a self-propelled chair and can cope perfectly well…

The bad part in me says: i love the fly swat idea made me chuckle!! when i was at school there were those electric shock hand shaker prank things, how about some of them nicely strapped to the handles! The good part in me says: I am sure they all mean well and for every one they have pissed off maybe they have really helped 5 others!!