Most irritating things so far, and how to deal with them

There are many varied ways in which society at large and individuals within it, attempt to impact on my usual good humour; which you will recall as being the thing I’m attempting to keep hold of as my whole body seems to rebel.

I’ve tried several ways of venting this, some more successful than others. For example:

  1. the assertive but Polite Response (initial attempt to retain good humour)- “I’m sorry, I don’t want to talk about that.”
  2. the Humour- e.g. laughing and waving hands above counter towards shop assistant when ignored by que-ers, supplemented by…
  3. the Friendly Comment- “I’m sorry, I don’t know the proceedure for getting your attention over this barrier!”
  4. the Physical Block- using my hands as brakes when someone attempts to move chair without checking with me.
  5. the Glare- useful towards parents of children who treat the wheelchair like dolly’s pram and decide to move you around.
  6. the Apology- as you can see, this is part of many of the responses, but also stands alone to be used when there really is a genuine discomfort in me or the people I meet.
  7. the Removal of Self from situation- getting out of chair on to crutches to escape if there is nowhere to wheel to. This has the added advantage of messing with their minds- you can see the cogs turning…”so why is she in a chair, then?”
  8. the Temper Tantrum- an immature response to the situation unfortunately usually used at home with those I love, who still on occasion forget I can’t do things. Supplemented shortly after by the Apology.

Others have told me of methods I have yet to employ, including

  1. the Sneaky Accident- this can involve wheeling over someone’s foot, or “accidentally” hitting them with crutch, walking stick etc. be prepared to supplement with the Apology or even the Removal of Self.

I’ll keep you posted on the relative success of these approaches…..

Leave a comment


  1. I spend most of my life being very rude. I probably shouldn’t be. At the same time, people need to know that their discriminatory, prejudiced, oppressive and/or disablist behaviour has effects on the disabled people in question!

    – Naomi (aka lilwatchergirl!)

    • Grrr! thanks for the comment, Naomi! Yes, it’s tempting to be very rude indeed, isn’t it…. you’re right- most people have no idea how their behaviour impacts.

      However, I’m becoming more and more aware of all the unconscious assumptions I had made about people in wheelchairs, so I am trying to have patience. After all, I genuinely thought loads of these issues had been sorted by the DDA etc- and I didn’t realise how patchy the available support was. It’s like racism, I suppose, very hard to identify from outside, absolutely unmissable from the inside.

      Trying to keep the faith- thanks for checking out the blog!


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