The wheelchair assessment on Wednesday morning really wasn’t as overwhelming – as far as decision-making and information gathering goes – as I thought it would be. Due to the knowledge of Kiran’s two great physical therapists and our willingness to trust their professional opinions, most of the option decisions were made for us. The hardest part was picking out the colors!
Ever since the wheelchair discussion started, I have been paying more attention to how easy (and how difficult) places are from an accessibility standpoint. I have turned over things in my mind like a handicapped placard for our vehicles.
But coming out of that meeting, with a tangible picture in my head of his wheelchair, I have more questions. Anyone with any wheelchair experience, feel free to help me out.
Upon leaving the meeting, I had to use the restroom, and a thought occurred to me that never has before: What are the proper societal expectations for a person in a wheelchair in a restroom line? For instance, if I’m at the zoo and there is a long line for the bathroom – and someone comes out of the handicapped stall, do I cut the line since we need to use that stall? Or am I to wait in line for our turn?
Seriously – anybody with zero wheelchair experience – has this thought ever even occurred to you? I mean, I have no problem going Mama Bear (respectfully and politely, of course) for what my son needs, but I certainly don’t want to cut the line if that isn’t the proper, socially acceptable thing to do.
Also, I am someone who likes to do everything I can online, especially if my other option is having to call and – heaven forbid – talk to someone on the phone. So, for events like concerts or shows or sports games, I like to buy my tickets online. Is there generally a way to do that if you need a wheelchair-accessible seat option? This is forward-thinking – so far, I haven’t taken to Kiran to these types of events – but it is something I will want to do in the near future. Will I have to call every time?
I am sure I will have a million more questions as we get closer – and even more once we get and start using the wheelchair.
I just feel like we are at a crossroads again. I felt this way pre-surgery too. Six months from now, life is just going to look very different again. And I have no idea what that different will really look like; I have very little idea what to expect. Wheelchair. Preschool. Life.
But hey – we did request light-up wheels for the wheelchair – so at least I know he will be riding in style.