Thursday 1 March 2018

International Wheelchair Day 2018

The Aims of International Wheelchair Day*

  • To enable wheelchair users to celebrate the positive impact a wheelchair has in their lives.
  • To celebrate the great work of the many millions of people who provide wheelchairs, who provide support and care for wheelchair users and who make the World a better and more accessible place for people with mobility issues.
  • To acknowledge and react constructively to the fact there are many tens of millions of people in the World who need a wheelchair, but are unable to acquire one.

Today is International Wheelchair Day. Another one of those quirky Awareness Days that I came across.

I'm a part time wheelchair user and since getting my wheelchair it has given me greater freedom and indepenence. Granted it's not the best wheelchair in the world but it serves it's purpose and means I can enjoy things like days out with less pain, fatigue and dislocations.

I use my wheelchair because of my M.E. which causes extreme fatigue so using my wheelchair means I can conserve my energy and it reduces my pain which has a knock-on effect with PEM (Post Exertion Malaise). I also have an illness called FND (Functional Neurological Disorder) with FMD (Functional Movement Disorder). This is where my brain doesn't send messages to my legs properly so I have an off-balence gait and other symptoms like chronic nerve pain in my legs; sometimes I lose all feeling in my legs so a wheelchair is essential in getting me around.

Having interchangeable mobility needs can be hard.People often assume they are for older people or those who are paralysed but they're wrong. I'm faced with questions like "why are you using a wheelchair when I've seen you walking with your crutches?" which can be difficult to answer and hear and explain. There are all sorts of reasons why people need to use a wheelchair. 

© Stickman Communication by Hannah Ensor