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Some shocking things you experience when using a wheelchair for the first time

How is it to be on a wheelchair? Does it change your life totally? Most of us have these questions in mind when we see a wheelchair user. No doubt, being on a wheelchair is not an easy task, especially if you were someone without a disability before. But life changes when you start using a wheelchair and it needs determination, courage and grit to adapt to this.

The fact is that a wheelchair is merely a tool to live your life to the fullest.It is only a tool for mobility instead of your legs that can take you to places.

Unni Maxx is a disability rights activist who started using wheelchair after he met with an accident in college.

Initially I used to feel bad looking at the roads that I had walked before. Every human being gets confused and scared when introduced to something new. So when you know that you have to use a wheelchair for the rest of your life, you might feel a little odd. Transformation is always difficult. So you need to be mentally prepared- Unni Maxx, Disability rights activist

It might sound a wee bit difficult in the beginning. But wheelchairs give you wings to fly. Here are some shocking things that you experience when using wheelchair for the first time

  • People stare a lot - Well, that is their job and ignoring them is yours. People look at you with sympathy. They are going to be like, "How can they be on a wheelchair?". It is always best to ignore such comments or stares that you might come across. Being on wheels is only going to open new doors to you. That means, you have more challenges to beat on the way. There is no fun without some challenges.
  • People might try and help you a bit too much - Clearly, you are not used to it. So when you go out for a party, you might have a few people coming and offering you for help even if you do not need it. Definitely, this is not a bad thing. But you might feel a little odd when this happens.
  • Everyone wants to know what happened - It is human nature to become curious. They want to know the reason for everything that meets their eye. If you are someone that they knew before, the curiosity is only going to aggravate. Not everyone on a wheelchair would want to discuss about what happened to them. Maybe it was an accident or a bad incident that they clearly don't want to remember. In case you don't want to talk about, be clear that you just don't want to.
  • People don't respect you as expected - Being a wheelchair user, you might expect people to show you some respect. Like people might walk into you and expect you to move. Sometimes it can get worse. All these are going to be a part of your normal routine. You need to be extremely careful and vigilant always.

Ismail CE was an auto driver who became paraplegic after he fell from a building last year. Ever since then, he has been a wheelchair user.

"I wouldn't say that it was easy. You need to equip yourselves to live on a wheelchair for the rest of your life. Once you start living, you will realise that nothing much has changed", says Ismail.

The secret is to stay positive and not look at your self as any lesser than what you were before. Life is what you make of it and regardless of the reactions you might get, do not let the wheelchair change the way you feel about yourself.

ALSO READ: Some driving tips for people with disabilities

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