Would you lean on a stranger’s car? No? How about a stranger’s shoulder? Still no? Then why is it so hard for people to realise that it's not okay to lean on a wheelchair.
I realised last night that I'm not the only person who has this problem - not that that makes it any better, it's just a relief that a) I'm not the only one and b) it annoys other people as much as me.
I was at a concert at the local Uni, it's a great location; but its standing room only and it means people crowd forward. I understand that completely, my problem is when people stand on the wheelchair platform, directly behind me and then lean on the handles of my chair. I mean really, does it saying Public Resting Post? Is there a sign I can't see that says feeling tired - rest here? The lady in the wheelchair next to me had the same problem, every time the girl behind her jumped up and down, her bag bumped against the wheelchair, jarring the woman. Now she had the guts to say something about that, I'm still working my way up to that; I'm at the passive aggressive shifting in my seat and glancing over my shoulder stage.
The thing that people don't realise and that I can't believe even needs explaining is that when you rest on a wheelchair, or you press up against the back of it, you jostle the chair, you make it shift and the flexible back bends causing huge discomfort, especially in the wheelchair users who are probably already dealing with ongoing pain because of their conditions.
It's very simple, take one step back or just keep your hands, elbows, bags etc to yourself.
Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about women who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.