While it is fun to celebrate all the firsts, today I am celebrating a last as well. I took my last wheelchair ride through the Atlanta airport today. Being a huge airport and not being all that strong, yet, I decided to take advantage of the wheelchair…but this will be the last time.
Today at the airport, the person who pushed my wheelchair to the gate was going to park me right in front of the check in desk. My plan before I got to the airport had actually been to get the ride to the gate and then walk from the gate to the plane, but that plan was changed when a family of three sprawled out over the five seats closest to the gate that are marked for passengers with disabilities. Instead I asked to be parked to the side of the ticket counter closer to the rest of the benches where people were waiting. Being on crutches or in a wheelchair you already stick out as being different, and I didn’t want it to be highlighted even more by being left front and center.
While using crutches or riding in a wheelchair, I am often questioned about my injury as I said before, you are seen as different. One of the most common questions I received was, “What did you do?” Implying that I had a hand in what happened or somehow it was my fault that I was on hurt and on crutches. I told people many times that it was kind of like being pregnant in that people who don’t know you at all will stop you in the store or the parking lot and ask you questions about your injury. I guess I would rather them care than not, but the woman who I had never met who yelled at me across the 6 lane pool from the whirlpool was a bit much.
With all that said, I am looking forward to having less of a reason for people to ask what is wrong or what I did, because I didn’t do anything and nothing is wrong…in fact, I am getting strong and stronger each day!