This afternoon the inevitable happened. I had an accident in my wheelchair, whilst walking my dog, because a walker didn’t keep a safe distance. Lots of people offered to help - which I had to refuse - because social distancing. I haven’t felt so vulnerable for a long time. 1/8
We are both ok and not hurt, but we were in an unsafe position for 10 minutes or so whilst we waited for my husband to come and help. All because someone didn’t simply step out of the way. I tried to put as much distance between us as possible 2/8
And by doing so I misjudged the kerb (the joy of #CerebralPalsy and spatial awareness). I ended up with the front half of my wheelchair in the road, my dog in the road, and the back half of my wheelchair stuck on the kerb thanks to my anti-tip wheels 3/8
I couldn’t move, I could only wheelspin. At this point I don’t know if I was more scared of falling into the road, or of someone coming to ‘help’, touching my wheelchair and potentially infecting me. We weren’t far from home, so I called my husband and he came to the rescue 4/8
My husband and I are both in the #HighRiskCovid19 category. His last respiratory infection landed him critically ill and in a coma for 2 months. This is our 4th week of isolation, each of us only leaving the house once a day to walk the dog within a mile radius of our house 5/8
We are both terrified of #COVID19. We’re doing everything we can to keep ourselves safe and to make the best of the situation. We really value a daily walk with the dog, and I value the independence of being able to do that alone. It’s the only independence I have right now 6/8
And I don’t want to give that up. But if others continue to put me in danger, however unintended, we’ll have to start walking together once a day. The dog will miss out on her second walk, and we’ll miss out on time apart (which is so important) 7/8
Please, please, if you are physically able to, step out of the way for a wheelchair user to pass. Keep a safe distance. Because you could cause an accident. Someone like me could end up lying in the middle of the road, unable to accept help. 8/8
This has got me thinking - any other #disabled people out there had ‘help’ forced on them despite #SocialDistancing? If there are a few of us I might write A Thing to raise awareness and get something good from this shitty situ. Please RT. #JustAskDontGrab
You can follow @CarrieALightley.
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