Sunday, February 17, 2013

Use a chair, Gabby Giffords

Gram hated the idea of herself in a wheelchair.

It was good for me or my brother or his wife. But not for her, no sir.

That drove me batty, but she was 95 when she died, and I figure anyone over 85 is entitled to stupid ideas.

Using a wheelchair should be no different than using any other tool. A carpenter who uses a nail gun is not weak because he doesn't hammer nail with a hammer. A person going on a 10 mile trip is not mocked as weak for using a car instead of a bike.

But for some reason, using a chair means you  are not strong, not tough, deserving of pity not a fair hearing.

At least this is what I took away from this story about Gabby Giffords. It's probably not fair. And how can you not love Giffords? Shot in the head and forced to leave Congress, and now back lobbying for gun control. What a story.

But these lines from the story:
“Gabby, do you want the wheelchair?” Kelly asked her.
 “No,” she said. “I’ll walk."

Maybe she wanted to walk for another reason. Maybe the chair is uncomfortable or she stiffens up in a chair.


But I bet that she wanted  to be taken seriously, and people in  wheelchairs often aren't.


Anonymous said...

I felt similar at an MS workshop with Terri Garr speaking. We did not see her walk to the podium, she just appeared there from behind a curtain. Obviously , she was hiding the use of a wc or walker. I do not remember a word of her speech, just that it made me feel bad to see her hiding the 'weakness' of using a wc or walker.

some sort of walk aide. I do not remember her speech at all. I just felt bad that she was ashamed, esp speaking to MS patients and friends.

Matt Trott said...

Disappointing, because Iove Terri Garr

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