YSK just because someone with a wheelchair stands, or even walks a little, doesn’t mean they’re faking it

YSK just because someone with a wheelchair stands, or even walks a little, doesn’t mean they’re faking it


Yeah I remember herniating 4 discs in my back and, in addition to being in horrific debilitating pain that ruined my life entirely, I also had people calling me a liar. The only thing worse than having a permanent injury that cripples you is having a permanent injury that cripples you *and* being called a liar for it


"I know people who *actually* have that injury and they can't do anything!!" Ever hear that one?


Yep. My own doctor used that one on me when I had a fractured tailbone, before the scan to prove it. She told me that when she fractured her own, she couldn't lift her leg into a bathtub, so mine was probably fine. The delay in getting the scan didn't matter since there's nothing they can do for you anyway, but the delay when a disc finally herniated, years after the initial injury, has caused permanant nerve damage in my leg. Sometimes it's a problem when you can handle a lot of pain without showing it.


That's a bad doctor.


Yeah, she was wrong about a lot of things. I looked at her public reviews, and a disturbing number of people complained that she also seems crazy. I didn't know any better, being a teenager when I started seeing her. I don't see her anymore.


She should get her license revoked


Sorry wait, you had a disc herniate because of your broken tailbone? I have a broken tailbone and have back problems and am now worried.


When I fell on my tailbone, it compressed the lumbar discs, and because of the pain in my tailbone, I wasn't able to sit on regular chairs for long periods of time, so I sat on my bed or other softer things, with no back support, so the discs continued to get messed up. It took almost 20 years for the disc to rupture. Surgery fixed the compressed nerve, but I still have a lot of back pain. I don't think cracking my tailbone was the cause of my disc rupturing, so unless you also compressed your spine, you probably don't have to worry, but I don't know a ton about these things, just what I experienced. I'm sorry if my story made you worry. Please take care.


My situation is a little more complicated, hence the worry. I've got a bone disease (either osteogenesis imperfecta or EDS, always thought it was OI going up until recently as an adult i heard about EDS and realized it was closer to my symptom list), and have had over 50 breaks/fractures over the years, including tailbone and back. But yeah that makes sense, it was the compensation in the way you were sitting due to the pain that caused the disc rupture, makes sense, thanks.


If I were you, I'd talk to a lawyer.


That really sucks. I can kinda relate: I just broke my knee in a motorcycle accident but the doctor initially told me I don’t have any injuries because being so hypermobile somehow saved me (?). After a week of thinking it’s somehow all in my head and trying to walk normally, I went to a walk-in imaging place that accepts cash and (surprise!) my knee is fractured in 3 places and the soft tissue got a bit mangled. Doctors who don’t listen really do more harm than good. :/


I'm so sorry that happened to you. That stupid doctor probably caused you to do more damage to your knee, and maybe your back, since hobbling it's good for you, not to mention whatever psychological damage caused by thinking you're crazy, and worrying that you can't get the medical help you need, now, or for future problems you might have. I worry about that myself, especially as I get older. I hope you're better now. Please take care.


I’d sue that doctor.


"I know people who died of a gun shot so stop pretending you're hurt when it's obvious you aren't dead"


*kicks in stomach* QUIT FAKIN!!!


I have transverse myelitis and have paralyzed shoulders and people always say "well you are lucky, it could be worse!"


Like, "yeah, it could be, but I'm literally screwed right now as it is..."


Broke my back in 2011 and even though the doctors all agreed, my former boss decided it was a good idea to call me a liar and punish me for wasting medical resources. Can't wait to see his face when his normal retirement is replaced with a dishonourable discharge (military).


Ah yes the military injuring people and then having the mindset that being injured makes you a bad service member. It’s highly discouraged to get help because then they’d have to pay for it, yet so many people go along with it.


I learned that even years after leaving the military, you can file for disability payments (including back pay) if a current injury or illness can be linked to any prior injuries or illnesses *documented* during your years of service. For example, you develop sleep apnea. It might be related to that nose bleed you got during a grappling exercise. You file a claim with the VA. They look up your medical records and see that you were treated for a broken nose. The VA now owes you partial disability payments with back pay. But that time you pulled a muscle in your shoulder, you didn't want to complain about it to Doc. If you develop arthritis later on, you can't link it to a prior injury during your service because there is no written record. Edit to add: All Vietnam veterans are eligible for partial payment for possible exposure to agent orange. If you or your parent fought in the war and you have not yet received payments, file a claim today!




That’s horrible, and sadly not the first time I’ve heard a similar story. I do think they’ve gotten a little better, however it is VERY true that the VA will make everything hard on you, so you do have to be on their ass constantly to get what you want. It took me a year to medboard, but it would have been a much longer process if I had done all that work once I was already out. They love to pretend your problems were your own fault and they love to pretend that it’s not as bad as you say it is… don’t give up and seriously claim everything!!


Absolutely! The VA pays my rent now because I wasn’t scared to go to the doctor about things when I was in. But, I really wish I would have gone in about EVERYTHING. Whether you get medboarded or if you finish your contract FILE A CLAIM. It doesn’t hurt anything to try and they don’t need much proof either, just a few complaints.


Broke my back (at work) in 2010 and ultimately ended up being fired over it - 2 days after spinal fusion, laminectomy and discectomy surgery. I received the call from HR while laying in a hospital bed, hooked up to morphine and begging for death because the pain was unbearable. Gotta love those “right to work” laws that protect the employer, but never the employee. 😒


Even for right to work, you should have a work comp claim that covers the injuries. If permanent, should also pay disability from work place insurance, temporarily. I'm not a lawyer, though if the injury resulted from following your training or work policy, and the termination was just because if the accident, you should get a lawyer. Edit: just saw this was in 2010. Hope you've had all this covered or at least still within statute of limitations.


> termination was just because if the accident, you should get a lawyer. The largest share of theft is from wage and benefit theft from employers. Workers need more protection, not less. Businesses are out to make a profit and if they can get away with theft they will do it if there are not protections and enforcement. The last generation that voted for politicians that remove protections and enforcement screwed themselves and the generations after them and "encouraged" the crime of theft. They are pro-crime without knowing it.


That's awful, and the absolute last thing you needed, I'm sure. I'm sorry you went through all that. Not to nitpick, but "right to work" laws make it illegal to require union membership as a condition of employment. You're thinking of "at will," which encompasses every state except Montana. Super common misconception that irrationally bothers me for some reason. Worker's comp covered everything for you, I hope?


They can't fire you whiskt in hospital for a work based injury or ever at all


At will states can fire anyone for any reason basically. Probably on paper they couldn’t say it was over the work related injury but they could just say “well he wasn’t as productive. He wasn’t a good fit for our company. He wasn’t very fun to work with.” And they’d be fine unless you could somehow prove it was actually about the injury.


If her* injury was caused by not following safety protocols is the only way I could see her* being fired over a WRI. I worked in HR in an ‘At Will’ state. We had an employee lose his leg from the knee down in an accident. It wasn’t his fault so we had to keep him on the payroll for a year plus he got a significant amount of money from Worker’s Comp. The employee who was responsible for the accident was fired about a week later, once everyone had given statements about the accident & it had all been verified by camera.


This reminds me of my buddy with really bad depression and anxiety. Others have been on him to get a job, get his life on track etc but people don't realise he legit has an injury, he can't have full time job if he has days where he can't leave his bed.


I'm a lot like this. The kicker is that I'm often well enough that I'd probably be able to do a few hours of light work a week, but when I randomly have weeks and months when I'm bed bound, who the fuck would employ me? And then people assume I'm just a freeloader because they don't see the time I spend in bed. It kinda sucks.


Exactly! I told my buddy, if you have a broken leg no one would judge you for not working, his level of depression is the same thing.


If you are only talking a few hours a week, positions like grocery store sometimes can accommodate long absences. Or dog walking (through Rover, etc) I don’t say that because you “should get a job” but doing something that can provide a sense of accomplishment (or is value-based) can help with depression, as can moving and getting out of the house. Forcing a routine can be game-changing. Staying bed bound can really keep someone stuck. But… that will often only help (enough) with proper therapy and medication.


My SO did this. He went a long period without work because of his depression and anxiety. At first it was helpful, but it eventually turned the other way where he was depressed and anxious because he was always needing financial help and people looked down on him. But felt stuck because we were moving around and he couldn’t do the jobs he was qualified for. Anxiety nightmare. Fast forward to now, he works as a stocker at a grocery store and says it keeps his mind occupied. He’s so tired from the physical labor that he goes to sleep easily at night(something anxiety prevents usually). He can easily get off work if he ever needs to. It’s a very good deal for him.


This is why I stay away from people and don't give a shit about their dumbass opinions. Opinions are like elbows, everyone has a couple.


Or… Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and they all stink.


Well, some of them you could get yourself lost in.


Broke my back in my early 20s. Ruined everything. My best friends accused me of faking it for attention. Like I would fake collapsing in pain on pavement giving myself a concussion or just volunteer myself for spinal surgery. That isn't even mentioning how my wife left me because I couldn't work because of a baseball sized hemorroid, due to chronic pain management medications, that was pressing on my sciatic nerve. Some of us just get the shit end of the stick and it's made so much worse when other more able boddied assholes convince your friends that you are lying for attention... Hell, even my family thought I was exagerating until I had my first consult with a surgeon. He didn't even let me go home. He called up my insurance and told them he was doing emergency surgery. He told me I was a mere cough or sneeze away from permanent paralysis and had me on the operating table in mere hours. Yeah, people just love to fake it to that level, right? For all the pain and suffering I have endured and will continue to endure, being called a liar for it is absolutely the most painful part.


My late wife dealt with this from her birthgiver. She knew how sick her daughter was but would often belittle her and say she was exaggerating her illness.


Same but from most my family. They wonder why I don't talk to them.


This is the worst and having 4 herniated disks myself plus a few bulged ones I totally feel this


>herniating 4 discs in my back That hurt my back just reading it! Hope your feeling better now.


I have a brain malformation and a a fucked up spinal cord. I get very dizzy within 15 minutes of standing and my legs occasionally go weak and try to drop me. I have been accused of being drunk in stores. After falling once, my doctor told me to get a cane. I'm 30 and overweight with a cane and I just know I'm being judged heavily for it without anyone knowing what I'm really going through. Its so emberrassing and humiliating that I just never want to leave my house now...


That's when you are allowed to start your response with, "Listen here fuckface..."


Exactly. My bf has a herniated disc in his back. He can't stand or walk for long periods of time (10+ minutes). We went on vacation and stopped by an aquarium, which we both enjoy. He got a wheelchair and I pushed him through. Instead of me walking it by myself, or him hustling us through and being in pain, we were able to stroll around and enjoy it. After he was able to walk back to the car, and still have a great rest of the day. Without the wheelchair, that would not have been possible. He was embarrassed about using it, but also very thankful for what a difference it made.


That sounds like a wonderful day, and a great solution to get the most out of that trip


Same situation, except mine has really bad feet (like, the bones are all fused together). It’s really hard to get him to use a scooter sometimes if we are somewhere that happens to have one and will be there awhile, but it makes the difference in whether he can walk the next couple of days or not. We want to go to disneyland/world with the kids sometime. Waiting for robot parts to come down in price lol.


Apologies if this is overstepping, but just in case you aren’t aware, the Disney theme parks have mobility aids available for rental! https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/ecv-rentals/


Isn't it great that needing mobility assistance comes with a fee? 🤨


Unfortunately at Disney you have to disincentive people from getting wheelchairs so they can skip the lines for rides, and to stop young stupid adults from ruining it for others.


If only there were some way to prove you had a disability or would benefit from a mobility aid for medical reasons, like some sort of note from a medical professional that would eliminate the fee... That would be just too much to handle. (Before anyone says "you can get a fake one": of course you can. But at a certain point we need to ask ourselves if it's worth it to disenfranchise the disabled to avoid a few "fakers" getting through. Over 10% of the population has a disability at any given time. Do you really think there are enough fakers to be worth disenfranchising 10% of the population?)


It's a family staple for us to go to Universal (or at least try to go) every year. Years of dance and physical activity fucked my joints up real good, and by the second day or so I usually have severe issues walking whether it's due to my back, knees, or feet. When we went earlier this month, my mom and I rented a scooter on our last day and alternated using it (she was having some breathing issues and I just couldn't walk very much without taking breaks). One of the best decisions ever for my body, though people did give me funny looks since I'm on the younger side.


We did that for our last trip to Disneyland, and it made for a much better day, even for my wife that had to push me a lot. It’s a lot easier pushing one while walking than when sitting in one. As you mentioned, it was nice not having to rush or only visit part of the park… and I never worried about find somewhere to sit :)


Also in some theme parks you can skip a few lines if you're in a wheelchair :D


These wheelchairs that museums and other attractions provide are a godsend. I broke my leg once on holiday and with crutches I wouldn't have been able to enjoy the museum.


I knew a guy in high school who had some sort of disease that made him insanely fatigued after standing for more than two or three minutes so he always had to use a wheelchair, but he could stand just fine whenever he wanted to (but not for very long).


It might have been a really severe case of POTS.


Or ME.


Lmao I was trying to figure out the joke by scrutinizing your username. I feel so dumb lol


What is “ME” an abbreviation for?


Myalgic encephalomyelitis, a condition characterized by chronic fatigue and unexplained body pain, often triggered by a virus. The term is commonly used interchangeably with chronic fatigue syndrome but medically I think there are differences.


>chronic fatigue and unexplained body pain, often triggered by a virus. Does anyone else get freaked out by how fragile we are sometimes? I mean you could be minding your business, pick up this virus and BAM!... debilitating condition.




I'm a healthy woman in my 30s who was diagnosed with MS, which is usually triggered in response to a few really common viruses over your lifetime. Epstein Barr is one, a very common Mono that usually has minimal symptoms. For me, I had that in childhood, then as an adult I had allergies turn into a sinus infecton and boom, I'm allergic to my own nervous system.


Thanks for the information. Other than trying not to put my foot in my mouth with great lines like, “Boy, you look tired”, is there anything is there a better way to phrase things to find out more about about a person’s with ME needs/limitations (assuming I had a purpose like someone with your condition—or CFS— joining our meet up type outing group) without them feeling interrogated. If things change day to day (if that is how it works), would it make sense/be helpful to not require activity deposits when possible? Should I plan extra rest stop so that person doesn’t have to stand out when they might need a break? Are there other accommodations that helpful for the majority of folks with ME or CFS that you wish others were aware of? Feel free to not answer of you don’t want to play spokesperson of this condition today.


Great questions. First pointer is to not assume that because someone knows about a condition that they have that condition. I did used to have it though, so I'll let you off this time 😊 A big issue with the condition in that it is not well understood and is a diagnosis of exclusion rather than one with a definitive diagnostic test. There is a huge variation in symptoms, severity, and prognosis between patients, which suggests that it is likely several conditions with very similar symptoms that as yet can't be distinguished. So really you need to just ask the person those questions; different people have different symptoms and requirements, and they can vary day by day, depend on whatever activity you have planned, and depend on what stage of recovery the person is at. You might be fine to do a whole day trip on one occasion but too exhausted to move on another day. One thing that I believe is the medical advice for all patients is that late nights and disrupted sleep schedules impede recovery. Therefore, late evening things that cause a late bed time are to be avoided, although some individuals will make exceptions to that for really special events. Edit to add: "you look tired, are you sure you are up for this or would you prefer something a little less energy intensive" actually could be a caring and constructive conversation. Depends on your relationship to the person.


Ayy glad to see others talk about POTS. Shit SUCKS


Addendum to YSK: It is not anybody's job to sleuth out whether or not someone really needs.... Well, **absolutely anything,** but in this case, let's limit it to wheelchairs. It's not your business.


When I was 13 I was out shopping with my best friend who had spina bifida. She could walk, but found it difficult and got tired easily so used a wheelchair most of the time. On this outing she wanted to nip into a shop that was quite cramped and small so she asked me to mind her chair and our bags while she nipped in. I sat in the chair for the 10 minutes she was inside and during that time a middle aged woman came up and started asking me all these questions about my disability - I told her I was minding the chair for a friend and she starts full on screaming at me about how I’m a liar and manipulating/tricking people into thinking I have a disability. Mind your damn business and stop yelling at children in the street.


I'm disabled and my condition often affects my mobility, but it also varies by the hour... Even by the minute with certain factors like heat, humidity, having to walk on uneven ground, injuries that I'm prone to etc. Several years ago I went to an amusement park with a friend who gets pretty bad back pain after walking or standing for longish periods. So I brought my wheelchair and she'd occasionally trade and sit for a few minutes ... I still want exercise when I can get it, so I walked when I could... But man I've never gotten dirtier looks than when we'd switch off using the chair. Also many shops are not accessible and I always worry about possibly getting harassed or worse if I get in and out of the chair a lot. So unfortunately, most of the time I either skip things... or I push myself to function as normally as possible and then deal with days of recovery after an outing.


My gf has POTs and and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. When it’s really bad, she needs crutches or her wheelchair to go do things and we get so many sore looks from people who can’t mind their own business. I hate it


Here to say, I'm also a zebra and wish your gf some good wishes. I get how difficult it is. People can't mind their manners when they think they know everything about someone when they look at them. I know I'm not supposed to feel bad, but people can get so scathing sometimes and im glad your gf has a good support system in you :)


Would carrying a cane or something else of the like help here? Some other symbol of "I may be able to walk, but certainly not well."


I am disabled and I usually have my cane on my wheelchair and people are still rude. I had one lady tell me I was obviously faking it because if I was in a wheelchair I wouldn't need a cane and vice versa. The stares and comments are one of the reasons I don't go out of the house. If I walk with my cane, when I can handle it, I kind of waddle and my feet are turned in along with my knees. People stare and they think I don't see them making fun of me. When I am in my wheelchair I get stares and people flat out coming up to me saying I am too young to use a wheelchair (I am 35 but get told I look in my late 20s, thanks genetics). It just gets to exhausting defending myself, so I just don't leave the house anymore.


I deal with something similar but not as extreme as your situation. I have a severe herniated disc that presses against my spinal cord and causes inflammation and numbness in my right leg. I use a cane when needed and have a handicap placard on my car. Although I'm middle aged, I look way younger and I get so much shit from people when I park in a handicap spot. If I use my cane "I'm faking it and don't need it" I must just be using the cane to make the fact that I robbed some old lady of her placard look more legit-I had someone accuse me of robbing an older person because a young person couldn't possibly have a handicap. If I don't need my cane it gets even worse and I've had people full out yelling at me and following me through the store threatening me to the point where I've had to call the cops. To make matters even more ridiculous, the freaking cops will check that my placard is legit totally forgetting the fact that some jerk was getting violent with me. Now i never use the handicap spots unless absolutely necessary and even then I try to avoid it because I don't want to deal with the confrontation and the cops who are not remotely supportive and do nothing. It's really tough on my bad days too, when I need to use the store motor carts.


Why is it the job of the disabled person to avoid being yelled at?


It's not, it's just a suggestion to alleviate the problems caused by people who make assumptions.


I have a hip joint dysfunction and when I was in my mid and late 20s it was especially horrific. It was and can be debilitating. You can't laugh, sneeze, cough, brush your teeth, turn in bed, lay down, sit up, stand, sit down. So when I would go to the store, it was not a fun experience. I never used any carts or wheelchairs, much to my husband's frustration, because I knew people would be like that. And I was right. How do I know? Because even without using anything, the fact that I walked like I was in agony would annoy older people. They would have to comment about how "if you think you're hurting now, just wait until you're old. you have no idea what pain is." WTF? These are people who don't have a hip joint issue, thus no clue what your hips really do for your body, it seems. Your hips do everything. They balance your body, they support your body from the torso up. I mean, my god. But people can be really shitty about it. I'm a bit older now and I can tell you if my hips were to act up again, I don't give a fuck, you will not comment on my using a wheelchair or cart. No one has any business denying someone their very real pain.


We should do away with the phrase, “just wait till your older…” BS. Young folks, even babies, can have serious pains and problems. Just because they are young don’t mean shit. I’ve have scoliosis since infancy and occasionally I wear a back brace. The amount of people who comment on my brace is ridiculous. Mind your business and don’t be an ass about things!


I have severe degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis of the spine, am 38 and have had these issues since my late teens/early 20's. Now that I'm reaching 40 I need a cane or walker at least half the time and get the most ugly disgusted looks & comments from people bc I, like you, was blessed with shitty spinal genes but apparently good physical genes that make me look younger than my age. 😒 People who have never experienced a painful disabling medical problem have no clue how bad it can get and need to mind their own damn business.


If someone just wants to wheel around themselves in a wheelchair while also being Usain Bolt, I think they should be allowed to.


He needs to rest those legs for the big race


Unless someone who actually *has* a disability or need for it, I agree. But too many times I've needed a scooter due to an injury, but can't get one because they're all being used by kids fucking around in the store.


It's a doctor's job, but only if it's their patient.


Disabled parking is another. You can't always tell by looking at someone. Had a boss who had one because she had an autoimmune issue that made her skin go crazy if she was out in the sun for over a minute or so. It also affected her joints. My dad had one due to heart failure. He looked ok but got tired fast.


I remember in middle school I tore ligaments in my knee while snowboarding. Part of that process was wearing a brace and gradually putting more and more weight on the leg while using crutches. Kids make fun of me and made comments behind my back like "he just wants attention, why does he need crutches if he's walking on it" shit like that. Like, mind your own fucking business. I hate people.


I had a similar thing. I had a tumor in my leg bone and I had a cast to wear during the day. I head to use crutches for months, but gradually was allowed to put more weight on it. At the end I was even only using one crutch. Nobody made fun of me, but it was difficult to get other kids to be understanding and for example just walk a little slower to not run away.


>I hate people. People are shitty, but middle schoolers are the shitty people of shitty people. Smart enough to have opinions and the ability to articulate them, too young and inexperienced to have any kind of perspective on life.


That is the absolute truth.


I met an old man who only had about 1/3 of his full lung capacity. This meant that he could walk for maybe all of 5 metres and then be rasping for breath. The dirty looks and nasty backchat he got for 'faking' his disability was sad to behold.


I have a friend with a bad case of MS. She has a chair, and can also stand and walk. She likes to holler, "Oh my God! It's a miracle!" every time she stands up in public. I didn't realize how weird I felt about people in chairs until I started hanging out with her. It's none of my business why people are using a wheelchair.


That is adorable. I have my son use a wheelchair in public places because he's on the autism spectrum and it keeps him from running away or hitting anyone. One time he leapt out of the chair and took off running and seriously weirded out a guy walking toward us. Next time he does that I am totally stealing your friend's line. I wish her all the best.


Wouldn't a leash be better if he is able to walk normally? My little brother (not autistic) used to walk on a leash because he used to randomly run away into danger. Or does his autism also impact his motor skills? If you don't want to have it be obvious that you have leashed him you can also give him a backpack and leash the backpack, that's less likely to result in people commenting.


https://youtu.be/OkzaOwAmDmA any time I hear about someone suggesting a leash for another human being, I think of this scene.


Autism can impact motor skills, but I don't know to what extent


Depends on the person … and some of the impact is often due to the sensory processing difficulties


It can, my GF's brother had great difficulty walking when he was younger, however that's rare (hence the question)


Being leashed sounds a lot less pleasant than a wheelchair ngl


A wheelchair means not walking, that can have some negative effects on your health, a leash (connected to a backpack or harness) doesn't impact your mobility and general health to nearly such a high degree, even if it can appear more embarrassing (hence my advice on the backpack)


A wheelchair at the grocery store of at big events likes the zoo or aquarium is not going to hurt him when he has free roam of his house. That's a difference for ambulatory wheelchair users. We can often make it around our homes getting the small workouts we can and not atrophy because of a couple of hours sitting. I say this because I rarely have the chance to move from my home and am often sitting and use a wheelchair at events and when shopping. As long as I walk when I can, I get the workout I need. As an adult, I also have physical therapy to do at home, but this child is only in the wheelchair for safety and limiting intake of sensory input so a few hours will not make any impact more than being at school will.


I was recently diagnosed with PPMS within the last two weeks and seeing this hilariously positive outlook on a crappy situation has made me feel a little brighter about it. Thank you.


My husband was diagnosed in 2019 with PPMS. We’re almost to the wheelchair but he still struggles to use his walker in public because he is also young (43) and is very self conscious of it. He’s a private person and doesn’t want the judgment of others. He’s getting better with it though, starting to not care what others think. So sorry you have PPMS. It’s sucks for sure. Just do what you can while you can.


Rrms, and I use a cane occasionally, people can be very judgemental and rude sometimes. The first time I had a few old women block my way in a grocery store and they just stared, I wanted to cry. One tip a ms group gave me when I first got the cane, was to put a bunch of stickers from things I liked on it, so I did that but it finally took me standing in the middle of a parking lot, unable to take another step to finally swallow my pride and actually start using it. Here's hoping that mrna ms vaccine biontech is working on is a success.


My sister has that. She has a pretty similar sense of humor about it, too, lol!


I have ME and use a wheelchair, and I used to do the same thing as your friend. Not all the time but if people were staring at me I did. Most seemed to get the point and got a bit embarrassed and *stopped staring*. I'm not a curiosity for abled people to look at. I say used to bc I'm so rarely out in public these days (my immune system isn't working properly, so even if I did have the energy to go anywhere, it's not wise at the moment). I also often use a cane for moving so people kind of understand that even if I can stand up I still need a bit of help and am not steady on my feet.


I suppose it’s better than the alternative… “I can walk! Mein Führer, I can walk!”


Peter Sellers was really amazing in that movie. Three phenomenally delivered characters


Marlon Brando's first movie role he played a paraplegic war veteran. To prepare, he spent a week in a wheelchair at a veterans hospital. One day a woman began praying over the men, proclaiming the lord could cure them. Brando jumped up and danced around saying it was a miracle! Movie - The Men


Your friend is hilarious. I'm definitely stealing that line if I ever make the jump from cane user to chair user!


I still hope that you never have to. I wish you all the best and maybe some tiny improvements on your condition :)


Also, none of anyone’s business why people are using disabled toilets.


Or disabled seats on the public transport. Yes Ethel I am quite young, no Ethel that does not give you an excuse to sit there scowling at me from one of the 8 other disabled seats for the next 20 minutes.


Exactly. I use a wheelchair but it's none of my business why someone else might need to use it. I did slightly judge once, I'll admit. A kid was in there while the regular stalls were unoccupied and the parent waiting outside looked so guilty when I rolled up to wait, I do suspect that kid didn't need to use it. But still, I had to wait a couple of minutes maybe? No big deal for me that time. It's not like I expect the disabled toilets to be free for my use at all times, I'm aware there are other people who need to use them so I might have to wait. We could all use a bit of grace and understanding towards others.


The one time someone else needed the accessible stall while I was using it, I was so worried that they'd be judgey when I came out because most of my disabilities are very much invisible, I just look young and healthy despite being anything but healthy. However, when I came out and apologized for the wait the lady was so sweet and said it was no big deal, she had a seat lol :)


Yes! Ambulatory wheelchair users exist! There are lots of disabilities that require the use of mobility aids like wheelchairs, but that doesn't mean those aids are *always* used, 100% of the time.


My wife is ambulatory wheelchair user. She has countless stories of anything from dirty looks to being SCREAMED at for standing up out of her chair. Somehow, magically, never when I’m around. I’ve seen it happen from a distance moments after I’ve walked away. People are cowards. (I’m a 6’2” 200lb male in a kilt) Similarly we use disabled parking if she’s in the car with me driving or not. Even if she stays in the car. If she needs to get to me or just changed her mind and decides to come in, she still needs to use that spot. If I’m by myself I never use the spot. Regardless we still occasionally get yelled at despite having the correct tags etc because I’m able bodied. Tones change real quick when I open the back of the car and pull out an electric wheelchair for my wife. Unfortunately it’s usually to an even more offended defensive tone. “Well how was I supposed to know!” You weren’t. You were supposed to mind your own damn business. It’s not your job to “expose” people. That only ends up harassing legit users 99% of the time.


They could know by the placards that are on the car given to you by people whose job it is to determine whether you need them 🤦‍♀️


> Unfortunately it’s usually to an even more offended defensive tone. “Well how was I supposed to know!” "By the handicapped license plate on this vehicle, dumb-ass."


This! People need to mind their business. You're exactly right, they weren't supposed to know and it isn't their business to know. I'm sorry your wife deals with people like this.


The only time someone should expose anything is when that person is knowingly abusing something or someone. If no evil is done, shut up. Also: people make mistakes a lot more often than others think. Give someone the benefit of the doubt. I've had teachers tell me to "stop pretending like somethings wrong", even though i was practically mentally paralysed due to severe sensory overload. It's so annoying because i can't succesfully explain what's going on if it's gotten bad. It's like severe headaches are trying to throw off every single thought or action you have. But of course, i'm not severely wounded, so nothing should be wrong.


Sensory processing disorders are no fun.


Likewise, just because someone can walk doesn't mean they aren't disabled.


True, all disability’s aren’t visible


Thank you. I recently got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, and its been getting pretty bad lately. I look fine except for some red joints, and I can do most things other people do, but when im going through a flare-up I am useless. I can barely walk or write or do anything without incredible pain, and its just hard.


My sister has RA. Medication has made a huge improvement for her (still a struggle of course.) When she first got sick, she couldn't even open her front door when mom and I came for a visit. Lots of healing thoughts and love your way.


Thanks. I only got diagnosed about 6 months ago and we're still figuring out meds. The first 2 I've tried so far haven't done much, so it's pretty frustrating ngl.


I can't imagine! I know it's a life altering illness and it probably took her a year or more to reach a good balance. She had to make quite a few changes, and I'm not going to lie and say it was easy. Be kind and forgiving to yourself. This is absolutely a tough process and you deserve to be your number one priority. Everyone's journey is different and I don't know if it will help you to know that despite the struggle, she is somehow managing to take care of 3 young children now. She didn't give birth to them, but she's their true mom and we are all overjoyed that they are joining our family, hopefully, permanently. You may not want that or feel like putting yourself in a similar situation, just trying to let you know there is hope it can get better.


I am much younger than your sister, which us rough because most people dont expect a 21 year old to have arthritis. Rn I'm going into my senior year of college, so im gonna try to get some accommodations from my school to make things a little easier on myself. It's really frustrating the amount of guesswork involved in medicine and treatment and honestly I'm amazing the amount of naproxen I've been taking hasn't ripped a hole thru my stomach lining. I'm glad to know that there are other people like me who are thriving, that means I can get there too.


Yes, alot of VI/blind people get harassed for using a cane but also reading a phone for example. It's a spectrum. Alot of cane users only need a cane in an unfamiliar or busy place, but they can navigate familiar places cane free


Ikr? My former MIL had CHF & had gone through a heart attack & several hospitalizations. She could walk just fine, but not for long distances. The length of the distance depended on the day she was having. She was *constantly* being publicly berated for using handicapped spots, despite the license. People are just mean.


I remember when my brother broke his FEMUR in high school in a car accident, one of the teachers thought he was faking it because he could still stand on his good leg…


It's a sad day when a teacher doesn't understand the concept of only *one* leg being broken.


Also parents go out and buy expensive medical equipment just to play a prank on the teacher.


I had a friend get t-boned by an SUV while riding a motorcycle. Broke his leg really badly, to the point he had to live with me for a bit because he couldn't get down the 6 steps to his apartment. He HATED having to use the wheelchair at the grocery store. He could stand ok, but walking more than a step or two was strictly off limits. He would get harassed because he could stand up out of the chair to reach items on the top shelf.


Ooo a femurs a tough one to deal with when broken!


Yes! My mom has ALS and when she first got a wheelchair she could still stand and walk, she just couldn't walk far. The last time we went shopping before she got her wheelchair she made it to about 500m from where we started (and very slowly) before she was exhausted and had to rest and turn around. But she could still stand up to get something of a shelf or walk to the bathroom in her own house etc.


My mother is one of them. She can walk short distances and around her house just fine.... However whenever we go on long trips like say, to Disney world or Vegas, she needs either a wheelchair or a scooter. Basically if she walks for too long, her leg goes numb... which doesn't sound terrible, but the numbness can climb upwards to her entire left hand side. Doctors have tried a few treatments, as they all agree it's a pinched nerve, but no one has been able to ID what nerve is being pinched, or where the pinching is occuring.


Yes! I have EDS, most of the time when I've not got a dislocation etc I can walk around fine, BUT I can't walk around all day and I can't stand for more than about 20mins at a time. I've used wheelchairs for long days out so that I don't get over-tired (more likely to dislocate something if I'm tired too so it's protective) and on a protest because I knew I'd end up sitting on the floor otherwise, which is obviously not safe 😅 If someone is in a wheelchair, it's for a reason. Nobody is in one for the fun of it, they're big and awkward and shitty people are shitty about it. Just let people live their lives without judging them!


Yeah! I got crutches and will hopefully be getting a wheelchair soon because I want to be able to go places and not dislocate lots of stuff or be as exhausted or have a pain flair up after/during and if I do, I'm already sitting down and can ask my parents or like a friend to push me for a bit if needed!


I gotta use a wheelchair to get thru an airport. I can walk about 200 feet before something gives out but I save my walking for calculated times.


Same. Glad to hear I am not the only one.


Someone with any kind of degenerative muscular disease has the potential to be able to stand, depending on the severity of the degeneration. I know 3 people with Ehlers Danlos, one of which only uses a wheelchair for when they'd need to go for long periods of standing/walking, one who can get around their house fine but needs their wheelchair for anything longer, and one who is wheelchair bound.


My husband goes to the store 99% of the time because of the anxiety I get when people stare at me in a chair. I can walk, and I like too, I just can't do it for a long time, so when I get up, even though my gate is off, people stare and I can't handle it. Even had someone ask what was wrong with me.. able bodied people, please stop it haha.


My favourite response to the question "Oh, what happened?!" When I'm using a brace/mobility aid is "I was born"


How often do people respond, "I'm sorry to hear that?"


Sadly nearly always. Like it's not really sad? It's my life and I honestly have been like this my whole life so I don't feel like I'm missing out on much or anything.


A cashier recently asked me, "what did you do?" And vaguely gestured to me and the scooter I was using. I said, "I didn't *do* anything. I have a chronic illness." She just stared at me blankly.


Same lol Then I get the "omg I'm so sorry your parents made this happen to you" um f*** off Karen, they literally didn't know. Genetic diseases and s*** happens events are different for everyone. My mom can walk fine and carry things fine. I have a cardiac episode carrying a box upstairs. We have the same diseases.


This is such a perfect response, I will use this next time!


Do you, and stay strong. Live the best life you can and fuck the haters. Obviously I'm an internet stranger, so I can't be there for you, but if you want you can picture a chubby 40 something year old woman screaming "fuck off you ableist bastard!" Every time somebody gives you a weird look, because that's totally something I would do. You can take the girl out of the trailer but you can't take the trailer out of the girl.


I don't get how some people have the gall to say shit like that. Maybe I'm just your typical stoic, reserved Midwesterner, but I barely speak up when people are literally wronging me in some way, much less just to pry or criticize a stranger.


Gatekeeping *appropriate* wheelchair use makes you an asshole.


As well as, appropriate handicap parking stickers, etc.


I once had a man stand behind my car and refuse to move so I could leave, until I proved to him that the handicap parking placard I was using was mine, because I “look too young to need it.” Never mind the fact that I walk with a cane due to a jacked up spine (fractured L5, ruptured L5-S1, herniated the 3 levels above that, had 5 surgeries to correct issues, have nerve damage that causes numbness/weakness in my legs/feet, a messed up SI joint that pops out of alignment, making one leg 1-2 inches shorter that the other and forcing my pelvis to tilt, causing excruciating back pain and difficulty walking), it’s none of his freaking business. I guess because I dress decent, put on makeup and style my hair, and I look young, and I can walk a few steps from my trunk to the driver’s door without the cane, I’m just a big old faker who couldn’t possibly be “pathetic” enough to need a good parking spot, huh? 🤨 Dude stood there yelling at me for “stealing my grandmother’s handicap tag so I could score better parking” until finally, 10 minutes in, in tears, I took out my license and placard ID card to prove to him that the names and address matched so I could just get the fuck out of there and go home. The worst part? He didn’t even apologize for causing a scene, accusing me of a crime, holding me there against my will and involving himself in *my* personal business that had zero impact on *his* life. He just mumbled some shit about how *I* was lucky I was telling the truth or I would’ve been in serious trouble, before walking away. 😒 And yeah, I know I could’ve called the cops on him, but at that point I was just so stunned and hurt that a person would do something so cruel and heartless to a complete stranger, the thought of calling the police or even recording him on my phone never even entered my mind. I just wanted to go home where I’d be safe and I could hide under my blankets in bed and cry. People are just the absolute worst sometimes. 😢


Sorry, that happened to you.


That is so horrible. You must have been terrified and felt so mortified! I’m sorry. 😞


Honestly, blame 90s sitcoms, each one has an episode where the main characters expose a person misusing a handicap parking spot or something. Then there's tons of movies and shows where a handicap imposter is exposed by standing up from the chair... it's always whether they can walk at all or not. No in-between. Also in real life, any time you go to the DMV, you see these repeating animations on the TV telling you that it's your duty to sniff out these supposed handicap parking spot stealers. With a number to report it to and all. Makes people think it's normal to try to police that shit yourself as a regular member of society.


I've seen current shows do it as well, Brooklyn 99 immediately comes to mind. I still love the show, though.


Which episode? I believe you but am not good with remembering episodes. Biggest one I can think of is Superstore and how they turned down actual wheelchair users for the role of Garrett. Like the character is ok but most disabled people in TV-shows aren't played by disabled people which is frustrating.


The one where Jake is trying to solve an old case of his, he exposed the guy because the treads on his shoes were worn.


My GF has to get special shoes with supports up to her knees. She also has a wheelchair. She can walk , but if she walks more than a kilometre, it will only be pain and suffering for her. She was born with something where the myeline around the nerve endings of her hands and feet are gone. So she has almost no feeling in hands and legs ( other than phantom pains ). So when she walks , she pretty much flops her feet on the ground. With out her shoes ( when swimming ) she needs someone to support her going into or out the water. So when we go to somewhere , she will go in the coolest electrical wheelchair ( it’s one of those balancing wheelchairs that goes forward when you lean forward. That thing costs more than some of my cars. Its a Segway Bigo for those who want to look it up). But when we arrive , she can get out of the wheelchair for the last few steps. We get all the stink eye at amusement parks. But skipping the line is still the best benefit. And she’s still the best person in the world. So fuck all those who thing she’s faking it.


Totally agree. I don't use a wheelchair but I do frequently use a walking stick when out and about due to my disabilities. I am under 30, and have a blue badge. The amount of crap I get from people when I ask for a seat on a train, get out of the car in a disabled bay etc. Is ridiculous. I shouldn't have to give my medical history to a complete stranger because you think i might be lying. Also, just because I chose to buy walking sticks that are colourful and can coordinate with my outfit didn't mean they aren't functional. I'm allowed to want to try and look good if I want, I am not just sitting around waiting to die.


I have a good friend who is legally blind, but can see to an extent (mostly just blurs.) The amount of people who wave their hands in front of his face is ridiculous. He also uses a cane but doesn't usually wear sunglasses, and when people ask him what the cane is for, he says, "for hitting people who ask me stupid fucking questions." Anyways, you should use that if anyone asks about your walking sticks.


I shattered my tibial plateau and people always looked at me funny when I used a wheel chair or handicap spot. However, it was fucking tiring relearning to walk 500 ft to a store. It took me 20 minutes to get inside if I didn't use a handicap spot and I had to stop 10 times in the process. God forbid I had to walk a store and carry items, fuck that, wheel chairs were my best friend that summer Can't see the bone graft or 10 hr reconstructive surgery and I looked like a healthy 30 yr old


I "just" fractured mine and it was unbelievable how much pain I was in and how much it handicapped me for so long. I can't even imagine *shattering* it. I would sometimes use the mobility chairs when I was just too worn out to use my crutches. I'd get so many stares and comments using a scooter despite having a brace on my leg and crutches with me. Hell, people would comment on my crutches telling me I was too young to need them. Like, young people can't break bones?? After some time I'd start just telling people to fuck off. My mother was usually with me (I needed some extra emotional support to go out because of these fuckers) and they would tell her how rude of a kid she raised. Sometimes she'd comment on their rudeness, other times she'd also tell them to fuck off. I hope you have recovered as much as possible and don't have to deal with those assholes anymore!


Facts. I spent the weekend at a race event with someone in a wheel chair. The second day we ended up smoking a blunt together and he stood up. I thought the weed cured him.


The coast is clear Ray


You lied to the guy in the chair!!


Also some days I need a stick, some days not. I have fibromyalgia and migraines and sometimes that gives me crazy vertigo or leg pain, so I've got funny looks from people I pass walking my dog when one day to the next they don't know if I'll be alternating walking slowly with a stick and or bouncing around normally!!


Exactly. Debilitating chronic pain in my ankles. I was in a wheelchair for almost 6 years. I could walk and stand a little buy not much b at the time. I was over weight because of it and I have a baby face. When I was able to work again they asked me at the Bullseye store if I was old enough to sell alcohol at the register, which is 18 here. I was 33. People used to glare at me all the time or downplay my pain. "At least you can still walk" Yes, I could. And I wished I couldn't. My pain feels like sharp stabbing ice picks through my ankles when it gets bad. I asked for ankle replacement joints in my early 20s before the wheelchair was a full time thing. Telling someone to be grateful for pain so bad I wished I was dead, was NOT helpful at all. It usually made my depression worse to hear "you don't look sick/hurt/in pain " Nope. I didn't. Still don't. Pain has gotten better, thanks to cannabis, but still there Be kind. And remember, minding your own business is free. Someone's health is literally not your business.


Yeah don't worry Ray, I won't tell anyone buddy.


I have an artificial knee and pins and screws all through one of my legs. Fused vertebra with another back injury, and an ankle that has pins in it. All from one incident, and so I'll take breaks as needed, use a cane, or hand rail if applicable. Being late 20s I get some insanely dirty looks, but they change their tune when they ask questions. Considering I was blown up in afghanistan.


I use a wheelchair because I was in a wreck with a semi truck, he tried to share my lane. I can walk enough to get from my bed to the bathroom or living room, but it hurts so much even 6 years later that I have to use a wheelchair if I want to leave my house. My sister has MS and sometimes requires either a cane or a wheelchair in order to get around, sometimes she's just fine and can move unassisted. It's really nice to see posts like this that bring awareness to the fact that just because you don't understand why someone in a chair is capable of standing doesn't mean they're faking it. Trying to invalidate another's experience is just a jerk move, tbh. Unless someone is getting hurt, it's best to mind your own business, or educate yourself.


I was in a wheelchair because after giving birth I could walk for about a mile before my hips started killing me. Going somewhere where I would have to walk a lot meant that I would need a wheelchair at some point. After 6 months of physical therapy I can walk about 8 miles before my hips decide they're done. Though I still can't walk super fast


I mean, that's none of my business anyways.


I am 39 and have MS, I can go from working 60 hours One week, to having to use a motor cart in the store the next. I hate it because I get the snide looks and comments especially when I stand up to grab something from high up. It sucks!


I am a 56 year old Covid long hauler. My symptoms change moment to moment, and affects so much of my body. Sometimes I feel okay, other days I have pain, fatigue, and weakness, among other issues, and it is totally unpredictable. I have a bright pink rollator, one of the walkers with a seat, that I use only when I need it, knowing I will need to rest. When people see me on a good day, or when I put on a happy face even though I feel awful, they assume I am fully recovered, and think I am being dramatic on my bad days. This effing disease has stolen my life, my voice, my job, and sometimes even my will to live. I am not faking it for sympathy!!


Ok but hear me out; if they are willing to go through the difficulty of using a wheelchair to get around and they are in fact, **faking it** it’s still none of my business because I just *know* your shoulders and arms are about to hurt like a bitch tomorrow. So if you’re that dedicated to whatever cause made you choose this situation, hey fuck it man good luck to you.


I wanna make another comment to ask, how many others have had freaks with cameras filming you because they think they're doing some sort of service to "catch fake wheelchair users" because I've starred in a number of those


I remember when I was in 4th grade, I had a classmate who was in a wheelchair. At that time I did't know this, but I saw him moving his feet and when I asked him about it, he showed me that he can move his legs, but he can't stand up because one of his legs is longer and that his leg bones are so weak that he could break them if he stands up. I remember that the kid got help from one of our teachers (Miss L, if you read this, you're a fucking legend and I will forever have huge respect for you) with money for surgery. I don't know what happened to him after we finished 8th grade, but I hope he is doing well.


Severe congestive heart failure Turns out store managers really hate it when you pass out in their store. Since I manage my house, and do a lot of the decision making that means lengthy and multiple store trips. My condition is bad enough I can no longer drive so that means walking/buses which is even further exhausting. A hybrid electric wheelchair has vastly improved my QoL... And saved a few managers and security guys I've gotten to know through my condition decline further heart issues for themselves. I can do so so much more than I used to without that exhaustion after too. I feel so self conscious in my chair, though...


I cant believe i pushed that guy’s lazy ass around all day until he was ready to stand up and steal the show. Well, i got news for you Albert. If thats your real name, Show is not over.


I’m currently in PT for my curved spine. In the morning when the swelling is down I can walk alright. By the afternoon my muscles in my knees and back bulge so I get shooting pains all over. Some nights it’s unbearable.


Exactly. I work with disabled kids and while almost all are wheelchair users many are some level of ambulant. Even for those who can't walk without assistance walking with a walker or extensive support can be a vital part of their physical therapy. Sitting for long periods isn't great for bone development and a whole bunch of other things. Disability is complicated and individual so don't assume you can tell who is disabled and how - even professionals need to keep detailed records and constantly check to ensure they are providing the best care for the individual.


Illnesses such as pots and dysautonomia can cause random fainting too. Wheelchairs can be safer to go out in.


My grandad had a heart attack years ago and afterwards for a couple of weeks felt very week and if he went anywhere it was sensible he would sit in a wheelchair so he didn’t strain his heart out. My brother had his passing out parade in the navy and he wanted to go. So the plan was, because this was a big day on the navy site, he would be in his wheelchair pushed around by us. All was going well but we came across some stairs, the navy staff told us that we could go around and use a ramp system but it would’ve taken a while, so grandad stood up, walked up about 20 steps while I carried the chair up, then sat back down immediately for the rest of the tour.


as a disabled person for 23 years now, i don't walk with a walking aid and have 2 legs and 2 arms and i am constantly harassed or given filthy looks for using disabled seating on public transport. i hate looking disabled so i do my best not to and i'm penalized for it, not wanting to look disabled is common amongst disabled people and i have to say FUCK EVERYONE WHO THINKS THEIR AN EXPERT ON DISABILITIES SIMPLY BY LOOKING AT SOMEONE FOR 5 SECONDS


Sometimes it's just better to assume that they are hurt than to think that they're faking it, because it hurts them more than the ones actually faking it.


Except Ray who went to jail


I’ve had people completely invalidate me as a handicapped person because I don’t use my walker all the time …. It really sucked


The same goes for when someone who is on their feet one moment, and feeling bad and can’t move much the next I have a nerve disorder. I was an athlete and I was very quick on my feet. I had to stop cycling and doing heavy lifting - right now I can really only walk or hike for exercise. The nerve pain, when it hits, immobilizes me. I don’t get a placard on my car but it would be really nice to not have to walk across the entire parking lot. Dropping something and having to pick it up becomes difficult. Going to the next room to grab something I forgot about, becomes difficult. Laying in bed and realizing I forgot to put my night guard in, becomes difficult You don’t think about those things on a daily basis, those things happen to me at random times and people think I am faking. Fortunately I am managing it with meds and physical therapy


Someone with ALS (lue garage disease?) Is not faking if they can move some days but others are not at all mobile. It's just the nature of it


This is 100% accurate! I’m 35 and I’m a chair and going out makes me so anxious because all the looks and comments I get from random people. Everyone feels that I’m faking a disability so I can get a closer parking spot or something


When I was pregnant the baby and I were having heart problems and it made me really weak and dizzy if I stood for too long. People would be really nasty to me about it. Especially old people. Telling me I didnt need it and they had been waiting and actually so need it and how selfish I was for taking the amigo away from an actually deserving person. I thought at 5 months maybe they just couldn't tell I was pregnant. But this happened even when it looked like I was trying to hide a weather balloon under my shirt. People really suck sometimes.


Right now I'm kinda anxious about this but with my cane. I look younger than my age, & I worry about the people who may stare at me & think unsavory of me or my character. But I remind myself that 1) disability can happen to anyone at any age and 2) it's really none of their business


If you see someone parking in a disabled parking spot and getting out and walking with no visible difficulty , don't worry about them either, their disability may not be visible or they could be parking there to pick someone up who is disabled


Except for Ricky's dad.