Today I went to the Mallala Museum, with some others from my writing group. I parked my car close to the museum, and a hundred yards or so from the Mallala Hotel. I wandered around the museum with the others, looking at the great historical things on display, and marvelling at the work the volunteers have put into improvements.
When I go out in my own car, I have both Mick the Stick and Jane the Cane with me, just in case I need one of them. They are both still decorated from their photo shoot for the front cover on my memoir. This means Jane isn’t as usable as a walking cane as she should be. Mick the Stick is still usable as a walking stick, and quite attractive with his snazzy red curling ribbon.
When we had finished at the museum, I decided to walk over to the hotel, where we were all going to have lunch. I decided to walk over there, rather than drive my car, and then walk back again after lunch. The way as the crow flies is not the same as the way by road in the car – private vehicles aren’t to go the way a pedestrian or emergency vehicle can go.
Anyway, Mick and I went for our first walk in public with him in his decorated state, to the hotel and back again after. I felt safer having him there with me just in case. Thinking about the walking stick issue, to take or not to take, led to a discussion during lunch about public transport and government assistance to disable people.
These issues are rarely considered, I feel, by able-bodied people. Why should they bother to think about these issues if they don’t affect them. I know in my previous life, as a well abled person, rather than a disabled person, I wouldn’t have thought about them. Now though, I have a much greater understanding of the challenges disabled people have in life. Even going for a simple walk leads to consideration about whether or not to take a mobility aid.
My medication is working well for me, so my mobility is going quite well, most of the time. Days like today, where I’m walking around or standing around, rather than sitting, is still a bit of a challenge though, so I take care…
The life of a disabled person is certainly more difficult than that of the able bodied. I hope others can consider these issues, and put themselves in our shoes sometimes. It will help them to better understand these things, and stop taking things for granted to readily. Seats are important, rest breaks are important.