My Wheelchair Experience
I use a wheelchair on a daily basis, although for short distances I can use a rollator. Anything in the community I have to use a wheelchair. This has been quite an experience for myself. I think I am posting anonymously, and wanted to tell what led to my having to use a wheelchair. I had been a crime victim and suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. As well, I had been in the military previously and suffered from post traumatic stress disorder from that also. I lost my job, and relocated to NYC where I shortly after went homeless and ended up residing in a veteran's shelter. Suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, I ended up having a suicide attempt and was in a coma for two months on "life support." I spent a total of three months without being able to get out of the hospital bed. During this time I developed contractures in my ankles and knees and hips and subsequently was unable to walk. After three months in the first hospital I was transferred to a physical rehab hospital in Manhattan where I spent another three months in regaining what physical ability I could. I will most likely have to use a wheelchair for the rest of my life as I am unable to stand straight up and have permanent contractures in my ankles and knees although possible future surgery could possibly help correct. A couple of weeks ago I took paratransit for the first time to a local mall and movie theatre to see a movie. This was my first time on my own with the wheelchair, and I surprised myself and did better than I thought I would. I am also very appreciative of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as it makes life a lot easier for individuals with disabilities. I wouldn't be able to get around without it. My wheelchair is a manual and I am continuing to build my arm strength. I have also loved to travel in the past, and as my physical health has improved for this coming August scheduled a trip for myself to Miami Beach (about a couple hour flight from where I live). Got all my arangements made for wheelchair services and wheelchair transports from the airport to my hotel and wheelchair accessible room, and looking forward to being out and about with my wheelchair, and looking forward to sitting under palm trees at a park by the ocean (just can't take a wheelchair onto the sand!). Thanks for letting me share my wheelchair experience!