What It's Like to Be a Kid in 'Wheel Life'

Some people might wonder if I prefer being in a wheelchair? The answer is, no! It is not the worst thing in the world, but it’s not the best either. Of course, I would rather walk so I could do more things with my friends. But I try to make the best of being in a wheelchair by choosing to love the skin (and the wheels) that I’m in.

I just love dressing my chair up for holidays, and I have given them all a name. My newest chair is Daisy (my wheelchairs have all been named after flowers). My first was Violet, and my last one was Rosie. Giving each one of my chairs a name helps to give them a purpose and a timeframe (they are temporary). While each one is a part of me, they are not me.

A pink and black wheelchair

I have been in a wheelchair since I was 3. At first, I did not understand that I would most likely be in it for the rest of my childhood. I really thought I was just using the wheelchair for fun or until I remembered how to walk again. I really loved my chair, and I thought it was cool. It wasn’t until the age of 7 when I realized that my wheelchair was going to be a part of me for a long time. I was in second grade when I wished I wasn’t in a wheelchair at all. My wheels made catching up with my friends harder. At that time I also needed a lot of help doing things I really wanted to do on my own. Now at 13, I realize my wheelchair is just a part of me. I really don’t remember what it was like to walk, so I push on and know my future may or may not include my wheelchair. Science is amazing, and I am looking forward to what lies ahead.

Chair or not, I have a lot of friends even though sometimes I do get forgotten to be included in things. For example, when I am with my cousins sometimes they don’t know how to react to me or how to include me. I am OK with that, but I wish they just tried and weren’t embarrassed or nervous to ask how to include me.

But this is not a sad post for me. Even though my wheels are “my sneakers,” I still love sparkly shoes. They make me feel more normal and more like other teenage girls. Plus, my shoes don’t get dirty so I can wear them all the time!

I hope this post explains to you that people in wheelchairs aren’t that much different than everyone else. I encourage everyone to go to events that have wheelchairs so you can learn how fun a wheelchair can be. Try it out! I hope the next time you see someone in a wheelchair, you remember this post and know their wheels are not a bad thing. The way they look is just the way they are.

It is a good life, and maybe you will see things that you’ve never seen before.

Follow this journey on ChloeJoyce.com.

Photo submitted by contributor.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Spina Bifida

Jane out with a friend.

The Ableism I Face as a Wheelchair-Using Woman

I’m a huge fan of social media. It lets me connect with people all over the country or even the world, learn new things and teach others something new, share my beliefs and learn from the beliefs of others. However, it also has exposed me to an onslaught of biphobia, fatphobia, and ableism. Ableism is [...]
Junior wheelchair basketball player

Why Schools Need Better Options for Athletes With Disabilities Like My Son

Today my son started his first day of summer vacation. He is now technically a seventh-grader, which made me realize I need to not only think about high schools, but start making appointments to tour them and speak to the staff about whether or not the school will be a good fit for him. My [...]
Hand playing acoustic guitar.

When I Reached Out to a Friend as I Lay in the Hospital

I stared at the ceiling tiles as I laid in a hospital bed I had not moved from for a whole month. I was beginning to lose all hope of ever feeling better and seeing the outside world again. I decided I would get out of my head and check out Facebook. When I logged [...]
Couple in bed.

The Sex Question I Was Uncomfortable Asking as a Woman With a Disability

I need to start by stating that I am not a doctor. I am a Pure Romance consultant and sexual health educator. I am also a woman with spina bifida and neurogenic bladder. I had a lot of questions as I became sexually active. I had no one to ask. I wasn’t comfortable as a [...]