I hate STAIRS.....

Why can't there be flat surfaces everywhere? The hate is real when it comes to stairs, especially for someone like myself. Everywhere I go, there’s a detour because the easiest way in always has stairs either going up or down. 

Parking garages

Ooo wee, these can be the worst at times. There’s normally elevators on every floor, but there are those days that the elevators don’t work. Yeah, I know right? So there are two ways you can go about the situation:

  1. Hop back in your vehicle and just go to another level. Or you can find a more convenient spot... “if you’re lucky”

  2. Take the long way, meaning roll your ass all the way to the ground level. Most instances, that part isn’t hard. It’s going back up that will be the struggle.

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I remember about a year ago I was in Santa Monica, California, and I took the 2ndoption in a funky parking garage. It seemed like an ok idea when I was catching the wind rolling down that ramp about 45 mph. Ok, I could be exaggerating, but I was going pretty fast. Now here’s the killer - I was on the 6th floor. Yeahhhhhhhhhh. The shopping I did didn’t make the situation better when I had to push up all those levels to get back to my vehicle.

Oh and if you think that was something, how about the fact that I got lost. Yeah, lost and couldn’ find my car for about 30 minutes. I almost cried. No, seriously I think I did. That was a day I hated being in a wheelchair because we have to go through so many struggles just to enjoy life. 

Another parking garage situation: Miami, Florida. I get out of the car. Luckily I was only on the 2ndfloor this time. The elevator worked and everything, but There was like a 10-inch curb. Again I’m probably exaggerating, but dammit that curb was huge. And who told them to not include a ramp? Ugh. 

Now let’s get back to stairs

Every establishment has stairs, but bars/restaurants are the worst. Bars will make a wheelchair user feel like he/she is not wanted. Especially if they have some type of rooftop scene. Man look, who told them to build a nice rooftop bar that is really nice and elegant with no elevator to go up? Really?!

Most bars with rooftop views do not have elevators, which means you either have to put your life in someone else’s hands, or you’re just shit out of luck. It’s frustrating going to a bar with friends or meeting someone there and they want to go upstairs and enjoy a drink while the wind blows or sun shines, and they can’t because you can’t get up the damn stairs.

Housing

Most houses have stairs... or most of the houses that my family has anyway. So that means during holidays and other occasions, if I want to be involved, I have to put my life in others’ hands. I’ll explain why in a few. The struggle of enjoying things with family is limited because I don’t feel safe or comfortable knowing that I have to be carried upstairs just to get in the house, which means I have to be carried downstairs to leave. That is soooooo frustrating, especially when your family is going back and forth, up and down the stairs because they can’t stay in the same place for a long time. Freedom is all I ask people - Freedom to roll in and out when I want and not feel like I’m stuck because being carried around puts a burden, and my life, on others.

Now when I say I hate putting my life in others hands, That’s because I do. Have you ever been carried up a flight of stairs in a chair? That’s a scary position to be placed in. Reason, not everyone will have the strength or smarts to carry you correctly. Oh, but that’s not the worst part. I’M PARALYZED, which means my legs will not catch my fall. I will buckle like a can of soda when you smash it. There you have it, folks. 

We could go all day long talking about the ridiculous, selfish, layouts these establishments have to keep us wheelchairs users away. There are so many places that don’t give wheelchair users access to their fancy levels and rooftop views.

But you get my point - something needs to give. We have money too. Treat us equally and that means not limiting our access but making a way for us to have access to everything just like everyone else.

 

Wesley Hamilton1 Comment