14 Dec Shops V Wheelchair
Shops V Wheelchair
I am released from hospital and its my first few days home.
I am craving some fresh air so I talk Mr A into taking me to our local shopping centre. He agreed on the understanding I use the wheelchair we have borrowed from the Red Cross. So off we go to the shops I mean it wont be any different right?
BIG FAT WRONG
Oh have I had my eyes opened to the difficulties faced by wheelchair users over the last week. Now, as some of you know ,I already have a blue badge for parking due to Fibromyalgia.
We headed to our local Asda, no disabled bays available. People wait so you can’t get past as the guy who has just pulled the trolley to his car might leave in the next 25 mins.
So we parked in a normal space not a massive deal as the wheelchair was in the boot so I only had to walk a few (painful) steps.
Now I am in the chair and trusting Mr A to push me around. After the second time he threatened to tip me up, and me promising to get up and lamp him one. He understood and calmed down.(a little)
I understand now more than ever why wheelchair uses cant always go to certain places.
I don’t expect everything to be wheelchair friendly! Where it isn’t I would hope the staff are at least friendly and approachable.
It was fine to get too, although a big slope.
I wouldn’t have liked to self propel down there! The staff are approachable & super friendly.
They have carried my purchases to my table in the past, they are happy to move chairs to fit you in and not in a cheesy way.
Costa keep it up the one in fleet could do with a toilet even if just disabled would be my only bugbear.
Debenhams was more shocking than I thought. Not only do they have there entrance stuffed with stands. Make up, perfumes right at the front door so if you break that you will need a bank loan to replace it.
I was ‘Tutted’ at by people. As I was taking up most of the aisle, now I am no shrinking violet but I felt like a massive burden on society in that moment.
I am so glad my husband was with me. My Fibromyalgia is getting worse. With added symptoms affecting my mobility this could be my future!
We finally got through the skippy impersonators (tut tut tut tut) and found the lift.
It was in the corner of the store, dark and bits of cardboard resting against the walls.
Now remember it is not just wheelchair users that need the lift, pushchairs etc as well.
So we get to the corner of darkness in the store and we look at the lift. The button to call the lift is too high. Especially if you are in a wheelchair. I mean even if you stretch with your phone and try to hit it … how does that help???
so Mr A has to call the lift … ok no big issue.
TING the lift is here, I kid you not I thought it was a joke it, I swear my Barbie lift was bigger. I had the Barbie Malibu home with sizzling grill (digressing). Ian tries two different ways to get the chair in. God help any parent who has a twin buggy. It was so small I actually didn’t think I could breathe. and made a point of looking at things for a long time as I knew I had to get back in to it.
Debenhams sort your stuff out guys! You are one of our biggest department stores and yet your staff and your facilities are rubbish!!
Now anyone who has ever been to sports direct anywhere in the country knows its a full store. You struggle to manoeuvre yourself around it never mind a pushchair or a wheelchair.
I will leave the store there, it is 100% worse than you can imagine.
The lift was bigger granted but it was disgusting, dirty and smelt.
I felt I needed a shower when I got out, I was and still am prone to infection. So that wasn’t the best place and no way in this world would I take a baby in there.
I realise you aren’t JD sports and that’s cool!
You are the Primark in the sports clothing world which I love. In now way is that an excuse to skip on cleanliness there is a pound shop opposite go get some bleach and frebreeze.
Most supermarkets I find are good now. Offering motorised scooters with generous size baskets. Morrisons is no different apart from the one I went to. I asked where I could get the key for the scooter, so I had to go right to the other end of the store.
That makes NO sense! Why would a store you have a scooter some 400 yards just short of a quarter of a mile away from the main entrance. For the people who have mobility issues. I needed a wheelchair to get to the scooter to ride it all the way back up to the start of the store again. To be quite honest if I had been alone I wouldn’t have stayed.
So that is the stores done!
Now just normal folk going about their day these were most surprising to me. People walk in front of the wheelchair and then tut when your husband speeds up and almost runs over them. (OK they may have a point on that one but I mean you can’t miss me I am the one with 4 wheels). Then there is that look people do like “ah I feel sorry for you”. I am sure they are lovely people and don’t mean to give you the “I will get the gun” look but its just weird. A guy stopped to offer a leaflet and never looked at me once. Only spoke to Ian even when I spoke wheelchair or not that is just ignorant. FACT
This has enlightened me and that is just the one day I went out, some people have to go through this day in and day out.
Makes you remember how lucky we are and how we take for granted nipping to the shops!!
Food for thought
Jules Out x