Yesterday was the first time in a very long time that I woke up and wanted to get out of the house. I took extra pain meds, my husband loaded my wheelchair in the back of the truck, and we left for the new outlet mall which just opened a few miles from our house.
The day was warm, but the humidity was low. I enjoyed being out in the sun which I normally avoid all summer long. The heat is usually too much for me in the summer and I burn easily due to several of my meds. Thankfully, the mall had covered walk ways to protect me.
The mall is set up as individual stores and the “halls” are open air. In an indoor mall, this is not a problem as the halls are smooth and the doors of the stores are open. Here, the doors of the shops were mostly closed. There were few automatic doors and no door opener buttons for those persons using mobility devices. Most shops had 2 sets of doors to open.
This was the only area with automatic doors.
Also, the doors had rather high thresholds which made it difficult to cross with the wheel chair. We got stuck several times and had to attempt crossing the thresholds 2 or 3 times. Rarely did people help and only one store employee made an effort to hold the door open for us.
I can’t imagine what persons in wheel chairs face daily. My husband pushes me in the wheel chair as my joints are much too painful and I need to avoid strenuous activity to protect my joints until the inflammation is under control. Strenuous activity can cause more joint damage. This is also why my rheumatologist wants me to wait to start physical therapy.
What if a person using a mobility device (wheelchairs, walkers, or even canes) don’t have someone with them to help? Do they just avoid the stores whose doors where not open? I can easily understand how a person can feel a lack of independence and how that may affect one’s coping ability. I only use my wheelchair when I go someplace like a mall, craft store, or Ikea when more walking than I can manage is required.
How would you feel if you faced these impediments daily?
On a positive note, I did see these really cute Adidas! ;)