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Hi, new here but have a question...

Warlord Community member Posts: 3 Listener
Sorry to drop a question straight away but unless I find answers I think I'm going to go insane.
I had a below knee amputation about 6 months ago & I'm confined to a wheelchair (no chance of prosthetic due to problems with other leg). 
I've only recently been able to get out in public again & the public are driving me crazy.
I am sick to the back teeth of people who feel they can approach me & ask what happened. It's just wrong! Nobody should approach a person and ask personal stuff like that!
I'm not the most sociable person anyway but now people automatically assume I'm approachable due to the chair. I'm not.
I know it would be unfair to lose my temper with the next person who wants to be seen talking to a wheelchair guy (some sort of social merit to be seen talking to a wheelchair guy I guess) and the next person who has the audacity to ask me about my PRIVATE medical history but the more it happens, the more I want to rip their heads off & more importantly the less I want to leave my house.
What can I do? It's affecting my mental health (I'm already fragile from the trauma of losing my leg) and I'm not known for having a long fuse (although my patience has been commendable so far if I do say so myself).
I understand people mean well & don't intend to upset me but at the same time I can't believe that people are that inconsiderate & quite frankly stupid!

How do other wheelchair users and/or amputees cope? Is there a default answer to get these idiots to leave me the h*ll alone? 

Thanks for taking the time to read this & any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.


  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,671 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Warlord welcome to the community. This is obviously distressing to you, I havent been in your position but, and please don't think I am being patronising when I say this, when I was pregnant, members of the public seemed to think I was public property and people would come up and touch my belly and I hated it!  So I know those things are VERY different but I can kind of understand where you are coming from.  

    I hope other people will be along soon and be able to share their experiences.

    @triker1958 @clairsmith @6less @Hudo53 do you have any experience of this?
    Senior online community officer
  • MikeBroderick
    MikeBroderick Community member Posts: 235 Pioneering
    Hi @Warlord:

    Welcome. I'm a lifelong crutch user (cerebral palsy) and I have had some similar experiences, so I know it's not easy. (I used to live in Sri Lanka for a couple of years. One night as sitting in a tri-shaw outside of a restaurant, a guy - who was slightly drunk - grabbed my leg really hard. When I asked him what he was doing, he explained that this brother had lost his leg in a bombing. I could see he was upset, and I relaxed at that point.)

    One thing that helped me a bit is thinking about children. Children are just naturally curious and want to learn, so I try not to get upset when they ask questions.

    With adults it can be difficult - and you are certainly within your rights to say that your medical history is personal and not really any of their business - but I think you are on the right track by recognising that most people mean well.

    Sometimes humor can make the point, if you can think of a funny thing to say that will take the conversation in a different direction. (I once told some little kids that I was like a Transformer.)

    I really do know it's not easy, but I almost always personally regret when I get angry, And it's something I try to work on.
  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Community member Posts: 596 Pioneering
    I sometimes get this as a visually impaired person. I wear dark glasses and sometimes use a mobility cane and I find I get stared at a lot, which I find just rude. And then there's the whispering because shock horror, I can see some things!

    I would just say it's a private matter. I'm not sure they'd like it if you asked about them about their private medical history. What makes them think it's ok to ask a complete stranger?
  • DIB19631
    DIB19631 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
    Looking at your post it is obvious that you are not coping mentally with your relatively recent trauma, the first thing I would say is that disabled people(I am too) have a lot more going on upstairs! Frustration/dignity/ Anger are all part of the Coping mechanism, have you thought of cognitive therapy?, please don't scoff at that comment.
    I had a bad time coming to terms with being disabled and found talking( even to randoms) can actually help, unfortunately you will have to realise the odd time people of sound body and mind don't understand; it is not ignorance they just don't understand.
    Be patient 6 months is a very short time to overcome such a disability, talk to your GP and ask for guidance on learning to cope both physically but more important mentally, I'm sure that they will point you in the right direction.
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