Tuesday, May 7, 2013
The Tyranny of Stairs
I know ADA is supposedly in force but outside of libraries, hospitals and post offices, it really is not having an affect in many places. I saw this picture, this reminded me when I was on public transportation in the big city and had no car and had my weight gain and stairs were very hard. One time I came home from out of town, taking the subway on a weekend to discover I was trapped! They turned the disability elevator off to save money! The escalator at another stop had been turned off too. Back then I didn't have as many balance issues but I was so heavy near, then the heart pounded far more and I went up those stairs, fearing I would tumble down the long 4 story flight. It was one of the scariest experiences I've ever had.
I can't walk up stairs now because of balance issues, going down is even scarier though oddly I can breathe going up them better. Sometimes life is a scary series of stairs. Some of the thin people don't get it, they say "Don't make excuses!" just go up them. They don't realize one fall and it's the nursing home and it's not the exertion anymore, its the balance, the too small steps, the top step which is always as high as the highest curb and higher then the others, and you can be going merrily along cane and all, hit the top, and wonder if you are going to fall because you can't do that top step and you are there, yelling HELP, because you realize that you can't get up it, and need someone to at least help you balance so you can give that step your all. Stairs stink. There's too many of them.
At least one's friends house has a short 4 step stairway I can use to visit her, but it gets scary, there are places I can't go all over town, because of stairs. There are others who live upstairs I can't visit--one or two flights. Second stories, I'll never see. Stairs block the way. I have such a problem with stairs and managing in life, that I have developed some serious empathy for those in wheelchairs. At least in the area where I live, there are probably only a few places they can go. The hospital, library, post office, and the social security office. Most apartments are not set up for wheelchairs. My apartment though it is mostly stair free except for 1 step, is not wheelchair accessible, one would never fit in the bathroom or around the curves in here, and what is scary is this is one of the larger apartments I could find. Most houses here have 8-9 stairs to get up in them though I suppose there are more ranchers out in the suburbs.
How do those in wheelchairs manage? I can barely manage and I can still go up a few steps if there is a railing.
It's scary to think about from this perspective.