Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Part Two-Tuesday

Hi, as promised I am back to report on last Tuesday's activities. In the weeks leading up to the trip I had researched and located a business that hired out equipment for people with disabilities. I was able to book a large wheelchair and we were to pick it up early on the Tuesday morning. Of we set with map and address . Of course the search for the place was made that much harder by the ever present road works. The street we wanted was blocked by bitumen trucks so we had to detour, but with some good driving and detective work by the bloke we found the place and quickly loaded up the very large wheelchair. We then headed for the nearest shopping mall which was Westfield Carousel. Leading up to this day I had been very worried about how I would cope going out in public after a few years at home. I worked out that it had been about 7 years since I had been into a shopping centre. After sitting in the chair, I made sure that my skirt was covering my legs so that no-one would be affected by a flash of my brilliantly plump legs.

pic from bariatric product catalogue

I steeled myself for the expected looks, comments and rudeness. As we bumped across the car park (yes we had parked on the outskirts of the car park as the ACROD bays were all gone I wondered if the bloke was going to tip me out of the chair or get me run over. We made it to the doors and as they slid open my senses were assaulted by the noise, smells and visual smorgasbord. We were in. First stop was the chemist where I purchased a new pair of sunglasses. My reasons for doing this was I had misplaced my sunnies and I felt that if I wore the glasses it would help shield me from the stares. Yes a bit of ostrich like thinking there. ha ha.

 Then I saw that they stocked the toiletries that we use so we bought those before heading further into the mall. Of course I noticed that people were staring. I expected it but the surprising thing for me was that I was so happy to be out and about buying able to buy some things for myself. The magazine kiosk with racks of colourful goodness drew me in like a moth to a flame. So much choice. I was in heaven.

 The bloke pushed me from one end of the mall to the other and the poor thing he did a great job as it was hard work to push someone so large. I couldn't get over the amount of food stalls in the food court. The blended smells of various artery hardening products made my stomach to flip flops. After a couple of hours or so I asked the bloke to get me out of there. The noise, the piped Christmas songs, the crowds, the hustle and bustle the overwhelming plethora of shopping temptations had taken its toll. Oh and when we went into the Telstra shop I was left unattended when I was sitting right in front of the counter waiting to be served. The young man didn't appear to see me or the bloke standing there. He looked to the young girl behind us and asked her if he could help her. I was stunned and turned to look over my shoulder and then saw the look on the blokes face at the same time as he muttered we were here first. I am not sure thought whether he genuinely did not see us, or if he was put off by the site of the fat, middle aged woman in a wheelchair. Never the less when he served us he was business like and helpful. Turned out he couldn't help us as I had not taken the ipad in with me. Oh well that happens.

The medical appointments were to follow later that same day but I will leave it here as I am shutting down in the brain department now.

So until tomorrow, take care and thank you for your interest.


  1. I'm so happy for you that you have taken this step. The reactions of all of those people mean nothing. They can't touch you. They don't matter. Being out is an important step in knowing you are as valuable and deserving of a full life and the freedom of movement smaller people take for granted. Let them stare if they like. It says a lot about them and nothing about you!

    Incidentally, the picture isn't from a bariatric product catalog. It appears to be a caption on an article and is about getting chairs big enough for very heavy folks and mentions Michael Hebranko, a man who is/was the heaviest man in the world. The picture may actually be of him in a wheelchair. He has his own blog which may be of interest to you. It's: http://mikehebranko.blogspot.com/

    I can't read all of the Japanese because of the size of the text, but his name is definitely mentioned.

  2. Hi There

    I'm glad you had a pretty good outing to the shops and for the most part, enjoyed the experience.

    I think one thing to remember is that people stare at other people for lots of reasons, not just size. I can't tell you how many stares I've received myself over the years when I "dare" to take my three boys out to the shops and (heaven forbid)expect some service. I just tell myself I have as much right as anybody else there (and imagine taking their lower lip, which is often almost snarling or pursed in a most disapproving way, and take it and then pull it up over the top of their head! It always makes me feel so much better! :-))

  3. I'm so glad that you got out and had an adventure, even though it was tiring (it is for most of us!)

    And people stare, but that doesn't reflect ill on you, ok?