Rural Life and Disability

Rural Life and DisabilityWe all know living with a disability is difficult at times. I, for example am a quadriplegic. I have been living with my disability since I was 13. At first I never thought much about it, but as I grew up, things started to change. I noticed how seemingly inaccessible my town was.

Living in a town of 360 people, where there’s more cows than people, there’s not much to do for a young man. While living in town, I figured out the easiest route for getting around to the different stores, and I usually waited for someone to walk by and open the door, since there are no automatic doors here. Only recently did the town install corner ramps on the sidewalks. Before I had to find a low spot or a driveway access to get on some of the sidewalks.

I thought town was inaccessible…then we moved to the country.

Out here, the roads are rough gravel, and there are no sidewalks. The ground is rarely smooth or level.
My wheelchair guy always shakes his head when we take my chair in for maintenance. It’s usually dirty, and sometimes there’s ol’ dry weeds stuck here and there. He keeps telling me that they aren’t meant for that kind of use. I think that they should be made for active people like me, but until they come up with a design that can stand going where I go, we’ll just keep fixing this one.

While living in a rural setting seems kinda rough with the lack of entertainment, shopping, etc. For those of us who cannot enjoy the activities of country living like hiking, riding dirt bikes, swimming in the river, etc., it’s much more rough. Don’t get me wrong, if we go camping, hunting, swimming, I go along, but stay up on level ground or in the vehicle. I’m not a stay at home kinda guy.

We recently bought a wheelchair accessible van, which is a god send for getting out and about. Since there’s no lifting, anyone with a drivers license can take me.

The nearest entertainment is an hour south. We only go on the rare occasion. Mostly entertainment is watching the fields being worked, playing with the dogs or doing chores is the highlight.

And yes, some days are more enjoyable than others, but there’s always days when you wanna just pack up and move to town.