7 of the Wildest Things I've Been Asked as a Wheelchair User

I got my first wheelchair (a Quickie, of course) at the age of four. I am now 31 years old, so in the past 27 years of using a wheelchair, I've received a lot of questions about what it's like to be a wheelchair user. Usually, people are just curious about my disability and have pretty normal questions which I'm happy to answer. However, sometimes I'm left bewildered by the questions that I receive and have to pinch myself to see if I'm dreaming or if someone actually asked such a ridiculous question. 99% of the time, they really asked it.

Life as a wheelchair user is weird sometimes, no doubt. If you ask any wheelchair user, I guarantee that they have been asked at least one of the questions below at some point in their life. Here are seven of the wildest things that I have been asked as a wheelchair user, how I actually responded, and how my usually sarcastic self would like to respond next time I'm asked that question.

"Were you born in a wheelchair?" - asked by an adult

How I responded: No, I didn't get my first wheelchair until I was four years old. But I was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), which makes my muscles weaker and is why I needed a wheelchair at the age of four.

How I would like to respond: Yes, I came rolling out on the delivery table, wheelchair and all.

"Do you sleep in your wheelchair?" - asked by an adult

How I responded: No, I transfer to a bed and sleep just like you do.

How I would like to respond: Yes. I built a ramp onto my bed, so I just roll up on the bed and stay in my wheelchair.

Cory Lee 'sleeping in his wheelchair'

"Is your butt stuck?" - asked by a young kid

How I responded: *laughter* No, I have weak muscles, so I have to use this wheelchair to get around.

How I would like to respond: Since it was a kid who asked this, I'd stick to my response above. If an adult asked this, I would probably just laugh uncontrollably and roll away.

"Have you tried to exercise? Maybe then you could walk!" - asked by an adult

How I responded: No, it doesn't work like that. I have a genetic disability that deteriorates my muscles.

How I would like to respond: Y'know, I wish my neurologists would have thought of that! You could be on to something!

"Can you speak?" - asked by an adult

How I responded: Um, yes. *stares at them confusedly*

How I would like to respond: Nope, sure can't.

"How do you poop?" - asked by an adult

How I responded: Probably the same way that you do.

How I would like to respond: I don't. Us wheelchair users go our whole lives without pooping (one of the perks of living with a disability), but please don't tell anyone... it's a secret.

"Can you legally drink since you're wheelchair-bound?" - asked by an adult

How I responded: I'm over 21, so, yes.

How I would like to respond: First, never say "wheelchair-bound" again. Second, buy me some drinks and we'll find out.

I'm always happy to educate people about my disability, but sometimes even the most well-meaning questions throw me for a loop. The questions above definitely had me wondering what in the world is wrong with people?!

What is the wildest question that you have ever been asked as a wheelchair user?

About the Author

Cory Lee

After being diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at the age of two, Cory Lee's thirst for adventure never ceased. He went on many trips around the U.S. when he was younger, and then started taking things internationally when he turned 15. Since then, Cory has traveled to 21 countries across six continents, all while managing to start up his travel blog Curb Free with Cory Lee, where he shares his accessible, and sometimes not-so-accessible travel adventures with others. Cory is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA). He has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, in a nationwide segment for CBS News, Lonely Planet, and many others. His blog won the 2017 Best Travel Blog Gold Lowell Thomas Award. He hopes to inspire other wheelchair users to roll out of their comfort zone and see all of the beauty that the world has to offer.

Cory Lee's ride is a Quickie Q700 M.

Most of the stories here on LiveQuickie.com were submitted by readers. Do you have a story to tell? We'd love to hear it. Submit your story here.

Date: 6/8/2021 12:00:00 AM

Tina S.
HI Cory,
I LOVE your responses - both versions. I, too, am bilingual in sarcasm and English, with sarcasm being my 1st language, so I appreciate those more. The 'butt stuck' comment - I truly hope it was a young child and aren't children (sometimes) hilarious in the way their minds process unknown realities? I appreciated this post and thank you for it.
8/10/2021 8:10:25 AM
You really nailed it with your "How I Would Like to Respond" comebacks. Thanks for the laughs!
6/18/2021 2:35:29 PM
martha motta
You are a delight Cory with a wonderful sense of humor. I enjoyed the read
6/17/2021 7:25:25 AM
Great article Cory. The audacity and stupidity of people can be shocking.
6/10/2021 6:36:08 AM
Wendy Gross
I love this blog! I also follow you on Facebook with Curb Free with Cory Lee! You are awesome! Keep up the great work!
6/9/2021 2:52:40 PM

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