Stop doing that. You’re gonna hurt yourself. You’re slowly destroying your body. I’ve heard all of the reasons why I should stop, but you can’t fully understand why I do what I do. I have to do it. Hooking allows me to do the things that I used to do when I didn’t use a wheelchair.
All wheelers don’t use push handles. They can get in the way when lifting a chair into the car. I tried going the cute route by removing my handles and quickly realized that it was a big mistake.
You see, for me, my handles are an assistive device in and of itself. I haven’t had the embarrassment of leaving the house with a bra dangling from it, but you will see the occasional red, reusable target bag hanging out.
The target bag is like a second pair of hands: I help the munchkin gather her toys instead of having it drop off my lap over and over. And I never leave home without it when it’s time to go shopping. So, tell that lady watching me drop items in the bag that I’m not shoplifting — I’m shopping.
Most quads have to hook because we can’t rely on our trunks to stabilize us. Remember, the abdominal muscles are paralyzed too!
When something drops on the floor, I hook to pick it up.
When I need to lift something heavy, I hook for stability.
When I “pick up” the muchkin and give her a one-handed hug, I hook for security.
But when I need an assistive wheelie or a little help going the distance, my push handles become push handles again.
So, the next time you see me hooking, don’t think negatively. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.