I don't use public transport that often. I have a car and I don't mind driving but if I have to do a lot of driving in one day, I'm absolutely screwed, I have a flare-up that can last days, if not weeks and then I'm an irritable bitch. Unfortunately, Ian can't drive so I don't have the luxury of being a passenger in my own car, just yet.
I have a Disabled Adults Railcard and thought travelling by train would be less stress, less tiresome and more relaxing....man, was I wrong.
Dear Train Passengers,
I recently travelled from Wellingborough to Nottingham with my boyfriend to visit my best friend. The train platform staff at Wellingborough were lovely and helpful, getting me on the train in my wheelchair, but there was no wheelchair space available. I had my crutches so it wasn't too much of a problem. However there were no seats at the end of the carriage we'd been placed on. But do you know what? The very first two seats are reserved for disabled passengers. I'm obviously unsure whether the passengers sat there were disabled and it's not my place to ask, but does anyone know if these seats can be reserved prior to travelling?
As my boyfriend was folding my wheelchair away, I struggled, and I mean really struggled making my way down the central aisle of the train to find an unoccupied seat.
The amount of people that were sat next to their bag or looked up and quickly hid their faces away in their phones or books, as I agonisingly hobbled down the moving train was heartbreaking. Not only was I hurting so much I wanted to burst out crying, but I was having a horrible PoTS attack and felt like I was about to pass-out. Half-way down the carriage, a lovely older gentleman offered me his seat, but there was a vacant one behind him, so I took that and practically threw myself into a seated position. Relieved, exhausted, upset, and in pain, I wished I'd have drove.
I must have passed at least forty passengers before some amazing human said I could have their seat. My faith in humanity was shattered and restored in minutes.
Do me a favour though train passengers, if you see a disabled person struggling to find a seat on a train, please offer yours. I'm pretty sure you'll be able to walk down to the next carriage to find an empty seat, and they'll be so bloody grateful of your act of kindness. It's difficult enough walking on crutches, let alone down a narrow space on a moving train. I know you're comfy and you don't have to move, but it could change that disabled persons day...and everyone feels good after doing something lovely for a stranger.