At church this morning, there were three separate occasions where someone reached out to shake my hand. Most people don't realize that I'm paralyzed and unable to shake back. This actually occurs quite often and I'm trying to figure out what to do when it happens. Most of the time I just sit there, but I think people feel embarrassed for putting their hand out or bad that I don't reach my hand back to them. I think I should come up with something to say like "I would love to shake your hand, but I'm unable to. Thanks though." Or something like that.
Then I was thinking about getting a mechanical arm built in on my wheelchair. Every time someone tries to shake my hand, my nurse or I could push a button that would make the arm rise. Although, that might take a lot of work. That's why I think I should say something or have a sign. It would be more polite than just looking at them and making them feel bad or awkward. I know I shouldn't but sometimes I laugh after the person walks away. Not at the person but at the situation. I know I can't shake their hand, but they don't realize that. Next time it happens I'm going to say something and see what reaction I get.
Oh, and the picture above. I went on Google and put "shaking hands" in the search box under images. After looking through 14 pages of people shaking hands, I finally found this picture of a guy with his head cut off reaching out to me. Perfect representation.