Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My Shiny New Wheelchair

mine mine mine and better than any of that rental crap.

This pic taken by an obliging passerby who was giving StickCam funny looks, not to mention my antics as I got to grips with the chair.

It cost £295 (*gasp!*) but oh, it's lovely. Super-lightweight, easy to take apart, all the adjustable, extremely comfy, very stylish...

Of course it is still a wheelchair.

I would very much rather not be using it.

And when I'm not accompanied by someone who can push me, then frankly the stick is easier - I can lean on the chair in much the same way as one would lean on a zimmer frame, and it's lovely to sit down when you like (as I did today when I took it home via the beach), but you don't half get funny looks when you lever yourself out of a wheelchair with a walking stick and then start pushing the chair.

BUT, all that aside, having my own chair is a big part of acceptance. It will make a lot of things a lot easier, for myself and for the people who worry about me. I know my sister for one would rather push me in a chair round the shops, than watch me slowly limp along in pain before crumpling in a heap of tearful requests for some painkillers and a taxi home.

-The staff at the mobility place, who cheerfully talked me through every option on wheelchairs and then when I'd chosen one, sat with me practising taking it apart and putting it together.
-The female customer in the "Thatched Cottage" cafe on the seafront who left her place in the queue to help carry my tray to a table for me.
-And the man who saved her place in the queue.
-The elderly couple who struck up a conversation with me about learning to use a wheelchair, and kindly took this photo with StickCam.



Alien Spirit said...

It looks very very well designed any built. Congratulations!

Don't understand why people have to pay for it!

Mary said...

I could have had an NHS wheelchair for free, but it would have been a very horrible heavy clunky steel thing, nowhere near as comfortable, and GREY. Also, I'd have had to wait several months for it... and it remains property of the local NHS, so if I move or anything there's a lot of messing about.

Whereas this is MINE. I can do what I want, go where I want, modify it if I want...

I get both Mobility and Care components of Disability Living Allowance, which is money given to me by the government to cover expenses incurred by, as the name suggests, Living with my Disability. So I'm using that money to pay for the chair, just like it pays for taxis I need and phone credit so I can call for help when I need it and so on.