Saturday, June 17, 2006

Mobility

I got my blue badge through today, which is impressive since I only sent off the application seven days ago! This is the difference between Suffolk County Council (efficient) and Waveney District Council (cause me no end of problems), I suppose.

I don't actually have a car or a driving license. I was saving up for lessons when I got ill, now I feel it would be irresponsible of me to try to drive in the state I'm in. I have enough trouble with my traffic awareness to cross a road on foot. I have vision problems. I have mental absences and sometimes pass out entirely. I get terrible headaches at a moment's notice. I have painful muscular spasms. I simply do not have the mental capacity and concentration to safely operate a ton of glass and metal, filled with combustible upholstery and highly flammable fuel plus an ignition source, at speed, through residential areas. It would not be safe for me or for anyone around me.

This is a part of why, even if I get a scooter of my own, I will still need my wheelchair for the days when I must go out but am not up to controlling the scooter safely. A scooter is a lot safer than a car - slower, smaller, stops as soon as you're not squeezing the lever - but I still found that yesterday I was getting extremely tired after a while just from the concentration needed to manouvere it, not run people over, not crash into things...

Plus, and Pip laughed at me for this, my wrist and thumb were really really getting tired. That's a valid laugh since he had two and a half stone of toddler asleep on his back and was also quite tired, but my point remains. I am not always going to be up to operating a vehicle, even a mini-vehicle.

That was one of the things I liked about the Tramper. It had a joystick with what they called an "umbilical cord" so another person could take over control of it while walking alongside, if the rider wasn't up to it. However at £5,350 plus extra for accessories, and being just way too big really, I've decided I don't want a Tramper after all. I'd much prefer something like I rode the other day. I'll also want to take The Goldfish's advice and try a powerchair.

I really think I want some kind of powered transport though. It was amazing, being independently mobile without the pain and exhaustion. I had to go into town here yesterday to go to the bank, and I had to do that walking with the stick, and within minutes of getting off the bus I was thinking "want a scooter, want a scooter, want a scooter..."

3 comments:

Deana said...

Good for you, you are very positive and active. You should be a spokesperson for ME sufferers. I suppose you are in a way- through this BLOG.

I'm glad you got out. I always remember when I was on crutches and I struggled getting about when I was younger, I hated it but I was determined. I know it is not even a tiny bit of what you go through, but all the more reason for me to understand and admire your determination.

Did you get anything nice... did PIP get the presant he was after!?

Mary said...

This blog is about as spokespersoney as I'll get - I was asked if I wanted to get involved in community patient and public involvement in health forums in my home town but that requires a two or three hour meeting once a month and I'm just not able to say "yes, I'll be able to concentrate for two or three hours, on demand!"

Pip got most of the bits he was after except one bit, which he was able to order from Argos anyway.

Vic said...

Hi!

My very good friend The Goldfish pointed me towards your blog. I have to say how intelligent, articulate and together you come across (not easy with this DD (damn disease). Not to mention generally lovely!

Anyway, I'm really posting to let you know about something called the Powertrike. It's like the front end of the bicycle with motor and battery. It then fits into a mechanism (permanently) attached under the seat of your wheelchair. Works with folding or "rigid" whelchairs - though apparently not a good idea did to take a folding one *too* off-road! Less storage than a scooter, but you'd probably want to check out how you'd manage fitting it all together.

Anyway, they're about £1000, probably possible to get recondition ones. www.pdq.tv is the site -though there are other makes, this is the one I got when I flogged my powerchair to the Goldfish!

All the best :-)