Sunday, September 06, 2009

Big Wheel Keep On Turning

The aisle was narrow, too narrow for two power chairs to pass. I was near the entrance and offered to back up. He, politely, offered to go round another way. I insisted. He agreed. On his way by he noticed the big wheel on my wheelchair was low. He advised me to get it filled right away. Apparently he had once let it go and ended up doing damage to the tire and having to buy a new one. I thanked him and after shopping Joe and I headed up to Canadian Tire to fill the tire.

The nozzle for the tire is very poorly placed and we could not use the hose near the pumps as it could not bend sufficently to connect to my tire. We would have to go into the garage itself. (Pause here to insert a long and stupid fight that couples have even though they know better.) It took a lot of negotiation to finally make it into the huge garage where we could get the tire fixed. There were four or five mechanics working on cars and we drove in asking where we could find air.

One of the mechanics, a guy of few words, waved me over. Grunted at where the nozzle was situated. He got the hose, figured how to connect and popped it on to the nozzle. It was the oddest sensation. I felt the chair rise with air. He checked the other side, getting me to move by motion of his hands rather than by words from his mouth. That done and checked, he waved us away. No money wanted. No thanks required. Just a wave away.

I called out 'Thank you' and I swear he looked embarrassed. We made our way back up to the street, negotiating the narrow labrynth of the store. My chair felt very different to steer. It turned more sharply, was way more responsive to the movement of the joystick. All of which I would have told Joe except, long and stupid fight was not yet over.

Now the chair is working better than ever. It's odd that I know it's a power chair. I know it has wheels. But I never thought I'd have to take it into a garage for air. Glad I ran into the guy in the store who noticed the wheel. Glad I found a mechanic with skill. Glad long and stupid fight is well over.

8 comments:

Belinda said...

I've had my share of "stupid fights." Usually when I needed some emotional or spiritual "air in my tire." :)

Heather said...

Aaah! Those long and stupid fights...I thought that we were the only couple who had them...

wendy said...

Glad you got the tire filled before it was the cause of something more serious than a long and stupid fight. I, too, know those well. Years ago my partner and I had a really stupid fight over postage stamps, of all things. Neither of us can remember exactly what it was about postage stamps we found so contentious. Now, if we are fortunate enough to recognize that we've entered into that twilight zone of fights, one of us will ask, "Would you like to add stamps into this?"

Glee said...

Yep they sure drive a lot better and easier on the battery when the tyres are pumped up.

I don't have stupid fights anymore :)

Love your last line Wendy lol. So easy to add stamps!

Kristin said...

Oh man have I ever had some of those long, stupid fights. All they ever seem to do is leave you feeling tired and drained. Glad yours is over.

Glad you got air in your tire before the wheel was damaged.

FridaWrites said...

Flat tires are no fun--glad the other wheelie was looking out for you too.

Kristine said...

Bike pumps are also great for at-home wheelchair tire care. :)

(Though personally, I've made friends with the custodian that cleans my classroom [I'm a middle school teacher.], and he kindly uses the school's electric air pump to help me with my tires!)

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who uses a wheelchair and happens to be married to an avid bike rider. When they first met, he told her that her (manual) wheelchair reminded him very much of a bike that simply had had its parts rearranged. Wheelchairs (at least manual chairs) operate on more or less the same principles as bikes and have more or less the same parts.

Partly at his encouragement, my friend apparently has had some success in getting assistance from regular bike shops and repair places for certain types of maintenance and repair for her wheelchair. She, too, has an air pump at home so she can inflate her own tires. Some bike stores are run by people who are really passionate about biking and apparently that passion can spill over into good general customer service.