It was a tense few minutes. My power chair, Henry, was returned after a time away at a spa. A really expensive spa at that. He sat there in the hallway looking like he was glad to be home. I nervously climbed aboard and out we went. After 4 years of use, doing a lot of miles, I suppose its only to be expected that repairs will need done. However as year after year passed, I came to think of him as indestructible. This breakdown shook my confidence. I was told that the chair would be faster and more responsive to the touch, and both those are true. But I didn't want faster and I didn't want more responsive, no matter how nice those things are, I want reliable.
We ventured out on a test run. Up to the bank. Over for lunch. Mail a package at the post office. All normal every day things that I want to be able to do again without thought or concern. It all went well. As we were coming home I began to relax and enjoy the power behind the power chair. The scooter served me well, and thank heavens for it, but it's not as powerful and it's very different to operate. It's narrower so it can go places the chair can't. It's longer so it can't go places the chair can. They are different beasts.
One of the things that's odd is the social difference I've noticed between using a chair and using a scooter. Before I write about the difference I noticed in people's reaction ... I want to see if any of you have noticed any kind of difference in social approval or disapproval based on the mobility aid you use. I've talked to people who tell me that there is a huge difference between cane and walker - interesting stuff this - seeing how prejudice and stereotype are fine tuned.
For those readers who use neither, please contribute. If you were going to guess a difference in reaction between the two means to transport, what would you think the difference was?
Anyways, you first ... then me.