Monday, January 05, 2015

Chair Woes

The saga continues.

You may remember that I wrote about my wheelchair being 'under the weather.' I'll be going along and suddenly it will lose power, stop moving, and the lights on my joystick will flash angrily. Well, we called the repair place, they came and looked, and it's gonna cost between 5 and 6 hundred dollars for a fix. AND. And I'm going to have to wait until they get the part in.


Well, the odd thing was the moment that I made the call, the chair started working as it always had. We never had another problem with it. I gradually began to trust it again and went further and further distances, all with no problem at all. (You know where this is leading, right?)

Then Sunday, after church, we came out to get on the WheelTrans bus and as I was motoring along the sidewalk towards the bus. I came to an unexpected stop. I looked down and, again, the lights were yelling at me. I got it going again, went another inch, and faced more flashing lights. Finally I got to the ramp, apologizing to a driver who kept saying, 'It's alright, don't worry, we'll get you on the bus, we'll get you home."

I couldn't hear him.

Panic had filled my mind and there was no room, none at all, for supportive messages.

On the way up the ramp, the power failed. I had the driver behind me bracing the chair. I got it going again, and suddenly, I was on the bus.

Once in position, strapped down, and on our way, I could breathe again.

On the ride, and not until a few minute in, I realized how amazing the driver had been. He kept calm, even though I know the drivers have a real pressure to keep to schedule, and was supportive and encouraging through the whole thing. Even though my panic didn't enable me to hear or appreciate his words, the supportive tone kept the panic in place, didn't give it fuel to grow. I got exactly the kind of support I needed exactly when I needed it. Unlucky about the chair, extraordinarily lucky about the support. 

Magically, on the bus, the problem went away. Got off, drove in the building, down to the apartment and in and parked with  not a single problem.

We're calling to see if the part is in.

I can't take this.


Anonymous said...

A wise person once said, "Random behaviour is the most controlling of all behaviour!"
I can well imagine your angst!

clairesmum said...

i've had that happen with my car...that sudden total stop is very scary...
hoping for a speedy delivery of the necessary repair part!

CapriUni said...

Woe, indeed! ... I think that's an anxiety only fellow wheelchair users can truly understand (aside to the non-users: it's deep and complex)

Don't know how you feel about crossed fingers, or other similar gestures, so I won't do that on your behalf. But know that the sentiment behind the urge is sincere.

jesse-the-k said...

As usual, you've captured that peculiar panic when the magic amalgam of metal and batteries and wires traumatically detaches from our body image.

I've had the same symptom happening with my chair: both the "shouting" display and then the random "all-clear," where I almost forget to worry. First time just a reset; last time whole new joystick.