Once again, and I know this is hard to believe, a fellow passenger attempted to steal my wheelchair from the door of the aircraft. My chair is old, well worn, and easily identifiable as a personal chair. It bares faint resemblance to the airport chairs. But just as I was told that my chair was up, a flight attendant noticed that it had disappeared and sent the gate agent fleeing after the people who took the chair. No one sat in it, no one has any idea why it was taken, but the fact is that it was. The fact also is that this is now the second time my chair has been taken from the door of the craft.
Last time it was when we landed in Buffalo and the security guards got the chair back as they were putting it in the trunk of their car. I kid you not. That time I got the chair back without the foot pedals, this time my chair was intact.
But I'm not.
I'm really not.
I find, and found, this incredibly traumatizing, so much so I can't even begin to tell you.
Every time I get on a plane I tell the purser about what happened in Buffalo, and now will add Vancouver to the list, and ask them to keep a sharp eye on my chair. That's what happened and because of that I have my chair.
I go into deep panic when I think about the 'what if's' ...
Don't people know that?
Why doesn't it matter?
The psychological pain that this causes me is deep and real. I don't know what I'd do. I'm fat, I fit my chair, it's not easily replaced.
Now I'm afraid of the next flight and the one after that ... I'll never feel safe again when traveling by plane.