Thursday, August 23, 2007

So There

A few months ago I wrote about getting a new wheelchair. I did but it didn't fit me properly. I know what you are thinking. You're picturing my big bottom squished into a tiny chair. No sir, the problem was that the chair was too big. It was huge. Like a couch with wheels. It wouldn't fit through any door anywhere. Odd thing was, they didn't want it back. I think they were just really pleased to get rid of it. So I use it here as a comfy chair to sit in, it's perfect for getting around the kitchen when I'm cooking because it's so high. But I really needed another chair.

I know, I know, I know I'm fat. But let me tell you shopping for a chair when you weigh more than Barbie isn't fun. I almost gave up when we went to a wheelchair store here in Barrie and the woman kept going on, loudly, about my weight. Not a person in the store couldn't hear her. There I was sitting in my chair, wheeling myself around, and she was gumming on and on about my weight. I told her that I just wanted a chair that was similar to the one that I was in and that would be fine. Clearly my weight didn't stop me from using a chair. I'd sign a waiver if necessary releasing them from any warranty that came with the chair. Not good enough, she called the manager who came over and asked me to tell him my 'exact weight please'. I told him that I just wanted to buy a chair. Several others shopping in the store came over to listen to the discussion about my weight and perhaps hear how much the fat boy weighed. We left. I discover over and over again that I have no personal privacy, or dignity, or boundaries when recieving service from those in the disability industry. I assert boundaries and demand privacy and I'm treated like a truculent child.

So, forget people, I went searching on the net for the perfect chair. Oh and I found it. Exactly what I needed. I talked with the Canadian distributer and everything looked good. They couldn't sell it to me direct, so they gave me the names of people, locally, who I could special order the chair through. Finally, the chair was ordered. When the call came in yesterday that the chair was here, I was bubbling with excitement. Joe dropped me off at work and then headed up to get the chair.

Finally I sat down in my new wheelchair. It's perfect. I loved my old chair which has travelled halfway across the world with me, but this new chair is incredible. It glides. It's just a tad taller so I get out of it without need of assistance. It's footrests are higher so that I won't be bending the struts on cobblestones. But best of all, it rolls quite well on carpet.

So, I'm set, I've a new set of wheels.

I've been told, a few times over the course of my lifetime, that I have a difficult personality. That I don't bend enough, am not flexible enough, am too determined and too ready for a fight.

Well, thank God for that - I've got a chair.

And a warranty.



Kei said...

Roll on Dave, roll on. And kudos to you for leaving the store that had no couth.

Anonymous said...


Sally said...

So what is it ? I'd love to hear.
Mine's a Pride Quantum 600, mid wheel drive.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave,

As Quee Latifah sings in "Hairspray" (which I know you loved as much as I did) "why have a twig when you can climb the whole tree"!.

Never ceases to amaze me the truly thoughtless and vile things people would say to people who are "fat" that they would never ever say to someone who has any other visible "difference". You even held your tongue at the store this time when you could have totally gone off on the rampant ignorance!

Roll on man, and glad you have a chair that makes you (and your tush) happy!

; )

Stephanie said...

Vroom, Vroom, Vroom.....

Anonymous said...

Outrageous. Hopefully others will do as you did and refuse to give their business to these people.