Thursday, October 15, 2009


Today, maybe, I get my new wheelchair. There has been a confusion, on our part, about delivery but we hope to fix that up right away. I'm excited as I was at Christmastime as a youth. I know it's just a basic wheelchair. I know it holds no glamour. But it means so much. Around this time last year, my old wheelchair wore out and died. The panic I felt was incredible. It was like I'd been shot in the spine. I'd lost all real movement.

As I've written before my wheelchair is USED. It travels the world with me, it gets handled by people who don't understand it's value. It gets dropped from airplane bellies. It gets tossed from worker to worker as it's taken up the ramp to meet me. Things get jostled, banged out of place, bent in shapes unintended. So, the chair works as hard as I do.

This year we decided with a long trip ahead of us, to preempt tragedy and simply replace chairs while this one is still working. So, today, we get a new chair. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

But here's the cool thing. Someone else gets kind of what I'm feeling. I called to see if the chair was in and I spoke to this really nice guy. He took down the details of my name and number and said that he was sure it was in but would get back to me. So, I waited. When the call came he said, 'Just want to let you know that I checked to see if your chair was in, it's here and waiting for you,' then he chuckled, 'I swear it's looking forward to getting out of here, looks like you have an eager companion.'

I knew he was joking. But at the same time I knew that he understood that odd and beautiful relationship between man and mobility. And I knew that he respected it.

I get my chair today.


ivanova said...

Enjoy your new chair! I wonder if this chair will be named?

BTW, maybe someone can answer this question for me: is it really easy for Canadians to get a wheelchair if they need one? In the US, it can be a bit of a nightmare. Medicare/Medicaid won't always cover it if the person can stand or walk a few steps, and you can't get an electric one if you live in a nursing home. Also it takes a long time so you often see kids in chairs they've outgrown. Just curious, I know Americans are obsessed with health insurance but we can't really help it.

Liz Miller said...


Wishing 4 One said...

Yay for a set of wheels! Share a picture with us if you please.

Kristin said...

Glad the new chair is almost there!

Anonymous said...

I understand. My chair has gone through a lot with me and feels like part of my body.

But it is 6 1/2 years old. I replaced the seat but the new one is worn out, the tires are wearing out and almost falling off, and the frame has been welded twice. The armrests are covered with duct tape. The bearings are bad and its much harder to push than it should be.

I really need to replace it while it still works, but I got laid off this week. A new chair would sure feel like Christmas.


Arno said...

I love my chair, as do you. We're not "bound" to them or by them. May it serve you well. I share your enthusiasm!