>As some of you will know, I had a bit of an accident with my shiny new powerchair. Two weeks to the day after getting it. I was going through a door and the controller swung away accidentally and hit it. I thought it was just bent. But as the engineer was pushing it back into shape it cracked. It’s on and usable with extra care. He spoke dire warnings “hit it again and it’ll probably fall off” and declared it to be accidental damage (I’m not convinced but let it go). The damage to the joystick is cosmetic and minor which I’m happy to leave. The arm holding the joystick has to be replaced, is very expensive and not covered by the warranty. I took insurance out, luckily, because they’ve agreed to cover it.
Here’s the thing. I’ve heard a lot of comments about the accident. The most common being variants on were you speeding/drunk. And one or two about being more careful and not trying that again. My mum had something to say about taking more care of it as it was so expensive. She wondered
But I didn’t spend all that money for a chair to have in the corner and look at occasionally going “oooh pretty” or to use sedately now and then to go to the post office.
I bought it for much needed independence, mobility and freedom. Which means I’ll probably try things and sometimes fail. Perhaps scare myself shitless along the way or (god forbid) fall out. Asking for help or needing rescue? I anticipate that happening a few times too. And limping the chair home with it complaining it needs to go on charge RIGHT NOW? Well, that I’ve already done. And it meant that I looked at a door I’ve opened many times before with my old chair without even considering asking for help – until it went wrong. I learned that the hard way.
The chair also meant that I slept for several hours on Thursday afternoon having worn myself out doing more in a couple of hours round town than I’ve been able to do in months. It would have taken a couple of days before. And that a few days after i got it I did a full supermarket shop without having to ask for help, abandon items or choose them based on what I could reach. I left home at 18 and think that’s a first.
Mum and I went to see Sing a Long a Grease this evening. A lot of people were up dancing and we sit at the back. The riser on my chair meant I could see despite that. And dance on the same level as everyone else. It was a strange but very cool experience.
I hope the chair will last me a good long time, at least six years. Im sure I’ll have to have multiple sets of tires and batteries along the way. And maybe I’ll need them replacing sooner than people expect. If that’s the case and it needs repairs along the way and it ends those six or more years battered and heavily scratched then so be it. It’s worth it if it means I’ve been places, done stuff I could before, had fun, laughed and lived. It’s why I bought the chair and spent all that money.
The independence it’s already given me is worth every penny I spent. The experiences more so. I can’t wait to see what else we’re gonna do together (more so one it’s fixed).
But mostly I just wanna dance!
(one of Hannah’s stickman drawings. It’s me in a powerchair with a sign post behind me. The forward facing arrow says adventures, the backwards one says breakdowns)