Earlier, something Leftwing Idiot and I were doing at work overran by several hours. This left us both hungry and annoyed and as a result we got cross with each other. As we headed out to get some food I could tell he was fed up. I couldn’t see him and we didn’t speak but I could feel his mood in how he pushed my wheelchair.
The pace was fast, the turns forceful and he hurried the chair over kerbs. The same description would fit for how he usually pushes me but on this occasion I could feel he was angry rather than being playful. I found this upsetting partly because we were annoyed with each other and partly because it made me feel powerless. I explained this to him later after we’d eaten and had calmed down. He understood and apologised.
This experience made me think about how important the way I’m pushed is. It’s something I’ve never really given much thought before.
I have fond memories of being pushed with joy by Leftwing Idiot. I look forward to Fran letting the chair pull her forward down slopes on our regular routes, and I feel a bit of a thrill when I hear Poppy mischievously say, ‘Look no hands!’ Equally, I’ve felt annoyed when new carers have suddenly spun me backwards without warning or uncomfortable hearing someone huffing with the strain of moving me round an awkward corner.
Last Wednesday we moved offices and our new place is much more accessible than the old. A week on I still feel excited each time I move myself independently round the building. But I don’t need to be wheeling myself to feel the rush of freedom that my chair gives me. When someone I trust is pushing me confidently, I feel the same exhilaration that I used to get from going on a brisk walk.
Having one bad push made me think of all the brilliant pushes I’ve had that perhaps I take for granted.