Yesterday I wrote about my tics’ sudden obsession with the digital switchover and the floundering career prospects of the TV aerial I can see from my bedroom window. Today another big switchover occurred – I collected my new wheelchair and said goodbye to my old one.
Logistically this switchover was a lot less challenging than the national turn-off of analogue TV, but just the same, for me, it marks the end of an era.
I’ve had my current chair for almost a year. It’s given me greater independence and meant I’ve been able to do things that would’ve been impossible without it. But it’s also uncomfortable and it’s falling apart.
I’ve been looking forward with excitement to the arrival its replacement for several weeks. As the handover’s drawn closer I’ve been reflecting on how using the chair has enhanced my life and how my attitude towards using it has changed.
When I first got the chair I worried about how my friends, family and colleagues would respond to it. I was afraid they’d see it as a step backwards. But very quickly I began to realise that in fact the chair made everything easier. It greatly reduced the number of injuries I got, and most importantly for me, increased how much I could do for myself. My appreciation of the improvement the chair makes to my life soon replaced my initial worries about having it.
While I’ve been looking back on my first year on wheels, my tics have been thinking about the chair’s future and offering it some useful advice:
“You could retire to the seaside and be a deckchair.”
“I heard there was a vacancy for a speed-boat in Ipswich.”
“There’s always the fourth plinth.”
“You could get a job as folding scaffolding.”
“Don’t worry, Daryl Hannah needs a step ladder.”
“I love you, awkward wheels.”
They also had some words of welcome for my new, smaller, lighter chair:
“Wheelchair, you look buff!”