Earlier this week I wrote with excitement about test-driving some new, powered wheelchair wheels. They could potentially give me much greater independence because I’d be able to push myself around much more easily.
An unexpected turn of events on Friday afternoon made my existing chair almost impossible for anyone to push when the frame and the handle on one side snapped clean off!
It happened when Leftwing Idiot and I were on our way back from lunch. Will, my support worker, noticed first that the push-handle on the left side felt loose and then that it had a huge crack in it. Minutes later it snapped in half.
Will, Leftwing Idiot and I were all stunned.
We made it safely back to work with a combination of me pushing one wheel and Leftwing Idiot using the remaining handle. I called Wheelchair Services immediately and explained the problem. They were incredibly responsive and recognised the seriousness of my predicament. This isn’t the first time I’ve needed their help urgently.
An hour later a wheelchair mechanic arrived to take my chair away and provide me with a temporary one in its place. I felt sad as he carried the damaged chair away to his van.
I don’t really know why it broke although it could be something to do with some alterations that were made during my appointment on Tuesday. I’ve also got no idea how easy or how long it’ll take to fix. It felt strange to leave work with a completely different chair from the one I came with in the morning.
I really appreciate the courtesy chair – without it I’d be completely stranded. But it’s much less manoeuvrable than my own one and it’s a jolt to go back to having very little independent movement at all.
Fingers crossed I’ll be reunited with my chair very soon.