Remember how my wheelchair broke at the beginning of the summer? Wheelchair Services declared it a write-off, and ordered an almost identical new one for me. But it took ages to come and well before it did, the original chair, which was still within warranty, was fixed. So I got the mended chair back until the new one arrived.
A few weeks ago the replacement arrived and I went to collect it. I felt sad at parting from my old chair. The new one was very similar and I don’t think most people would be able to spot the differences between them. But there were differences, and I could really feel them. Most significantly there was a feature on the new chair that I couldn’t use because it was dangerous when I had a ‘ticcing fit’.
I called my wheelchair therapist, we discussed the issues, and I decided that I’d like to have my old chair back. So today we swapped them over again, and I welcomed back my faithful old friend.
The new chair can now be fitted out for someone else to use. To lots of people wheelchairs probably all look very similar, but most can be configured in hundreds of different ways.
This experience has shown me what a significant and surprising impact barely visible variations can have. The process has also helped confirm that we’ve finally found the perfect chair for me.
But the big wheelchair excitement is still my new all-terrain one, and its arrival is getting nearer and nearer.