I’ve been enjoying being out and about in my Trekinetic wheelchair recently. I can push it myself which I love, although as the holly bush incident demonstrated last week, it isn’t always amazingly safe.
I know Leftwing Idiot gets quite tense when I’m out in it. He worries about me swerving off course or careering into something dangerous. And he’s not the only one who feels anxious – sometimes I do too.
Aside from my main fear of hurtling into big roads, the other thing I find nerve-wracking is a narrow pavement. I was in Soho the other day with Will, and the pavements there are not only narrow, they’re also very high.
As I was pushing along one particularly hair-raising bit I said to Will ‘I’m basically tightrope-walking right now.’ I’ve never actually been tightrope-walking but I imagine the strange mixture of vulnerability and determination I was feeling, with a sheer drop of at least a foot on one side, must be similar to what aerial artists feel as they set out along a wire.
I’m mindful of the dangers of pushing myself in the chair and I’m careful when and where I do it. Things will be different in a week or two when I’ll be getting yet another wheelchair. This one will be light and strong and much easier for other people to push than the Trekinetic. It’ll be my new everyday chair and I’ll use the Trekinetic when I’m at work or out and about in the countryside. I’m confident that with these two chairs I’ll have the perfect set-up and I’ll be independent, active and safe.