This morning I was a woman on a mission. Before our performance of Backstage In Biscuit Land at 5pm I needed to find a new set of wheels, my own wheelchair having suffered a catastrophic injury in an Edinburgh drain last night.
My first port of call was Robert, a friend who lives in Edinburgh and is also a wheelchair user. He came to my aid with the offer of a spare frame. But sadly my wheels didn’t fit on it, so we were back to square one.
I then called lots of wheelchair suppliers to see if anyone could help me. Eventually I spoke to someone from the wonderful Med-Ecosse. They fix, hire and sell chairs and were confident they’d be able to help me. So along with Leftwing Idiot and my broken chair I headed to their showroom on the outskirts of the city.
We were given a warm welcome. But when the wheelchair engineer looked at my chair he immediately confirmed what I suspected – it was unfixable and I’d need a whole new frame.
This will take months to sort out, so we turned our attention to the more immediate problem – how was I going to get about for the next few days in Edinburgh?
After an extensive discussion two options emerged:
1) Hire a basic steel chair. But how would we get it back to them before we leave on Monday, and more critically, how would I get back to London without a chair?
2) Buy an ex-demo chair. This was the more expensive option, but it was a lighter chair, and although it wasn’t to my prescription it would mean I had a way of getting home.
After a lot of deliberation and with show time getting ever closer, I decided to go for option two. The Med-Ecosse team were great, very friendly and patient, and with their help I’m now back on four wheels.
I’ve also organised an appointment with my regular wheelchair supplier for next Tuesday and we’ll start sorting out a longer-term solution then.
For now though, the show must go on.