Last month I wrote excitedly about my new legs, not my actual legs but the new shock-absorbing frog legs that NHS wheelchair services were testing on my chair.
They’re brilliant and make for a much more comfortable ride, and since they’ve been fitted I’ve had fewer spikes in pain too.
The NHS doesn’t usually provide these but they were testing them out on my chair to see if they helped. When they were fitted it was explained to me that if they failed quickly or often they might not be replaced and I’d have to go back to using the front castors without any shock absorption.
Because I feel as if they’ve made a big difference to me I’ve been worried about them breaking. Today my fears were realised and I noticed that one of the bolts looked as if it had worked itself loose.
To avoid damaging them further I immediately stopped using this chair and instead I’m using my back-up one which is a lot less comfortable. I’ve got everything crossed that the bolt is just loose and can be fixed easily. I’d hate to lose something that feels as if it’s working but I also understand that my constantly wiggly body presents an unusual challenge and puts quite a lot of pressure on everything I use.
This isn’t the first item to show the strain. My body has bent metal out of shape and snapped at least two wheelchair backs. The fabric of my wheelchair seat stretches loose within months and the underside of my wheelchair cushion always gets a hole in the same place.
And it’s not just wheelchair-related stuff that gets worn out. For example at the moment, my toilet is broken and leaking from all my wiggling. And that’s without mentioning that most of my tops have a discoloured patch from where my chest-thumping tics land.
Thinking about all the visible damage my repetitive movements do to metal, ceramic and canvas makes me wonder what might be happening on the inside of me. Given all this it’s probably not surprising that I end up in so much pain.
I’ve got everything crossed that I’ll soon be getting a spring back in my wheels.