Thursday, January 14, 2010

Living on the edge.

I’m not about to let a path covered in snow get me down or not allow me usage. I was back at my short cut after another snow fall and there was about an inch of dry powdery snow on the path. Miriam cycled up the bank ever so nonchalantly and I followed shortly with the saying “Coffee or bust” flashing in my head. I drove over the spot with the mud bath, heard the ice crack but got across without loosing face. Then it was up the bank, all I could hear was the soft squeak of dry snow on my tires and then I was at the top.
Two days later, I did it again.
Easy huh.

Friday afternoon saw social service back at the home with an alternative power chair for me to try out. I’m so used to the one I’ve been using, I’ve got used to all the quirks that I’m suddenly all at sea with this new one. It’s funny how we adapt to our situations and have a routine for getting unresponsive or little responsive limbs to go where we want them to go. Then when we have a shakeup to that routine and it’s a whole new learning curve. This new chair is bigger, taller and has a whole pile of gadgets added to it supposedly to help me either now or at some later stage and the front wheels are much bigger.
Getting in and out of the chair unaided proves a challenge from the start and adjustments are going to have to be made if this chair becomes mine. Straight away I find it’s more comfortable and it has suspension that works. Now comes the part where I get to drive it and I do my thing around my room and corridor, straight away I find that I have to do a 3point turn where I’d normally just spin round. Getting through a door way or into the lift is a little tricky as there’s not much lee way. Too think that I have a driver’s licence that allows me to drive an articulated vehicle…
Then I got to try it out on the road.
I’m so used to a bumpy ride and it took a while to sink in that I wasn’t bouncing on every bump. The controls are very sensitive and I have to turn corners with care until my hands adjust to the quick response.
As for speed, this chair is a lot faster and I’m not complaining but again I have to learn the quirks, like letting go of the control at speed locks the wheels up. Been there, done that, whilst I was going down hill. I gracefully slid over some snow into the kerb and sat there rocking gently as a voice behind me made a comment……
Got to my favourite pathway now covered in a good amount of snow and ice, didn’t bat an eyelid going up. Now I’m styling.
I did find one annoying problem. The driving controls are too far forwards and I have to sit at an unnatural angle to be able to drive, got to address that.

Monday 11th after more snow on the weekend I took to the road again, still sitting at a funny angle but hey! I like being outside. I need to seriously find a new route to anywhere for hot chocolate although with this chair my usual way whizzes past in a blur.
Coming back, the bicycle lane was a white blanket and it squeaked and crackled as I drove over it and then I came to the sidewalk. I didn’t think twice and just turned onto it and suddenly found myself drifting sideways with the drop off the kerb coming up fast and oncoming traffic in my face. At least I know my heart works as it leaped into my throat. I backed up and tried again at a much lower speed, could feel the back wheels wanting to slide out.
Negotiated two sidewalks like that.
Told Miriam that I like living on the edge…

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