Motorised Mobility Mirage!

Some of you may be relieved to read that I have a more positive tone today than on my previous rant!  The simple reason for this is that better things happened today.

I got to test-drive an INVACARE MIRAGE POWERCHAIR this morning.  This is the third model of power-chair I’ve test-driven, but it’s always been number 1 on my list to buy.  And not just because it comes in PURPLE!!  It’s also the most comfortable, adjustable and neat power-chair in its class.  It comes apart for transporting in the back of the car, and is actually narrower than either of the manual chairs I’ve used and I can drive it right in through my front door.
I’m ordering it through an Irish company, Medifix (http://www.medifixservices.ie), and the staff have been really prompt, helpful and personable.  They’re putting in the order hopefully today or tomorrow, and mine will be delivered within about 3 weeks!!

Invacare Mirage Powerchair - from the Invacare catalogue

It’s hard to express either my impatience to be mobile or my excitement at soon being able to leave my own front door without having somebody else with me.  (Except for Quasi, of course, but she’s more like part of me).  It’s hard for me to appreciate that I’ve effectively been under house arrest for nearly two years.  Probably because if I’d been thinking that for the last 2 years, I would have gone a lot more insane than I actually have!!
Of course, using a power chair also means that Quasi (my guide-dog) will be able to work properly.  She adapts so quickly, and I’m afraid it’s been quite a dull time for her over the last while; and when it hasn’t been dull, she’s been anxious about me.  When we’re out in the manual wheelchair, she effectively spends all her time trying not to get entangled in the chair, and trying to stay out of the way and not get run over!  I don’t have a hand free to work her with the harness; or else someone is pushing me so she can’t effectively do her guiding work.  But she LOVES power chairs!!!  It’s just the two of us, traveling at a comfortable pace, she’s doing the navigation and is much less likely to get run over by the chair!!
So, when the new baby arrives, next step will be to PIMP IT!!!  Watch this space, boys and girls!!

Today’s Subjective Rating: Pretty good and on an up-swing

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A Life of Crime

Most days, someone says to me; “You should write a letter” or “You should ring and complain”.  Ladies and gentlemen, if I did that, I wouldn’t have any time to do the things that frustrate me in the first place!!  So here’s my first (almost) daily account of what was a pain in the hole for me today.

Scene of crime: Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim

I went to the Bee Park community centre for a meeting with 3 other women, one other of whom was also a wheelchair user. Lucky us, we chose a Friday for our meeting – as did the folks signing people up for salsa classes, a local market and a men’s group.

Offence #1: No accessible parking spaces left.  Parked near a door, but cars either side too close to allow wheelchair up to my car door.

Offence #2: Doddery old fella tries to help me into my wheelchair and call my guide-dog to him as I struggled out of the car with my crutch

Offence #3: After the meeting, attempt to leave the building with dignity impaired by three dogs hanging around outside the front door.  One collie-type pup was not on a lead, nor did the owner have a lead, nor did the owner see why their puppy couldn’t bark, jump and play with my guide-dog as I tried to manoeuvre out onto a slope and round a corner.

Offence #4:
Pavements

Offence #5:
Double set of double doors with zero turning space to get into bistro which is otherwise lovely and has gorgeous staff

Offence #6: My friend having to bring me down a rough alley and through a back door WITH A STEP to show me her “accessible” studio because the managers of the centre think it’s better for the large front doors with level access to be locked.  God knows, if they were left open, people might just walk in and look at artwork.  Perish the thought.

Today’s Offence Count = 6
Overall Subjective Rating = Moderate to Good