Yesterday, I lost my wheelchair virginity, only yards from the front door of my apartment too. No, I wasn’t having sex in a public place again. I mean I got thrown from my chair. Actually spectacularly thrown out of my chair by the laws of physics (I think your “first accident” in a wheelchair only counts if you are “in control” instead of the two times this week I have nearly been run over by cars leaving parking lots – “hello, look down here you stupid SUV!”).
I blame the entire episode on the song, TubThumping by Chumbawamba. That and everyone’s concern that I wouldn’t do something stupid while Linda was in Vancouver for three days (Just because I wheeled up this gigantic hill on Tuesday and was having a problem breathing later doesn’t mean I do that EVERY day – I was too weak to do it again on Wednesday for example). See, everyone including myself was a little worried that I would pass out, or do something stupid or have a heart attack so I carried this phone with me everywhere. But by Thursday that got boring and I kept listening to the song, TubThumping, “I get knocked down but I get up again, you ain’t never going to keep me down.” And was like, “Yeah, that’s me!” (I ignore all that stuff about drinking) Knock me down, I get up again. So I started thinking about that time I went to library over the big hill 12 days ago and afterward I was tired I had big neurological problems and thought: “I wonder if it easier in my new rigid crappy R2 wheelchair” So you can guess what happened next. (here’s the TubThumping video which is full of drag kings and drag queens – never noticed that as a kid)
So there is break of sunshine and I am rolling toward the curb cuts on our intersection to start up the big two block hill leading up to the library. With my newish rented rigid, the footplate is higher so a lot of the curb cuts I would hit before I roll right over now. I thought the one on the other side of the road was one of those. So I fly over the first curb cut, just getting out of the apartment, full of energy and pumping like crazy gathering energy for this hill and I hit the curb cut on the opposite side of the road. Chair stops dead. I however go flying, and somehow land in a perfect “doggie” position on my gloved hands and knees. The wheelchair, now relieved of my weight and with lots of potential energy, flips up from the back and flies upside down through the air. I have just landed and am saying something that sounds a lot like “Shit!” when a half second later, the chair arrives, landing on top of me, and we both crash sideways.
I must have lost a little bit of time because by the time I am “with it” there are three people there, one who apparently had time to park their car and come over. They have put my chair upright, and put the bum cushion back on (who know where that went) and I am saying, “I still have limited mobility” – meaning, I can move my legs generally, when I am not in shock so please don’t beat me up if you see them moving. Well, actually I am a little too shocky to get back up in the chair; I just can’t make those last five inches up after a few tries two of the people help me in. In a odd tradition of being in pain, I break into spontaneous laughter (really, the more pain, the more I laugh). I thank everyone, I am mortified and full of adrenaline and thus pump to the top of the hill with one short break. Because apparently one stupid thing needs to be followed by another.
I forget that the next block that looks level is somewhat uphill too and I am struggling along that as this mother is actually grabbing her child's hand and RUNNING away from me. I know my rigid makes as much noise as a bad grocery cart on those pebbly pavements but come on – I’m not a monster? Anyway, by the time I get to the library, I am so tired I can't use my fingers properly and have to lift books with both mitts. (Later when I tell Linda on the phone she says, that she would have used the disability pass credits to get a taxi home – I tell her that makes sense, I don’t tell her that the thought never even entered my mind.) I have to go up another block and a half to go back home, and I somehow make it and getting back I stop and talk to one of the women in the building who actually asks what has happened to me. She actually “gets it” and want to know what counseling I am getting to deal with this life change. Haha, none. So I pop a wheelie to show her my new skills and control – only instead of holding the wheelie, I start falling over backwards – just like I told my physiotherapist I would never do when I rejected the “training bar” on the back to stop you from going over backwards. Luckily the woman catches the back of my head just before it was going to slam into the ground. I think maybe she is not quite so impressed with my skills.
By the time I call Linda in a hour my entire neural system seems to be in a puddle on the floor since it takes me a long time to type her a note telling her my “adventure” because I can’t hit the right keys and then on the phone, I am slurring so badly she can’t understand what I am saying. And she’s like, “Do you want to hang up?” and I’m going, “Naaaaaaaa, Haaaaaaaarrrr uuuuuuuuuuu” Which is how, “No! So how are you?” comes out. Actually after about five minutes she picks up what I am saying pretty well except for “I love you” which she thinks is “I gotta go” Sigh! I expected her to yell at me....a lot. But she just sort of laughed at me and wasn’t worried at all. I think that if I didn’t do something incredibly stupid to “prove” whatever a couple times a week she would get worried and think I was depressed or something. Anyway, it is not often you leave in a wheelchair and come back with scuff marks on your knees.
Am I in pain today.....oh yeah! As one of the people putting me back in the chair said, “doesn’t this have a seat belt?” Hmmm, well not sure if I wanted to do a fast face plant with a seatbelt or the slow sailing through the air. I have to say, having the wheelchair land on me AFTER I thought I had finally made touchdown was a bit of insult to injury. So, not really moving a lot today.
As for tomorrow, well I keep hearing something in my head, how does it go? “I get knocked down, but I get up again, you ain’t never going to keep me down!”
19 hours ago