Last week I decided to rent a wheelchair from a nearby hospital instead of waiting for funding to come through to buy my own. The initial experience was terrifying.
I had never used a wheelchair before. I had no experience when it came to pushing myself or getting around at all. I took the bus to the hospital and after some rental issues I was finally allowed to rent one. So I sat in it and immediately almost ran into someone. I managed to make it to the bus stop by cheating (I used my foot to help move along) and the bus came shortly after. I failed completely at getting up the bus ramp and had to stand up and hop up the ramp while pushing the chair. It was totally embarrassing.
But as scary as it was, I decided to take it for a spin while grocery shopping. I shoved it into the back of my roommate’s tiny car, the trunk had some car parts in it, and expected a miserable and painful experience. I was wrong.
I had so much fun! I did some research online and found the proper way to push myself, and it made a huge difference. I was spinning around and zipping along, finally able to keep up with my roommate. I actually enjoyed an outing for the first time in more than six months, and it was so strange to come home and have no pain in my leg and foot.
The experience was so freeing, I was so incredibly happy when I got home I called everyone and told them how much fun I had. To a normal person it must seem so silly to say that something as “confining” as a wheelchair was freeing, but I had so little pain, and could move faster and in a more agile manner. I haven’t been able to pivot on my ankle in so long, but in the chair I can spin around in a circle so easilly!
If anyone is considering getting a wheelchair because of mobility issues, I highly recommend one. It was incredible and I have adapted so quickly that I was actually sad to start walking again. It’s incredible how easy it is to get used to, and how truly freeing it is to use one after months of limping and extreme pain.