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On Monday my occupational therapist called me to inform me that the chair they ordered for me was ready and she wanted to bring it by for me to test. It’s incredible. There are no words to describe how different it is from the rental chair.

The therapist chose to order me a helio c2 folding chair made from carbon fibre. I required a folding chair because my boyfriend owns a small car that would have difficulty fitting a rigid chair. It fits perfectly. From the back rest to the foot rests it is perfect. Everything is removable, making the carrying weight twelve pounds, and the full weight only thirty. My rental chair is forty two pounds and nothing is removable. 

I haven’t actually been approved for funding yet, that will take about two months. But the gentleman who placed the order for the chair with his distributor told me I can keep it until the company starts really bugging him to bring it back. The chair had to be custom made, so nobody else is waiting for it to test. He also told me that they often forget where all the “tester” chairs are, and I may be able to keep it until I get funding.

I really don’t want to go back to the rental.

It’s like I have my life back. I went for a walk for the first time in two months. I didn’t get very far, because I was forced to go on the road (the sidewalks are covered in thick icy snow) but I had such a sense of accomplishment. I can do things on my own again. I can zip around the mall or grocery store and not worry about slowing everyone down. I’m getting stronger. I’m losing weight. I’m happy. 

The sheer amount of freedom I have gained through something so simple as a new chair is amazing. I no longer feel like a clunky dead weight. I’m more confident and sure of myself than I have been since I got crps. I’m still not very good at manoeuvring in tight spaces or going long distances outside, but I guess getting my first wheelchair in Canadian winter isn’t the best way to start off.

But I’m happy. My parents see how happy I am and have finally stopped telling me to keep forcing myself to walk. Their acceptance is helping me accept myself. I don’t expect to be in a chair for the rest of my life, but for now, it’s wonderful.