Saturday, April 10, 2010


ALTON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 06:  Wheelch...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Finally, I seem to have gotten a foot in the door at a nearby specialty clinic. I don't have an appointment yet, but at least I've finally finagled a referral and got my records over there, so an actual appointment for the initial consult should be in the pipeline.

The first thing I want from them is a light-weight, fold-up wheelchair that I can heave in and out of the trunk by myself, so I can start going back to bird fairs and bird walks and outdoor markets and PetSmart. So many places and activities require lots and lots of standing and walking but don't provide wheelchairs for patrons with disabilities, and I don't want to have to always rely on taking someone with me to help--or not be able to go at all, which is how it's been lately.

I have no need to pull a Boeing 757 anywhere with it, and have no idea why anyone would. But there you go. At least now I know I could if I wanted to.

Last night I dreamed I had just received my new, first wheelchair and was out for a trial run with some friends.

When one is disabled, one dreams about it in various ways--sometimes I dream I'm no longer disabled, or at least I dream I'm doing things that I can't do in my waking life, like dance or jog. Other times I dream it's gotten worse, sometimes I just dream about it as it is, and sometimes it doesn't figure in my dreams one way or the other.

This was my first "wheelchair dream" ever, which I think is significant. That I was focused on my renewed mobility and was getting a kick out of my new toy I think is a good omen. Increasing reliance on my cane was hard at first. I suspect this transition is going to be different, attitude-wise.

This chair was the luxury sport model, upholstered in butter-soft leather and a little faster than I was comfortable with at first. In my dream, I ricocheted off a wall making a turn, and it tipped me back a bit which was also taking some getting used to. And being a sport model, there was no trunk space: I had no place to put anything other than in my lap: When I get mine, I want saddle-bags or something.

When I was a kid you would still see in long-term inpatient units those old wooden wheelchairs which really were like chairs on wheels--sort of the forerunners of the powerchair, I guess (which is what I want next, for work, but that is another post for another day). Those old chairs had adjustable recliner backs: Funny what you "remember" in your dreams after 50 years!

Anyway, in this dream, my friends kept wanting to do things for me that I needed to learn how to do myself, like getting through doors, and there were obstacles like the decorative vanity, placed too close to the handicap-stall door in a public waiting room, that my friends wanted to shove over for me. But all in all, it was cool. My friends meant well, backed off when I asked them to, and didn't laugh when I hit the wall.

Just push the joystick, and whoosh--away I go!

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