Wheelchairs – the pros and cons

July 16, 2008 at 8:21 pm | Posted in Me, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 1 Comment
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Well I jumped the big hurdle today – metaphorically of course as I can hardly walk, let alone hurdle – I went out and about in a wheelchair for the first time. I hope it’s also the last, but it’s another psychological barrier crossed anyway!

The cons that I was anticipating mostly didn’t happen – no adverse comments from anyone, not even the woman who looked at me a little oddly when she saw me get out of the chair and walk down some stairs while hubby pushed the chair down a nearby slope. (If he’d tried pushing me down it we’d all have ended up in a heap at the bottom!) I’m sure she was thinking, ‘What a fraud. She doesn’t need a chair. She can walk!’ but at least she didn’t say anything. Hubby bore up manfully under the strain of manhandling the manual wheelchair … and said he rather enjoyed having a chance to push me about as it’s usually the other way around. I can’t think what he means!

Comfort? Well, we were going round a ‘stately home’, Somerleyton in Suffolk, who kindly provide wheelchairs for those that need them – basic models for sure, but considerably more comfortable than trying to walk in the state I was in. Although it didn’t look ‘well sprung’ the chair did go over various large stones and things without jarring much.

The one con that I hadn’t foreseen, which shows considerable stupidity on my part I fear, is how restrictive it was. Even though I was lucky in that I could at least get up and walk down stairs etc. getting in and out of the thing was not easy, so my usual pottering about, taking closeup photos etc. just didn’t happen this time. It was fun getting photos from a slightly different eye-line than normal though! However, I also discovered that without telepathy it’s quite hard to communicate with the person pushing – not easy for him to hear me apart from anything else. So I’d say ‘ooh, can we stop here?’ and by the time he’d said, ‘Sorry? What?’ and I’d said, ‘I was just wondering if we could STOP here?’ we’d gone quite a way further down the path than I’d had in mind and the ‘photo-opportunity’ was missed.

Still, all in all a very positive experience (on my part anyway, although poor hubby is slightly exhausted this evening), and best of all … no one could see the size of my bum.


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  1. wheelchairs are sooo uncomfortible i can’t reach items that are high and it is hard to carry my books for school i looked and looked for a wheelchair that has these items but there aren’t any that i can find

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