A wheelchair drivers guide to shopping and days out.
Days out with the wheelchair.
A wheelchair drivers guide to shopping and days out.
They say you never know what life is like in someone else's shoes. Until you have worn them yourself .In our case its wheels.
Molly got too big you see for a pushchair. I mean she was 14 and starting to look a little large in it. Unbeknown to us she had growth issues so this was why she was so tiny for so long and could easily be carried around.. / transported in said pushchair. Then came the thyroid miss behaviour and boom! Moll started growing outwards.
Following the unfortunate collapse of the pushchair one day. And the fading muscles in my arms. We were advised by molls consultant to get a wheelchair. A sad decision but realistically if she had of been of the correct size she would have always needed one. ... Wheelchairs are not like pushchairs. You cant bump them up and down steps, lift them over high curbs or carry them over drains and pains in the road and such like.
You need drop kerbs! 'Drop kerbs' is a term i picked up very quickly being a driver of a wheelchair.
Myself and molls once just shopped on one side of a town because we couldn't get off of the kerb to cross the road!. It was very annoying not to have the choice of 'crossing the road'. Im sure we could have just kept on walking to the next town if we had kept going . The lack of drop kerbs in towns is immense. To be fair we Could have ended up anywhere just going far enough to reach Boots the chemist on the other side.
Yesterday Molls was again stranded. This time in our local town.
No drop kerb available to cross over the main road to the car park.
I'd already nearly killed myself pushing Moll up that steep hill.
So i had no choice but to park her up on the side of the road on a big part of pavement near a road sign.
Ensuring her brakes were on i ran 'already worn out' over to the car park got the car and drove it around the corner.
I was so mad by this point. I just let my big car block the road whilst i folded down the chair in protest and got 'cold' molls in the car. Hell hath helped anyone! Who would have dared to moan about their non access to the road at this point in my life.
Drop kerbs are a neccesity for wheelchairs. I suppose the lack of them does keep you fit if like myself you cannot get to the gym. But then again it also takes you places you don't want to go.
Small shops ...
Don't go in small shops.
Just don't bother. The isles are not wide enough.
Seaside shops are the worst! Poor molls had to spend 15 minutes looking at the 'thanks for feeding my cat' fudge boxes! whilst the others spent their pocket money on holiday last year.
Frankly it would be easier to make your own.
These are often quite terrible too. The chair has this habit of collecting and pulling clothes off of rails along with it. By the end of the shop molls tends looks like a bad jumble sale. It makes me sweat.
I have broken many things in shops and have bashed in to many signs. Mainly warning signs. ... (ironic). They need to put out warning signs for the warning signs.
Molls has got in to mischief in many a disabled toilet. If someone who is not disabled isn't using it for a change you have to find a key. And if you drink as much as moll does this is not a welcomed time delay!. She also gets stuck in them and frequently pulls the red emergency cord instead of the light switch.
I can only apologies to the guys at the natural history museum that day for this occurrence / security alert. I did try to tell them it was all fine. It was just Moll pulling the alarm she does it in every toilet. But i suppose the health and safety of the public did warrant the janitors skeleton key to break in just in case.
Never ignore unsuitable for wheelchair signs.
Never presume it will be fine because your husband is strong. And that it is ok to ignore the 'not suitable for wheelchair ' signs. Dinosaur land was very challenging that day.
There's another one! Wheelchairs and canal paths do not mix! Its those pesky tree roots. All i can say was that it was a good job molls big brother took over the steering that day. We haven't tried wheelchair swimming yet. And nor do i want to... stay away from canals.
Never presume there is available wheelchair access everywhere you go.
Had that care home full of elderly ladies and gentlemen not turned up at Buckingham palace that day we would have been fine. As bad luck would have it the maximum amount of wheelchairs allowed in Buckingham palace is 10 at a time. Oh well we had only paid for the tickets and travelled 150 miles to get there.
They close too quickly ! Automatic doors sometimes are not automatic. Both result in the same wheelchair driver injury 😕
My last piece of advice would be
Some of them like the one at Beer in Devon are on a right angled slope from the town. The run up molls dad had to take to get back up this hill was nearly as long and as dangerous as the London marathon to a non athlete. His legs hurt for days! Also Don't attempt walking along a beach you will slowly sink. With no way back out.
forget the tube.
Just forget it all together.
My last piece of advice is unless you are very strong willed and indeed very strong, just stay at home....... Some parts of the world are just not ready for us yet.