Saturday, 22 June 2013

My Frustration Is Showing

I blew a tire on my wheelchair. I know that sounds like a setup for a joke but it is no laughing matter. This is my single most important mobility device, the sole method I have for getting around, going to the bathroom, travelling to and from my truck. This is a big deal for me.

There are those of you who will tend to see humour in this. Perhaps in the future, once the struggle and difficulty it places in my life has gone past, I will see the humour. Right now it is a major source of anxiety. So if you want to make a joke, don't. When I see the humour, I will make the joke. That way you can laugh with me; making a joke right now is simply laughing at me and there is nothing funny about my situation.

You see, a blown tire on a wheelchair is much more than a minor inconvenience. Wheelchairs don't come with spare tires, so I cannot simply put on a spare. Wheelchairs don't come with auto-club coverage; there is no tow truck for a wheelchair. In order to resolve this situation I have a few choices, all of which present additional challenges.

Take the simplest approach. I could take my wheelchair to the wheelchair shop and have them fix it. I certainly would like to do that. However that means rolling on the rim of my wheelchair to my truck and then into the shop. This will mean rolling over pavement, gravel, and rocks, destroying the tire and potentially damaging the rim of the wheel, a rim that will cost several hundred dollars if I have to replace it. At a minimum the repair job will entail an new inner tube and potentially a new tire. Plus I will have to pay to have it replaced. So I am looking at a minimum repair bill of around $100 with this approach assuming no rim damage from the trip.

Then there is the approach where I remove the wheels from my wheelchair and take them to a tire repair shop. Any bicycle shop can repair this tire. But wait, with no wheels on my wheelchair, how do I get to the truck? I can ask Ricky to do this but that is not the point. What if there was no Ricky here to help?

All of this gets even more complicated with the flooding here in Calgary. The wheelchair shop is behind flood-closed roads and bridges in the south of Calgary. I am not sure what bike shops are here in the northwest part of the city, nor am I sure if they will do the repair.  So perhaps I have to wait until Monday or Tuesday, trapped in my apartment, missing my appointments and get-togethers with friends. After all, the government says to stay at home unless you have to travel. Is my situation so urgent, given that I can stay home, trapped inside?

You see, life is a lot more complicated when you are stuck in a chair. Try it sometime. Break both legs and have them put in casts, spend all day stuck in a seat, give up your mobility and ability to stand up. Right now I am pretty frustrated. I guess it shows.

1 comment:

  1. Were you able to get your tire fixed Rick?
    love Mom

    ReplyDelete