Thursday, 25 August 2016

Wheelchair Repair Day

It's wheelchair repair day for me today. I've known this day was coming for a while now. It was originally supposed to be months ago, but parts were delayed. Then it was supposed to be last month, later in July, but there were more problems with parts. Finally I got a call last week saying all the parts were in. So today I go to the wheelchair shop where they will take my chair from me for a couple of hours, while I sit and wait, to put on new parts and adjust existing parts.

The bill for all of this will range in the $600 area. The seat sling itself will be almost $200, the arm replacements will be $300, and there are a couple of other minor things which need fixing. Fortunately AISH will pay all but $246 of these costs. I am grateful for this. I've been saving up lately for two major financial issues at the end of this month. The first is my mortgage; this is a three payment month, with the last one coming out on Monday. The second is these repairs.

Sometimes, though, life comes along a kicks you in the ass no matter how prepared you are for it. Last night my daughter, Kate, came over to take me to the wine making shop. She was going to help me buy the supplies for wine making this Saturday. While on our way, I thanked her and told her how much it meant to me to be able to make wine, and to have the social life that it brings me. I said "it's a wonderful hobby for me." She replied, "I understand, but can't you get a cheaper hobby like doing puzzles or painting?" Kate's practical. Generous, but practical, and that generousity was about to be put to the test.

We had gotten downstairs and were all ready to get into my truck. That's when we found out the truck battery was once again dead. This is still part of the trouble from the camping weekend at Jim's. Kate has AMA coverage; that's the Alberta Motor Association, just to be clear. Instead of calling the auto club folks right away, we changed plans and took Kate's car. I can transfer into it using a transfer board. After our shopping spree at the wine store, Kate called the auto club. They gave us a three hour wait time. Kate's chin dropped. She had already worked a full day, taken me to the wine store, and now here she was having to wait another three hours.

I made dinner for us both, and suggested that Kate call them back and explain the situation more clearly, that I was in a wheelchair and that she was with me, but it was my truck we were calling about. They said "It's okay, the driver will put it your your account." So Kate got to go home, and I waited.

When the auto club driver arrived, he did some tests on my battery. It seems we fried it when I let it go dead, two days in a row. It would no longer hold a charge. I needed a new battery. The cost? $150. I started to cry, but managed to catch myself. I said yes and asked if they could use my debit card. The driver said they couldn't, and started to see if they could send me the bill instead. I almost started to cry again, but instead I called Kate to see if she could put it on her credit card.

You see, I have no credit left. I have no room on a credit card, and soon will be in default on said card. I am, plain and simply, unable to pay. That's the way it is. It was also the way that Kate did not get my call; she was driving and her phone was put away. I sent her a text, but she didn't pick that up until she got home. So now, not knowing what to do, I called my Mom. Fortunately she and Ray both agreed that I needed to get this battery, and without even blinking Mom used her credit card to pay for it.

Both Mom and Ray, and Kate too, know I will never be able to repay them. I know it, and I am humbled and broken by my inability to do so. This is not how I planned my life. This is not what I had in mind for the closing days, to be dependent on my Mom and Ray, to need help from family and friends, to be unable to pay my debts. But this is what life is like when it kicks you in the ass.

No comments:

Post a Comment