The Mobility Powerhouse Examination

So, since new year I have been working on a personal challenge – one, if you will, that requires immense concentration and patience.

I have been educating myself in a skill that has required me to master all control, to be able to be calm in situations where I wish to scream profanities and above all else – remember the order in which I should do things.

Mirror.

Signal.

Manoeuvre.

In little under 7 weeks, I’ve had to master theory, learn about hazard perception… as well as the practical element of the brumming, the beeping and the screaming from the passenger seat.

As a disabled driver I’ve found the automatic fairly easy to come to grips with (i.e. don’t).  My teacher was quite patient with me and got me through all my manoeuvre’s, showing me useful tricks to making sure I knew what was going on all around me.  Above all though he also reminded me to maintain my confidence without being over-confident.

Now, the rest of my learning begins, just on my own.

The 1000 Mile Analysis

WP_20150206_13_45_34_ProIt’s been two years since I fitted an odometer to my Sunrise Quickie Xenon and near on three years since I took delivery.  In that time its seen the hold of planes, been on many trains, been used when photographing cranes (but only to sit in)… and of course, met many a bus.

As I reached a major mile marker this past week, I had a bit of a think about how far the chair has gone and what it has gone through, including:

  • Carrying the children on my knee
  • Countless meetings and walking to them
  • Humidity in butterfly houses
  • Mud in country parks

If it were a car, it’d be having its 3 year service by now – as it is, this chair has had two sets of rear tyres, three sets of front soft-rolls, the left brake broke and had to be replaced and at new year the seat support on the front left broke off, which is now being replaced.

Its a good chair and has worn well – given the choice in the future, I’d probably get another in a flash.  It fits in well with my family life and has taken the brunt of everything it has had thrown at it. 

Would I have another? Certainly.  My only recommendation – get yourself a speedometer and odometer and measure how far and how fast you go – it does make for some interesting numbers.

WP_20141209_15_56_25_Pro

The Rabbit Hole Comparison

I’ve been incredibly quiet on the blog front lately and for a while – I’m sorry about that.  So allow me to explain.

MBW and I have separated.  Since the actual separation I’ve had to do things like move out, find somewhere suitable for me to live, move in, acclimatise and get into a new routine.  Some things went better than others in all of this.  This all happened earlier this year.

I need to stress – MBW and I still get on as friends.  This was a fairly mutual thing and we did this to preserve the essence of what we always held dear – our friendship.

However, if you see some grumbly posts just bear in mind, I reserve the right to be grumpy once in a while.

Time line

We’ve been listening to a lot of Jean Michel Jarre here lately, mostly because A) I downloaded some on Zune and B) I control the music when I cook.

So, since we’ve been listening to music that is 30 years old and I will be 30 in just two short weeks I thought I’d timeline Jean Michel Jarre’s music broadly vs my life.  At the age of 30, I’d hope that I am thought to be as fresh and alive as his music is 30 years on. 

And if not, it was fun playing with my tablet.  You can click to view it larger.

life-vs-jmj

The sentimental correlation

It has finally clicked for me – the final “worry” for me.

When giving up an old chair, you are giving up more than a pair of legs. You are giving up a suit and armour too. This chair has experienced all my battles of the last 5 years or more. But let me cover it for you.

I got married in that chair. I carried my wife across the threshold in it. I held all three of my children for the first time in it. I carried all 3 in my front on that chair, although not at the same time. I have been in some of my darkest corners in it and had some of my loudest laughs with it.

it has been on board planes, trains, buses, boats, cars, vans, trucks – it was with me when I got my current job and it even wished me good luck.

This chair has been part of my very busy life and seen so much with me.

I remember wheeling through to the SCBU with Monkey. I remember racing hospital corridors when Nuzzle and Scratch were transferred from Great Yarmouth to Colchester and following them about.

I remember MBW and I having a dance with this chair. I remember how we would go on the train when courting. I remember us walking into our first home and our current home. Christmas and being given light up wheels. Cooking countless dinners. Going on dates.

Its not just giving up a pair of legs. I’m giving up the legs that carried me through all of the above.

That’s the final part. And now I know, I can move forward. Probably going very fast…

Tulpa

Mentally projecting who you are forms part of what we are. It is probably rooted into some form of deeper psychological study that I can’t warrant time spent this morning, not because it doesn’t interest me but in fact is the basis of the real meat of this entry.

I often visualise what I will do to best plan my way through something or somewhere. Be it from the station in Chelmsford to my desk or from a point to point I’ve never done before, I try to road map things. In it I’ll ensure my journey is simple, appear effortless and is the most effective solution to my common goal: arrival.

So, when I actually apply the journey and traverse the route, I will end as composed as I can. I don’t like being unprepared.

With this comes my chair looking right. If I look like I’m using something from the red cross I feel like I’m not – me. Who I am, as a person. I am proud that my chair looks smart, clean, loved, used – its part of who I am.

But changing this, I’m wondering if it will change me. I’m wondering if the chair looks more medical, will I behave differently when using it, physically? It if looks less medical, will I look or be any different? Its a question I should probably think about.

What happens if I no longer have light up wheels? What happens if I no longer use my feet to steer or otherwise?

There are plenty of these sort of questions I’m wondering because I want to know:

Will I change my physical behaviour because of a physical change influencing my tulpa?

Is this a question we should all ask ourselves? Is this the same as a new pair of shoes or trousers?

Or is it a lot of pontificating rubbish?

Why am I resigned to this…

I am writing this sat here in a train doorway. I am wearing my suit, a shirt, a tie, my Berghaus Sports Jacket and my blue Sunrise Quickie HP Q2. I wear a wheelchair, for it too is my Monday best, my Saturday rest clothing.

Its a part of who I am, like it or not, people know I when they meet me – its less discrete than a badge that says “Ask me what the incident was” (See another blog post).

I am comfortable in my chair. It can sometimes get a little too hot. Sometimes its just too big, length wise. But its always been just right for me – capable of going fast and rolling silently,, looking smart, being durable… I love the way I can steer it with my toes on the front wheels.

I got married in this chair, had my first dance with MBW, held all my children for the first time – the depth of how often this fauteuil roulant is embedded into our lives.

But change is afoot. It is getting heavy. It is getting old. I am not getting any stronger.

I need a new chair. It hurts to realise that. I need a chair to carry me through the next 5 years. I need a new suit, a new sporty pair of trousers, a new set of jeans…

Its a change equivalent to that of glasses style, a new type of shoe… Should I go more sporty? Should I go bold in my colour choice? What do I need? Its a big decision step, to go from something that I have turned into a part of me, and switch to an alien concept. I feel excited by the idea but also nervous – what if I hate it, what if I can’t handle it, what if, what if, what bloody if – to the point of “how will I manage if I don’t change”… What will I do in the future? But also what will MBW, Monkey, Nuzzle and Scratch make of this? MBW will have to push me, lift the chair into the car, the girls will want to ride on my knee… This will impact them, too.

Its a massive dilemma and the obvious outcome is new chair but how it will be in comparison to this one? I really don’t know. Its just scary, that’s all. Change always is and I know I have to hit it head on with the right mind set. Because if I don’t, the only person I will really do a disservice to is myself.

Infection of a Doink

I’m ill.  See, I’m coughing… oh you can’t see.  Well, neither can I and I am trying my hardest to see what I am typing through the sneezing, coughing and DVDs being thrust in my face by my adorable but active and slightly demanding Nuzzle and Scratch.

My nurse is trying to tidy the house up and is supplying me consistantly with coffee… but I know from the emails I am getting on my work laptop that I am missing cakes in the office.  It brings me to a little song… its one I wrote myself:

Cupcake

Tra la la, la la la la la la (this goes on a bit)… la la – I want a lemon cup cake. I want a lemon cup cake. Tra la la la – baadoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Its a work in progress.

I think I’d better do some photo editing.  Did I mention I feel rotten and am sneezing?

Late circadium cycle communications

MBW and I were just discussing about how I buy coffee in the morning before getting my train, and it went something like:

“You need a cup holder on your chair…” said MBW thoughtfully…

“And a mobile phone holder… and a camera mount for my video camera?” I asked hopefully.

“Don’t be silly, you’d look like a dalek.” She retorted.

“Actually, lasers would be really cool… and a spinny tank gun thing. And RADAR!”

MBW looked at me weirdly.

I also want integrated lights on the front that I can use as my “Angry Lights” and light blue hand rims and… TRACKS!

I want a tank.

New Chair

My next chair...

Yeah, too much time on my hands with the writers block thing.

The Celebration of an Orbital Rotation for a Person

It is Birthday time here in DoinkLand. This means all, some or none of the following applies:

  • I am older by one year
  • I am wiser
  • I am slightly fatter

You can pick and choose.

MBW has followed what seems to be becoming tradition of confusing me in the run up to the day upon which I feel like I am going to achieve one of the above list.  The tradition seems to go something like this:

  • Have a rough idea of what to get me
  • Think of other things I like
  • Confuse me whilst having a plan of what to get
  • Put me totally off the scent and…
  • Surprise me.

Camera and LensThis year was no different – last year I was very lucky to recieve a Nikon D5000 with an 18-55mm lens.  Its very good – I especially love the rotating screen on the reverse which means I can hold the camera down low to take a photo or video at angles you can’t always do from a seated position.  Maybe I should review that later… back to my new awesome lens.

The Nikkor 70-300mm with VR is decent – it has VR (Vibration Reduction), a hood and automatic focus with a silent motor to enable quick smooth focus… what ever that is – I like it anyway.  It is flipping brilliant.  It gives opportunity for photos from a distance that I couldn’t normally get because people become aware of me stalking skulking up behind them taking photos.

Like this.  (I love my new lens, in case you can’t tell).

My girls walkingSo – tomorrow is my birthday.  MBW succeeded in another years amazing birthday present.  I’m going to have to work really hard on her birthday in November…