Sunday, 29 September 2013

an account of wheelchair use!

I sometimes post quite homely things on this this blog, and i have just received permission from my nephew to post his recent facebook status on our blog. I asked him as it is so relevant to all we have been highlighting re Access and how that affects all of us.(in the remappingstives project)
He had only been in San Fancisco a few weeks (where he is for a year on his degree course,) when he broke his knee long boarding, so a normally fit active 20 year old suddenly finds himself in pain and difficulty. He had an operation on his knee, and has sent me an Xray showing 3 huge screw like pins in it!!!
Something I would like to point out, and his account illustrates is that we often expect people struggling with mobility issues to be pleasant even jolly, (well i do believe we all should try to be pleasant to each other) but they are often in severe pain or discomfort, which is part of the unseen difficulties many people struggle with!

"So yesterday I suffered from a bout of what I've since termed immobility rage. Rather amusing to me now, but only with the benefit of hindsight. Let me set the scene. Went from my house to uni which is a pretty daunting task while wheelchair bound, especially with an incredibly long limb sticking out straight out in front, arrived tired and slightly ....... off. Wheeled myself down through quite a steep campus, emerged at the main quad, the center of the everything, and took one of the many paths meandering down across the grass. Neglecting to remember gloves or anything longsleeved, was quickly overcome by the heat generated on my hands whilst trying to break, so, reacting to the burning sensation, i released some of my grip on the wheels, upon which I rapidly gained speed down a particularly steep patch, bouncing along this very narrow path and narrowly missing multiple pedestrians. Unfortunately I was unable to avoid a large (but thankfully soft) bush. I glanced sheepishly around to see if anyone had noticed and saw at least 5 people literally running towards me looking deeply concerned. Embarrassed but unscathed I made my way gently to the pharmacy which was the purpose of my visit, to obtain some post-op painkillers. The reason I had to travel all the way to campus and not just any pharmacy is that the medical insurance only covers drugs brought at the uni pharmacy. I handed my prescription to the pharmacist expecting at the worst for them to be out of stock and for him to have to order them in. Instead I was told they didn't have a licence to stock opiates that high on the controlled substance list so they would never stock them. I must add that at this time i was fresh out of my backless gown and was 12 hours into coming down from a 5 day pharmaceutically induced high. I snapped. A torrent of rage, meant for the insurance, misdirected at the pharmacist, came forth and eventually was topped off with my calling the poor man a !...... I then wheeled off in a huff. Not my proudest moment."

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