Image Description: Cartoon of a man saying “I complain therefore I am!”


My wheelchair is very ill.

They had thought that it was just the battery, so they came and 1000$ later, I had two new batteries. (An aside, what makes wheelchair batteries so freaking expensive. Given that they only last about a year and a half, that’s a lot of money from a population which is not typified by being extremely wealthy.) So, Joe and I went out and for about a block things went well. I could feel that it had extra power, but when we went into a small mall, my ability to safely negotiate was hampered by really sluggish response to the joystick. We went right home. The more I drove it the worse it got, by the time I was home my heart was going crazy in my chest, I didn’t know if I could get it into the apartment.

In a fit of self pity, I said to Joe, “You know, it’s never easy for us. Never. It’s never “just the battery“. It’s always just expensive. It’s always about money.

So I called the repair people and described the symptoms again and was told that it’s probably the motor and that’s serious and possibly very, very expensive. Now, remember, it’s 1000$ for batteries, so as a baseline for expensive, that means the cost is going to be significant.

They wanted me to bring the chair in, but I don’t have a wheelchair van and I needed them to come and get it. They will come next Wednesday. If the repair is possible without needing parts, I could have it back a few days later, if it requires parts, it could be a very long time. Great.

Now I have the scooter, but the scooter is very old and has limited range and because of it’s design it can’t go on the subway. So my world has become very small. I know I’m lucky that I have a back up, I appreciate the back up, but it’s just back up – it’s not a replacement.

So, as the chair is almost seven years old, it’s been suggested that I apply for a new chair, which means a reassessment and application. Today I begin that process with a phone call.