There was noise at the door. I had been sitting having my breakfast with my back to the door. The view was lovely, spring greens abounded, and behind me work waited. At first I thought that the sound was just people coming into and leaving the breakfast room. But it grew and I turned to see the elderly lady from yesterday’s post, sitting in her transfer chair, with the woman pushing her attempting to get her in through the door.

The issue was the sill. I had noticed it coming in. It was raised to wheel stopping high, it had sharp edges which were not designed to be rolled over. I’ve encountered these enough now as a self propelled wheelchair user to know exactly how to manage them. I need to lean back, lift the front wheels and push. It’s not an easy move to manage, but I do.

Frustration was growing on the face of the woman pushing the chair, she was fair slamming the chair into the sill. I could see that there were people behind her wanting in and people in wanting out and she just wanted to get in and get out of the way. But the woman in the chair was holding on to the arms of the chair, tightly, frightened she’d be thrown off. Then two of the men waiting to get decided to help so they came forward, looking for and getting permission from the woman pushing the chair to grab hold of the arms at the front of the chair with the idea adding strength to pull her in. They leaned down into her space, each of them touching her leg on either side.

On the first slam, all they did was add strength to the process and the woman let go a frightened shriek. I called over to them to be careful and then shouted, “Tilt!!” The message was received and the chair rose over the sill and they came into the room. Everyone congratulated each other for and this is a direct quote, “getting the chair in.”

That’s the problem isn’t it, they weren’t getting the chair in, the chair didn’t need or want breakfast, they were assisting her in. But their focus was the chair and because she had been forgotten in the process, she was slammed around in the chair, her space was invaded by two men who leaned in to her, her body was touch, around the knew by both men as they grabbed her chair, and she was treated as something less important than the ‘thing,’ the ‘chair.’

She smiled at me on her way by, remembering me from last night, wished me a good day, and I did the same. She was settled at her table and the woman pushing her went over to check out the breakfast buffet, then I heard her softly chuckling to herself saying, TILT!”