Photo Description: a well used wheelchair that is missing one arm rest and where there are noticeable tears on the seat.

My wheelchair is old, very old. It’s traveled to 4 different countries with me, every state in the US but one and every province in Canada but one, every territory in Canada but one. It’s got mileage. It shows the wear and tear. And probably most bothersome is it’s now a bit big for me, so the arms get in the way of pushing and leaves welts on one side or bruising on the other when I go for long pushes.

We went to the Disability Expo in Toronto a couple of weeks ago and I was pushing by a vendor who had very cool looking chairs. He and I talked for quite a bit and then he let me sit in a chair a size down from mine and 7 years newer. A lot has happened to wheelchairs in seven years. I made the transfer and then pushed. It was smooooooth. I was immediately struck by how easy it was to get around. My chair is wider, heavier and is hard to push partly because it’s old and tired.

This was amazing.

It, of course, is wildly expensive. I can’t afford it. So that means a long process of applying for government funds to help me get the chair. I want that exact chair. It fit me well and it increased my ability to get around. It’s also made of carbon fiber which, I’m told is stronger than steel, but it’s very light. Joe loved it because he could lift it with no effort at all.

So the process begins.

It’s hard knowing there is something you need but that it will take months and months to go through the process. But it helps that I love this old chair, I love where it’s taken me, I love what it’s allowed me to do.

Let the assessments begin.