Rainy days... Anyone who has been following me for a while my articles or otherwise knows exactly why I hate rainy days, especially if you read the Landon Legacy article on this page underneath articles and reviews. I am disabled, and I'm bound to a electric wheelchair. If it’s raining or snowing, any kind of extreme weather like that can either be disabling or inhibiting. You know enough about me to know that I'm pretty much a go-getter and don't let my disability get in the way of things. Let me tell you, today was an example of an obstacle. It is raining in North Branch, Minnesota, where I live, and it has been raining since this morning. I went over to my parents to help out with the garage sale that they're having this weekend, and it was raining but I didn't think anything of it because it wasn't down-pouring. I went out to my car as soon as my dad opened the door like I normally do then less than five minutes later I was at my parents doorstep but all of a sudden I couldn't turn on my wheelchair. Nothing was happening. I pressed every button that I could possibly press, and I've learned over the years what can be wrong with wheelchairs. I've been in an electric wheelchair since I was seven, and I know rain isn't good for it, obviously, but it was barely sprinkling. I've been in a lot worse, I hate to admit that, but it's true. I was thinking the short walk to the car, which was right outside my door, shouldn’t have hurt anything, and I was thoroughly confused as to why my chair wasn't turning on. I tried figuring it out with my friend and personal care attendant who was with me we were shocked at the fact that I couldn't even get out of the car. Finally, my dad put it in manual gear, because we had to find how to do that first, being as we've never had to do it with this particular wheelchair in the almost three years that I've had it. Once we figure that out, he got me safely in the garage. Mind you, it had stopped raining by the time we got to my parents house, although it was very cloudy. Once I got into the garage, I called the wheelchair repair company. It is not my favorite thing to do, and I'm sure it isn't for anybody else in my situation, but you have to realize that I'm as far out as they will travel, so it's like pulling teeth to get them to come fix things. We went through the trouble shooting with me over the phone, and I am mediately answered her, “Already did that, yes, I already did that,” for two of the several things that she had mentioned. She goes, “Well, it looks like you already know about about your chair,” and I said, “Well, I've been in one since I was 7.” So then she informed me that no worker was available can call me for at least 15 minutes. Okay, at least I'm in the garage and I'm out of the rain, I figured to myself, even though I was really irritated that I was stuck in one position. My wheelchair helps me get into different positions to make my back and the rest of my body feel better, so I'm not in a straight sitting up and down position constantly. On top of my back, I recently hurt my leg. Not bad, just pulled a muscle, but it doesn't like to be in the straight up and down sitting position for very long, so I was feeling a little bit disgruntled at this point. I knew that wasn't the woman's fault, I agreed that it was okay that they didn't call me within 50 minutes, but I would definitely be calling come back. So someone better call me because I have been in a situation where they say they're going to call back, and a lot of times they don't, and I end up on the floor all day, trying to chase someone down on the phone all day. Needless to say somebody did indeed call me back. They went through troubleshooting again, and I told them again, yes the chair is fully charged, no I did not hit anything with my joystick unit, and the typical questions that most wheelchair companies will ask you when there is a problem, for those of you that don't know. Well, he told my mother that there was a circuit breaker on the back of the chair. Circuit breaker? I mean, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, it is electric after all... Sure enough, something had tripped the said circuit breaker, and the whole system was instantly turned off. The weather was like when I was in Walnut Grove in fact the weather was better than that. It was a very light
rainfall, yet the rain in Walnut Grove never tripped the circuit breaker, so I was quite shocked. Once my father was able to engage the circuit breaker after my personal care attendant helped him find it, the chair was completely fine and all systems were a go. I guess my point of telling you this story is it reminded me of something my sister used to say when we used to speaking together at different schools about my disability for UCP United Cerebral Palsy. She said there was a difference between being disabled and having CP: disabled is when I had to be in my manual chair and had to count on other people wheeling me around or getting me to places. The disability cerebral palsy is when I was able to do things for myself. I had thought about what she had said for a very long time. Last time we did a speech like that was probably in the middle school years. It’s funny how certain things come back to you on rainy days and afterward moments... Now let's hope my trip to Walnut Grove is, number one, a lot less adventurous than it was when I went there, as far as my wheelchair in the rain wind, and, number two, let's just hope it's a nice weekend all around. I've had enough with dealing with circuit breakers on wheelchairs and sprinkling rain! :-) So, how was your Friday? How do you plan to spend your weekend?