TriRide with me

I HAVE A TRIRIDE! Sorry for shouting, but it’s worth it, because I have a triride!!

Prior to getting it, if I needed or wanted to go somewhere I had to ask for help, fit in with other’s timings, or put people (Sarah in particular) under pressure to help me. This equipment in incredibly exciting, in more ways than just being a fun toy.

For those who don’t know, a triride is a powered attachment for a manual wheelchair, essentially turning my wheelchair into a powerchair/ mobility scooter cross. The important bit is that this little yet brilliant piece of kit allows me the freedom to do what I want. It is simple to attach, and uses a lightweight battery to power an electric motor and thus opens up a world of possibilities for me. From accessing places I previously couldn’t due to not having the strength or stamina, to simply being able to go along the street holding Sarah’s hand; having access to this incredible thing has changed my life in less than a week.

I now can do pretty much what anyone else can do, from going to the shops alone to heading to my homebrew gym, a world of possibilities has opened up. I’ve been waiting this long to write this post as I wanted to get some good time in using it before commenting, as I felt picking it up was simply not enough. It’s certainly a learning curve to get used to it; from understanding how the throttle reacts to using the F1 inspired KERS braking system, it even comes with cruise control. Lazy or what?!

So far I really have tried to make the most of it. I’ve been up to the homebrew gym at my mum’s house, into town both with family and alone (more on that later) and to local green belt place, Stewart Park. The first time we visited SP was my first opportunity to really push the new toy and see what it could do. The verdict? A lot. We went on all terrain there such as concrete, paving, cobbles and even woodland tracks, and it didn’t miss a beat. Unfortunately Amelia did, resulting in her having a sudden rush of gravity… twice. She took it like a trooper though, and jumped straight back on her bike.

Going into town on my own was certainly an experience, and not one I’ll forget in a hurry. The actual experience of doing something ‘adult’ on my own was completely surreal. Granted all I did was go shopping for pizza and ice cream, but the whole idea of being completely independent was something alien to me after so long around others. It was incredible to have the ability to do what I want when I want, without having to put other people out and ask for help. There was a few points at which help would have been good, but being alone gave me the opportunity to start thinking for myself again and thankfully I managed to complete my mission.

Since then, I have had another great experience; going out for a drink with a mate! Following my accident I have been in pubs, but always with plenty of people available to help, and always with assistance getting there. This time though I was able to get there alone, and the only help I needed was getting the door open as the lift was (as per usual) broken. It was nice to sit in a pub (obviously following all the issued guidance) and not have to worry about am I being too much in the way, am I drawing attention, etcetera etcetera…

I’m so excited by the opportunities this piece of equipment will afford me, and I can’t wait to share my future adventures now that I have the freedom to access things again. Cheers!

Clearly I stayed within speed limits as defined by the powers that be…
How good does she look?! Sarah I mean, obviously…
Just like her daddy, lazy whenever she can be!

All hands on deck

Well, it finally happened. Today was the day I went skydiving! Okay, not quite, I just experienced an unexpected rush of gravity. In plain terms, I fell flat on my arse, very literally. Whilst I was transferring into my wheelchair, I somehow slipped and found myself rapidly approaching the floor. Thankfully, I did some form of spin and landed facing the way I’d come from, rather than face planting or hitting into my nightstand. That didn’t make it any more fun however, and I quickly shouted Sarah to come and help me!

After a refresher on how to recover courtesy of YouTube, and a slight rearranging of the house to give me a better surface to work on than just plain laminate flooring, Sarah and I managed to somehow get me up on my knees from where I could claw my way back up onto the bed. In all honesty, it was very very hard. That’s probably partly to do with us having a soft bed, and me being rather weak still (I’m working on it) and, of course, I could always do with losing a few pounds (not even pretending that I’m working on that). Thankfully investigations found that I’d sustained no injuries other than a bit of a bruised ego and slightly knocked confidence. These things are bound to happen, but that doesn’t make them any more pleasant when they do. I had practiced this a few times in physio, and I’m definitely glad for that.

Whilst obviously an unpleasant experience, I have to say I’m glad it’s happened. I was going to end up falling at some point, but at least Sarah was here and we managed between us to stay calm, formulate a plan and sort me out. It really was one of those “Oh S**T” moments, as the reality of gravity being an enemy really hit home. Living with any condition that results in falls is not pleasant at all, but until now I honestly didn’t realise how vulnerable I could feel. There was so much more to think about than just getting back up; have I hurt myself? Have I done some serious damage? What about pressure relief to avoid skin break down, do I need to get on my cushion? What about if I’m actually stuck? Although this is my reality, in all honesty it wasn’t all that bad. I won’t be all that upset if it doesn’t happen again for a while.

In other news, now that the appropriate paperwork has arrived, i can finally start to look at ordering a car! I am unbelievably excited for the independence it will afford me. From going to the shops, driving on family days out, or simply taking myself off for a cheeky maccies, I never realised how much i would miss driving if i ever couldn’t. And I would like to address a point a few people have made, in regards to me not being a good driver. I am a very good driver, at least in my own opinion. Not once have I crashed a car! Motorcycles on the other hand, not my forte…