New chair is wheelie wheelie good

After an absolutely pants night’s sleep I was still very excited about today. The excitement would have to wait until this afternoon but the morning consisted of a trip to the GPs surgery. There have been two practice nurses who I have seen regularly since the beginning of the year for regular dressing changes. I have built up a good relationship with them and they have been very supportive in the lead up to the operation. It was nice to see one of them again this morning for my first dressing change since leaving hospital. I have to say the wound looked really good, if a roughly 16 inch scar can look good that is. It is healing well, clean, no sign of infection and the little corner that was a bit more open than the rest of the wound is looking much better now. It is doing so well I may only need it changed a couple more times, just brilliant.

Three o’clock in the afternoon and a van pulled up on the drive, I raced to the door (well as fast as I could in a wheelchair that drives like a 4 ton Army truck) to meet the guy who was delivering my new wheelchair. A few months before I had my surgery I went to Peterborough for a wheelchair assessment. Lots of measurements were taken as it was being custom built, I was asked if I wanted mudguards and even got to choose the colour, it was amazing just like buying a new car. I was expecting a bog standard basic looking wheelchair not a Quickie Helium worth around £2,300 from the NHS. It doesn’t fold down as compactly as the one I had been using (which I was borrowing while mine was still being built) but it is so much lighter, in fact the whole of my new wheelchair probably weighs less than the cushion on the other one. I couldn’t wait to try it out and the difference is amazing. As I have already said the biggest difference is the weight which means I can go faster and further, so now I can really burn some rubber and turn 360 degrees on the spot. The foot rest is fixed at the front of the chair as opposed to the one I had been using where I had to keep moving it backwards and forwards to use it. Not only did this become annoying in itself but sometimes it was in the way when it was down so I couldn’t get close to things, if it was at the side it made it difficult to squeeze through tight spaces. Because the chair is so light and because of the balance issue there are stabiliser wheels fitted on it which will stop me from tipping over backwards. When I tested getting in and out of the front door I found out just how easily it does tip, when I get used to it and have more balance control I will be able to remove the stabilisers if I want to. In fact the only thing on the old chair that was useful was the arms but trust me I can live without them. The guy who delivered the wheelchair told me that I should consider myself extremely lucky as it is exceptionally unusual to get one of these wheelchairs on the NHS. We’re not sure why I was given one like this, maybe it was because I am younger than most, likely to be more active and independent or because they think it is a better investment. I can’t tell you what a massive difference this new chair makes to me and I have already felt the benefits of it in the few hours I have had it, I do think I am one very lucky person to have been given one.

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