Disability, My Life, Perspective

My new wheels…

(NOTE: This post is an update to this post – if you want some context, read this first)

Pretty exciting times around the Hyjek household yesterday!

I picked up my new wheelchair and it’s pretty sweet!  I bought it from a place here in London called Precision Home Medical Equipment. Totally unsolicited plug for them, but if you’re in the market for some mobility equipment or other health-related stuff, you should get in touch with them. I was a pretty picky customer and they managed to satisfy my requirements!

(Here I am taking it for a spin for the first time before a few adjustments were made.)

Choosing options for a new wheelchair is much like choosing options on a brand new car, with one exception. There are more options on a wheelchair than on a car.

Seriously.

Practically every single piece of the wheelchair is customizable. It goes beyond the colour and the sizing. There are multiple options for brakes, tires, front rims and casters, back rims, seat cushion, seatback, footplate, brakes etc etc etc.

Do you know what all that customization means?

$$$$

I have to tell you. Being disabled is expensive, but it’s an investment, I guess…🤔

When we ordered it 3 or 4 weeks ago and it came time to talk specific numbers, the tape on the adding machine kept spitting out more and more paper, which isn’t a good sign for a price-conscious person such as myself.

And the final price?

About the same price as we paid for our used Ford Focus 3 years ago, with only 45,000kms on it. For real. You can buy a nice, reliable used car for about the same price or less.

When I tell people about it they always ask if it’s motorized.

No, it’s not.

I can add a motorized attachment behind it, or get motorized wheels to help me propel it, but that would be another $5000+

For now, my arms will do the “walking.” 🙂

And to be honest, I could use the exercise. Because of the design and the tire choice, it rolls easily with minimal effort.

I was pretty specific about getting the Spox Spinergy wheels and red front casters and single-sided forks. The chair frame is matte black, with removable armrests, fold-down push handles, black fenders and a red stripe on the seatback.

It fits like a glove.

A number of measurements get taken during the ordering process to ensure that it fits well. It feels like an extension of my body, rather than feeling like I’m just sitting in a chair with wheels – which is how my “old lady chair” felt.

The specific model is called the Quickie Xenon2. The only item to finalize is the cushion. I am testing one out for a week or two to see if it meets my needs.

The sky’s the limit now

I’m always concerned with what people are going to say when they see me in a wheelchair, especially if they have known me casually – and I have always walked. Even though I have not walked well, there seems to be a big shift in how people see someone who sits rolls vs someone who walks – even if the walking was not going well!

It’s not that I “can’t” walk anymore, it’s just that it’s very difficult to walk any distance. Going places on my feet has lost its lustre. I can’t enjoy myself if all I’m thinking about is where the next bench is or how I’m going to make it to the next landmark.

I’ve got about a 50 to 100-metre limit – then I feel like sitting down and dying. I have no idea what walking “normally” feels like, so my only choices are walking poorly or rolling comfortably, It’s an easy choice.

While some people may see a wheelchair as an impediment, for me and many others, it’s opened up a whole new world of possibilities and given me more freedom than I have had in years.

I’ve missed shopping, believe it or not…so we went to Loblaws last night after dinner.

I have a real love for grocery shopping. Ever since my days in the grocery business, I have always loved grocery shopping.

I’m sure Joy will enjoy having me tag along to the grocery store again so that with each visit, we can come home with $50 of items that were not on our list! 🙂

I recently asked Joy a silly question about what our local Wal-Mart carries in regards to grocery items. She thought I couldn’t be serious with what I was asking, but then after some discussion we realized – I have not been inside our local Wal-Mart in over 5 years!

What’s on tap for tonight?

We’re going to Wal-Mart to do some shopping and people-watching! I suppose I could get a new pair of $24 Wrangler jeans while I’m there.

I just wish they sold Crocs…

2 thoughts on “My new wheels…

  1. Congratulations on your new set of wheels. Mobility is the key and no matter how you get around, getting out and about is will be fun. Just keep rolling on. Thanks for sharing and keeping us all up to date on your progress.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *