“Oh wheelchair, don’t ever leave me again.” I actually got it back about two weeks ago, I just never had time to write about it. I forgot how much I had missed it since I was so used to living in the loaner chair. That first day felt like returning home after being away for a really long time. I was soo comfortable. Ever since (especially those first couple of days), I have been moving so quickly through campus. Miami is one big hill, so I’m almost always going either uphill or downhill. On the downhills, I weave through people walking either way at a pretty high rate. I know I have my chair under control, but it’s funny to see people’s reactions– Sometimes they’re clearly scared of getting messed up by a dude and his wheelchair, hurting them as well as myself. They’ll stop walking and back off to the side, or just get off the sidewalk, getting out of the way completely. It almost makes me feel like an asshole, but every time I have to push uphill and people just walk around and pass me, I’m quickly reminded that I really don’t care.
I was getting so used to the loaner chair that I wasn’t even looking forward to getting mine back. I was almost dreading it, actually. I really liked the back of the chair. The back was several inches shorter, and it did not have any push handles on it. I loved the extra movement the short back offered, and hated the thought of losing that. I also did not like it when people started to push me, especially random people uptown on the weekends. If any drunk people start pushing me on flat ground/downhill now, I’m going to lose my shit on them. The handles did come in handy at times, though. Getting to uptown literally is “up” town and I actually wanted a push. It’s one of the best workouts I know of, but going out immediately after causes for bad timing. It was nice having handles to be pulled up stairs and for a “spot” whenever going down stairs, as well. Although, these were all still possible without handles, just easier with. I can’t decide if I want to pay the money and go through the trouble of having a new back ordered, or not.
The frame was only a couple inches wider, it didn’t seem like it could make much of a difference. As soon as I got it back and made the trip to my first class, I discovered how wrong I was. Like I said, it “felt like returning home.” I was in total control again. Every now and then, I’ll ride a wheelie down a stretch of sidewalk on a down slant just because I can. I’ve always been a bit of an adrenaline junkie, and getting adrenaline rushes when unable to stand up is just as hard as it sounds.. I just pop my earbuds in and do my best when going to class.
First day back to the apartment: Two roommates are sitting on the couch watching tv. I bust in the door with my headphones blaring, lean back on two wheels and spin in circles faster than I ever have in a wheelie. I’m kind of surprised I didn’t eat shit, which would have been hilarious, but my roommates were already laughing when I came down. “You get your chair back today?” Matt says, even though I can’t hear anything and keep spinning. I’m about done, so I start talking and start to take my earbuds out, but they aren’t out before I start, “OMG DUDES I GOT MY CHair back this morning and it’s awesome!”