Using a wheelchair is second nature to me now but that doesn’t mean I am perfect at it. Six years ago I lost the use of my legs and became a wheeler. It takes practice to maneuver this bad boy I’m sitting on but you are always going to fall. It was embarrassing the first few falls but now I am a proud flopper. It you don’t fall out of your chair a couple times a week then you’re not living.
I am going to tell you about a couple of my funny falls I have had within the past six years. It is ok to laugh because I did each and every time.
My first fall was my mom’s best friends fault and I let her know of it every time I see her. I was fresh out of the hospital and had no idea how to get around in a chair. I was still using a seat belt on my chair if that tells you anything. Any door way with a lip looked like a cliff to me. My mom’s friend and I where at her house and wanted to go to the back yard. I remember the PT showing me ways to get over these type of lips but for some reason I let my mom’s friend do all the work. She grabbed the handles on my chair and lifted my casters in the air. I was in a wheelie and thought she was going to take me down the step in a wheelie but I was wrong. By this time it was too late. She set my front wheels down and wheel barreled me to the ground. The momentum of my body flung me to the ground.
The best part is coming up now. As she freaked out as she should. She just dumped a paralyzed kid to the ground and let his chair land on top of him. I braced the fall with my shoulder so it was painless. She yelled for her husband and sons. They came running over to rescue me but the dog beat them over. He was licking my face and I had no way of escaping it. Her son tried lifting the chair off of me not realizing I had a seat belt on. As he yanked two or three times as hard as he could I yelled stop to tell him why he wasn’t able to pick up a twenty-five pound chair.
The boys got me back in my chair and we had a good laugh. I realized that day that I was going to fall a lot and most of the time it would be comical.
I had a recent fall at O’Hare airport in Chicago. As I was exiting the baggage claim and looking for my ride I took a nasty spill. I little crack in the sidewalk can cause a big scene but in this case most people acted like they didn’t see a thing. A gave my chair a good hard push so I could have some speed. I needed it so I could call my work friend about my ride. My chair hit a crack and stopped. My body on the other hand did not. Momentum is usually a good thing but for me at that time it is sucked. I flew out of my chair like superman. Well at least for the first couple seconds. Superman can fly for miles I only made it 3 feet. My feet pushed my chair behind me and because I was on a slope my chair went for a ride. I watched it get closer and closer to the road. I thought it was going to get hit by a taxi but a woman grabbed it and pushed it away from the road before getting in her cab. I was in awe. I wonder what was going through her head as this wheelchair with nobody in it rolled by her. It was about twenty yards away from me at this time so she had no idea I was on the floor. A pilot came running over to me explaining he saw the whole thing. I asked if he laughed because I did. He grabbed my chair and asked if I needed anything else. I told him I would like the video footage because it was worth a lot of money. He laughed and went on his way.
Just remember that you are going to fall A LOT and there is nothing you can do but laugh. That’s what I do.