Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Mobility and the Artist

I was just thinking recently that I assume everyone who reads my blog has a full understanding of my various forms of mobility over the past years.

However, this may not be the case as I was led to understand by a question asked of me by a regular reader as to what a "rollator/ walker" actually is!


Before we get to that, however, let me go back to the beginning.

When it first became too painful for me to walk, I was given a power wheelchair to use. You can see a photo of me using this kind of chair in the image at the top of this posting.


Here is an image of a power wheelchair similar to the first one I had.

After I had the first chair for 5 years, it was so worn out that I needed a new one with more special features on it.






Although you can't see much of the chair in the photo, I was actually sitting in that 2nd power chair when this photo was taken with my friend, Joycelyn, in front of my apartment.



Over the years as we tried more and more drugs to manage the nerve pain, I began being able to use something called a rollator/walker -- the contraption shown above -- when walking around my apartment.

I can now use this type of walker for walking short distances in my neighbourhood. If I go too far, I end up in pain again and have to call a taxi to get me back home!


Here is a photo of me walking in my apartment with a very dear, young friend of mine. This photo was taken back when I was still using the wheelchair whenever I went outside.





Now we are seriously looking at the possibility of getting me a scooter since I would be able to travel longer distances in the scooter and then get out and use a cane for short distances.

I am talking with the people who will be in charge of helping me get a new mobility device (I am due for another one as my second chair is now over five years old). The people who will help me are really quite wonderful and the best part is that if approved, the Ontario government will pay 75% of the costs involved.

So now you know:
1. A power chair is run by batteries while a manual chair is run by muscle power.
2. Rollator/walkers are rolling walkers that have hand brakes and are made for using outdoors and indoors. Most of them can be folded and placed in a car trunk.
3. Scooters are not wheelchairs and are normally used by people who have more mobility -- in other words, they can get out of the scooter and walk around or sit in a regular chair.

Hope this helps.
Peace.

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