Stiletto and wheels Stiletto title Sole to sole Stiletto

STILETTO – a high pointed HEEL on a woman’s shoe or a small dagger.

WHEELS – a medieval instrument of torture or a vehicle for personal mobility. title
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OK, OK, plans are in place, change is afoot, time for a new wheelchair…or two. 2001 is the year that I become better mobilised. I need an electric wheelchair to be independent at home and a new folding wheelchair to transport in our car. I am now four years into being a wheelchair user and soooo much better informed. This should be easy-peasy…

That’s enough with the hollow laughs all round, please! Clearly, I had forgotten the first, golden, rule of disability: nothing is ever easy, stupid!

And the second rule of disability? Yes, yes… forgot that one too: every point of contact with social services/occupational therapists will be excruciatingly complex and deeply unsatisfying.

I had stumbled across the fact that the NHS/Social Services are supposed to provide you with a wheelchair or a voucher for a wheelchair via my physio, BigP. In all the time I have been ill, no-one else had ever mentioned it! I had to ask my GP for a referral. I had to wait some weeks for an appointment. Finally, Wheelchair Services came to my home to assess me.

It was a disaster. They were pretty much decided on giving me a voucher for a self propelling manual wheelchair despite my obvious physical inability to propel myself and the chairs’ obvious inability to fit through the doors of my home due to its’ wide wheel base. Additionally, the fact that I would be completely unable to use this wheelchair all day as I find it excruciatingly painful to sit in one rigid position for any length of time – not their problem - passed right over by them.

Wheelchair Services do not give vouchers for electric wheelchairs which are, apparently, rarely provided by the health services. They referred me to the Motability Scheme or my own finances or suggested I look for sponsorship if I felt I ‘needed’ such a chair. Didn't they think I needed one? Not their call! Whose call is it? Who knows? We all looked blank. So, that would be me then?

my wheels
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