Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Wheelchair Accident

In reading this title, I'm sure your first thoughts are that my almost three year-old (who just got a new power wheelchair) had a crash...that is really not all too unexpected as he learns to drive. Nope, not the three was me who had the crash.
Yesterday my mom and I took the chair to Sams Club with the realization that a ridiculously large warehouse with wide aisles was pretty much the perfect training ground. He did an amazing job. I walked along next to him, ready to grab his hand off the joystick at any time, and I think I really only had to do it once when he overshot a stopping point. I've gotten to a point where I really don't care if people stare at him in his chair...but really I'm not sure why. Maybe because I'm just so dang excited for him to finally have a way to independently move around wherever he wants to go. Or maybe because in my head I assume they are thinking how awesome it is that a two year-old can drive that thing so well...cause it is. Either way, I loved it and I'm very tempted to take him back there every day.
The accident actually occurred when we arrived back at my mother's house. I put the ridiculously heavy metal ramp on the lip at the edge of the back van door, and started to back the wheelchair down it. Well, apparently the ramp wasn't in quite as stable as a position as I thought because the thing slid backwards, fell to the ground, and our $24000, 250 lb wheelchair flipped itself backward and went down right along with it. I will admit that at this point a word escaped my lips that I never say...mostly because I thought Jenna, who was standing on the other side of the ramp, was caught underneath. But she was fine. The ramp, however, was not. These two loops on the back of the chair were apparently made of stronger metal than the ramp, and they each punched a hole in it. This also made it almost impossible to tip the chair back over--because it was now lodged in the ramp.
But, after a lot of wiggling and pushing, and after the zipper on the chair's headrest punch a small hole in my forehead (still not sure how I did that) we got the thing upright and it was working just fine. My mom took a sledgehammer to the holes in the ramp and all in all, we escaped with just a few scars to remember the incident by.
What I dreaded was telling Adam on the way home. How are you supposed to react to, "Hey remember that super expensive chair we have? Yeah, I dumped it on the ground and punched some holes in the ramp, too." After hearing about it, he was quiet for a minute (as my heart pounded) and then said, "Well really I'm just scared." So I started to ramble something about how I knew how important the stuff was and promise to be so much more careful with it all in the future, and he said, "No, for you guys. I don't want you to get hurt." And while my reaction should have been to say, "Well anyone who thinks I can handle all this equipment on my own is absolutely crazy"...instead I was just thinking how much I love my husband and how grateful I am to be married to a man who fully understands that people are more important than things.
We'll hope for a better experience at the zoo on Friday...and maybe I'll just let Adam use the ramp this time.


Erin said...

Yea for Adam. I like that guy. :) I have been wondering how you have been handling that piece of equipment. Glad to know that you have managed to escape unscathed.

The Welborn Family said...

My first thought was exactly that, "Oh, no! C had a crash!" I was relieved when you explained further. I'm sure things will get better as you get more used to lugging the thing around. :) I am still having trouble picturing Sandy with a sledgehammer, but I'm glad things are almost as good as new! Love you!

Davis and Carter's Mommy said...

Argh, scary--that is a whole lot of heavy equipment to be responsible for. I can't wait to see video of C cruising though! Is he loving it?

Merry said...

Wow! Well, I'm glad things turned out well. I've dealt with my friend Nicole's wheelchair and ramp for years (we've been friends since junior high) and they take some getting used to. But it gets better.

Carrie said...

I'm glad everything was okay--and aren't husbands great??

Laura said...

Glad everyone was ok, and good for Adam. You've got a good husband there. :) How exciting for C to have his new wheelchair! You should post some pictures and/or video of the cute little guy in his new wheels :)