My power chair, the Beast, took out a refrigerator shelf yesterday.
This comes as no surprise to me, because I've spent the last month or so trying to keep the Beast under control in areas that are too small to use a power chair in since my ultralightweight manual chair broke. I knew I was in for some adventures as I watched the garbage men haul it away. It was the only chair I could get into certain areas, such as my bathroom and parts of my kitchen. Vital areas for a person living alone with a disability - at least if you plan on eating, bathing, etc. And I didn't have the money to spring for another one. These chairs are expensive items and, as I found out, difficult to find used- at least under a certain price.
I have, and am very grateful for, assistance I receive from my aide when she is here. But the reality is that after she goes home, only my cat Buddy remains. There's not a whole lot he can do to help me out in this situation.
Buddy's idea of helping has been to race back and forth in front of and behind me as I try to get the power chair to fit into places. When the power chair took out the refrigerator shelf (which, luckily, isn't broken), Buddy raced in front of me to catch the flying yogurt. When the yogurt landed on the floor on its side, he played with it, rolling it around a bit. This was definitely not a help, although amusing.
The past few days I decided to take Buddy's Zen-like approach. I am trying to enjoy the adventures with the Beast. When I hear the inevitable crunch signaling that I've run into something or other, I high five Buddy as he begins to play with the debris. The mailman was quite surprised when I zoomed up to the door trailing a few items of clothing and towels on the back of the Beast that it snagged from a hallway encounter of the close kind.
"You've got something back there," he said.
I looked back and, sure enough, Buddy was playing with the string hanging from one of the jackets. I smiled and decided to have fun with it.
"That's how I dry off my laundry," I said.
"Your cat seems to enjoy it," he replied.
And so he does.
Luckily there's an ultra lightweight wheelchair in my immediate future, thanks to Meredith. This has been just a swell experience, but I do miss being able to eat except out of a pizza box. I'm tired and stressed, not to mention I could use a shower.
It will probably take a few days before Buddy stops following me around. The adventures of the Beast have been so much fun for him that I'm guessing he'll sigh heavily in disappointment before returning to his usual naps once the new chair gets here. It just won't be the rolling amusement park the Beast is.