Shutting the door

It doesn’t happen often but sometimes my husband and I have to be in two different places at the same time.  We have one van. Today, I had to be at the hairdressers at 11 a.m. He had to be in Welland to have the van looked at at 10 a.m.

The weather is nice so I suggested I take my scooter over to the plaza which is only three blocks away.  I’m so used to him being here and doing what needs to be done, it was a study in logistics to get me together before he went.  Could I open the door myself with my very weak hands to get out? Could I work the key and turn it in the lock?  Could I transfer without a transfer board to my outdoor scooter?  Getting onto the board is easy but pulling it out from under yourself while you’re sitting on it is something else. Could I handle everything without dropping anything and not being able to retrieve it?  Could I shut the door? It’s tricky trying to hold onto a door handle and back up in a scooter at the same time to pull it shut.

We did a trial run.  I recalled a visit I made to an independent living facility in Columbus, Ohio some years back and they had ropes from the door lever handles to the other side of the door.  You could reach out and grab the rope end by the door hinges, give it a tug and the door would come closer to you.  As the door closed, you could actually pull it shut with the rope and then, when it was within reach, grab the handle.  Our door is metal so putting a screw-eye in it to take the rope wasn’t an option but tying a legth of rope to the handle worked like a charm.  I also tied a loop of twine to the door keys and put it around my wrist so I wouldn’t drop it trying to lock the door.

Transferring to the outdoor scooter without the transfer board was easy as long as I left enough room between the scooters for my feet to swivel. I can stand but I can’t walk. It went like this: Position outdoor scooter with key out and seat turned facing indoor scooter. Pull indoor scooter up beside outdoor scooter so seats are level with each other.  Leave about a foot between scooters. Pull out key on indoor scooter so it won’t move. Swivel indoor scooter seat to face outdoor scooter seat. Stand up, turn around, sit down on outdoor scooter. Swivel seat on outdoor scooter to face front, push in key and drive over to indoor scooter. Take key off indoor scooter so no one will take it. Anyone who can walk has no idea how much maneuvering it takes to be on one of these things.  How lucky you are to be able to walk out the door, lock it and walk away.

The trip to the plaza was uneventful although the expansion joints in the sidewalks played havoc on my neck and spine. I know why people ride their scooters on the road.  It hurts to ride on the sidewalk.

My hairdresser colors and cuts my hair while I’m sitting in my scooter. I sit on an extra cushion to raise me to sink height while she washes it. I shopped at the plaza, had a certificate framed and had lunch before riding home.

I think it’s important for me to realize just how much I really do rely on my husband to look after things but nice to know that with a bit of planning, I can still be independent.