I have The Power!
Well, okay, I don’t actually have the power right here and now - but it’s on its way. It is
such a very, well, powerful feeling…
Mr B and I have decided to invest a little more of our dwindling savings in a Power Pack to be fitted onto Mr B’s
Wheelchair. This won’t turn the wheelchair into a power chair - but it will add considerable oomph to our travels around the neighbourhood. In short, I won’t need to push, just steer, leaving the Power Pack to do all the hard work. What’s
not to like?
Roger the Dodger arrives to give us a free demonstration. He has brought along a wheelchair already equipped with the necessary fixed bar so that
I can practice fitting the double wheels on which the power pack will sit. It is Trial by Power Pack.
The thing is, the wheels are pretty heavy and fitting
them onto the bar is fiddly in the extreme. I try several times to get it right, growing more and more anxious each time I fail. Roger the Dodger says I am over-thinking it which sounds about right. Isn’t it amazing how someone (in this case, Roger the
Dodger) can meet you for the very first time and immediately sum you up in a few well-chosen words. I am very good (or should that be bad) at over-thinking things, most often in the wee, small hours between 2.30 and 4.30 a.m.
Mr B suggests we should all have a cup of coffee, a timely suggestion with which Roger the Dodger whole-heartedly agrees on the basis that this will give me a rest from my exertions. Out in the kitchen,
boiling the kettle and arranging mugs on a tray, I can hear the two fellas discussing Manly Things - like golf, footie and their bad backs. There is a certain (un)healthy competition going on over the latter, each determined to prove that their back is more
problematic than the other’s. They are getting along like the proverbial house on fire.
While they continue their discussions over the coffee mugs, I make
another attempt to fix the wheels onto the bar and, hallelujah!, it works. Roger the Dodger nods his head appreciatively and comments that my previous problems had been caused because I was being watched. He suggests I try it again which I do. And again. That’s
three times in succession, finally - finally - I think I have developed the Knack of the Power Pack. I am so pleased with myself, it would have been dreadful to be beaten by a set of wheels.
There are lots of cables to connect, buttons to press and keys to turn but I am on a roll. So is the wheelchair as I guide it across the room. I can set the dial to my own walking speed so that the wheelchair doesn’t run away
with me - which obviously would not be good, particularly for Mr B’s nerves. I also need to remember the lever which will start or stop our progress. Roger the Dodger calls this the “dead man’s lever” which seems an unfortunate turn
of phrase - apparently the expression dates back to the 1880s to describe a safety mechanism on trains and similar transport which would be triggered if the driver happened to kick the bucket, bringing the vehicle to a safe stop.
Roger the Dodger takes his leave, saying he will be in touch to fix a time for our very own Power Pack to be delivered and fitted, hopefully within the next week. If I have any trouble,
then I am to contact him and he will be out to see us again, presumably to enjoy a cup of coffee and to provide and receive an update on Back Problems.
Me? I am
planning all kinds of little outings for Mr B and me, once we have The Power. It’s his birthday tomorrow and among my presents is a warm hat and gloves so that he can’t make excuses to stay indoors on account of the chilly weather. I can’t
wait to try out my new toy in earnest - aside from the dead man’s lever, there will be no stopping me.
I have The Power!