I was going to write a blog post today about something else entirely, but literally something happened 5 minutes prior to writing this blog that changed my mindset. My table just flipped.
Yes, my round glass living room that I work on lifted up out of nowhere a moment ago, and no it wasn’t something supernatural or just a really strong spasm deciding to suddenly rearrange my living room. It was my elevator seat that somehow got activated and began to go upwards. This is by far the worst setting possible to suddenly do its own thing.
If you’ve never had an elevator seat, is quite the novel feature for a power wheelchair. It will rise the seat about 2 1/2 feet allowing the user to sit at bars, look at people eye to eye who are standing, anything you can imagine being up that high. I’ve always loved this feature of my wheelchair.
And I’ve only had it half the time I’ve been paralyzed (I’ve been paralyzed 22 years, but only with the elevator seat for 12). Having this amazing piece of technology has really changed my life as a wheelchair-user, but what happens today, this fluke that should have never happened in the first place, is all because of this elevator seat.
I guess I’m starting to have a love/hate relationship with the thing. It’s an amazing wheelchair accessory to have and it changes my life in a huge way, but just like all technology – it’s extremely vulnerable and infallible. Depending on this stuff to work all the time is like expecting a deadbeat dad to come through. You always need a backup plan for when it eventually breaks down, or decides to do something totally screwy.
Let me summarize what actually occurred (let’s just say that the fact that I’m still able to write to you on my laptop is a miracle). While sitting under my table getting a sip of coffee like I always do, I looked down at my joystick and realized my elevator seat had suddenly turned on. You see, my elevator seat is easily activated by hitting a long flat button on the top of the joystick. I somehow must have touched it
And this is not the first time this has happened. The button is so flush on my joystick that I hit it accidentally it all the time. I have an Invacare Action MK3i SPJ powerchair. The electronics on this are notoriously bad, which is why the Federal gov’t is now investigating Invacare (but that’s another blog post entirely). Today though is the first time the button has ever accidentally been hit while under a table. This is the worst place this could happen. It’s too tight to get your quad hands in and deactivate.
Suddenly my chair began to rise, pressing my legs against the bottom of my table and lifting it up, spilling everything on the table – a huge bowl of tomato soup, coffee, glass knickknacks; it all happened so quickly I didn’t know what to do. I think this is common when anyone finds themselves in an emergency situation. Luckily however, I acted quick.
With my other hand, I somehow held up the table (not sure how since my left arm is quite weak; I’m blaming adrenaline), and I used my good arm to hit the damn button again and deactivate the elevator seat. While I was able to save my laptop, all the food and everything else went diving headfirst onto my cream colored carpet.
Sigh. Such is the life of living with a spinal cord injury. Gosh are the tough days hard sometimes. When scary OMG moments like this happen and no one is around, it can really throw you for a loop. I’m just proud of myself in how I pulled myself out of it relatively unscathed. Quad skills my friends, quad skills…
What crazy things have happened to you while you’re alone?