So this week, after five months, I finally received my new wheelchair. Everything seems to be working well, minus a few adjustments (that is a whole post in and of itself), but that isn’t what has me a little perturbed. I am completely baffled as to why it takes five months to get a new wheelchair.
If there is anyone who knows about slow and steady, it’s me. The tortoise and hare have both crossed the finish line 10 times since I’ve started writing this sentence. But at least I have a good excuse. The repair and insurance companies; what’s theirs?
I find it very hard to believe that it takes months to go through the entire process of fitting, approval, delivery and modification. And if I am completely wrong about this, I would love for someone to walk (or roll) me through the steps. I can eat my crow as well as the next guy.
But if there is no viable reason for the long turnaround time, something needs to change.
Contrary to popular belief, most people with disabilities are not hermits. We do more than just sit at home all day and veg out in front of the TV. Many people with disabilities do, in fact, have jobs and lead very active social lives. Besides, I need something to do in between Xbox Live matches and the next movie in my NetFlix queue.
So having to wait months for a new chair is simply unacceptable. If I didn’t have a back up chair, I would have been stuck in my room, sitting on my old, green recliner for more than five months. Last time I checked, taking off five months of work wouldn’t have been the best idea. That would mean no job, no social life, and most importantly, no Xbox or NetFlix.
I depend very heavily on my chair as my connection to the world and my livelihood, so when that is taken away from me, I am left confined in my own home and body. Not being a part of society for a day, let alone five months, is devastating, so something needs to be done.
I am already at the mercy of my disability; I can’t afford to be dragged along by meandering insurance companies and incompetent companies.