As most of you know, I use an electric scooter for mobility purposes.
Every five years, if you receive public health care assistance, you’re eligible to get a new piece of medical equipment. The whole process is vigorous. First a doctor’s prescription and other documents are needed to get the ball rolling. Then, you must get an occupational evaluation from a medical provider to see what kind of equipment “they” think best suites your needs. And this is where my story gets interesting.
The prescription was ordered, and I made an appointment with the Occupational Therapist. So, I went to my appointment and to my surprise, she suggested I not get a scooter, but an electric wheelchair. This is the second time this has been suggested to me.
I must say, the evaluation professional made a strong case on why I should make the switch. An electric wheelchair turns on a dime, you’re able to pull-up underneath a table, and it can get through tight spaces.
Also, although it looked the same, my beloved scooter had been updated with new driving features. No longer could you push the throttle to go forward, you had to pull. That feature kind of threw me because due to my disability, which affects my hands, it’s much easier to push than pull.
I thought about what was being said, and then started to make my case which boiled down too, I still wanted a scooter. My scooter makes me feel cool! It’s cute, red (which is my favorite color), it has a basket for me to store my stuff, and I like resting my hands on the handlebars.
Basically, I like the way I look on my scooter. Choosing a scooter or any other piece of equipment is just like buying a dress. It must fit you the way “you” like, in-order for “you” to like it. Especially if you have to sit on it every day.
Too many times others are making choices for people with disabilities because they are the professionals and feel they “know” what’s best. As always, I must credit my advocacy skills so that I am able to speak-up and make decisions for myself. Often, you may have to compromise about what you want or need but the final choice “should” be yours.
My scooter was delivered two months ago.
There’s a saying, “practice makes perfect”. I’ve clipped a few walls and ran over a few toes but for the most part, I have pretty much mastered driving my new scooter.
I named my scooter, Cherry! I named it Cherry because I had to battle for this red piece of equipment, but at the end of the day, victory was sweet.
Getting my new scooter isn’t the first thing in my life I’ve had to fight for and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I take each win and celebrate. For this one, Cherry and I will be taking victory laps for the next five years.