Lady and the Power Wheelchair

It is nearly Christmas and this year has just flown by, since Angela’s diagnosis of MND it has been like one long day, the days just seemed to turn into weeks.

There are little changes to Angela’s condition, her swallowing is a little worse and her speech is more slurred, also she is using the wheelchair more and her emotions are very unstable which gets to us both.

We still manage to go out for the day though and try and take our minds off of the MND for a while, because it upsets her and it really hurts me to think of a future without Angela in it, when the emotions start to get to us we just get ready and go out anywhere, we had a minor issues while on a trip to Sheffield with the power wheelchair a few days ago.

When we boarded the train Angela was sitting in the chair, which was parked in the disabled bay, I asked Angela if she could turn the chair around when we neared Sheffield so we were ready to drive straight off of the train.

When she pressed the power button to turn it on we saw a flashing red key indicating that it was locked, we didn’t even know that it had a lock.

I had to pull Angela and the chair backwards out of the bay and then turn the chair and push it down the ramp in manual, with no power there is no breaks, so it was a struggle to hold it back, the chair is very heavy without anyone sitting in it, so you can imagine what it was like trying to hold back Angela and the chair going down a ramp.

After disembarking I placed a call to Invacare who makes the wheelchair, they said that this version of power wheelchair has a magnetic lock and we needed a magnet to unlock it, i don’t know about anyone else, but a magnet is the one thing I don’t carry around in my pocket, I have plenty of rubbish in them, but no magnet.

We set off into town in search of a magnet, pushing that chair with no power is like trying to push a car with the break on, that is the one downside of this power wheelchair, when the power goes you are basically dead in the water and of course the town had to be up hill didn’t it.

Half way up the hill a gentleman who was handing out religious flyers came to our aid and used the magnet on his bag to unlock the chair. I have ordered a magnetic key now for next time, Something triggered the magnetic lock while we were on the train and we don’t want to be stranded like that again.

Sometimes It is like a comedy of errors when we go out, Angela can’t speak and I can’t see, between us we have two thirds of the three wise monkeys. But we always manage to find a way around any problems that come up.

So, a word of warning to anyone thinking of purchasing the Invacare power wheelchair with the DX control system, you should also think about buying a magnet at the same time…


Angela’s New Powerchair

Yesterday we paid for Angela’s new power-chair and it will be delivered on Monday, it has now been configured with dual controls, this will give her some freedom to move around outside herself and I can take over when she gets tired.  She is already thrilled at the prospect of once again having the opportunity to take Oscar (our pug) to the park again like she used to.


The MND has been hard on us all, but it is felt the hardest by Angela herself, it is so upsetting for her that she can no longer do the things that she used to like go running and taking Oscar out for a walk.  This new power-chair will at least give her one of those things back. I am still dreading the day though when I get that call telling me that she has run out of battery power on the M62!


Angela has had a go in a power-chair, but she finds it difficult to control, it will be strange for a while and she needs to adapt to it.  We are used to moving around under our own power and having to rely on a machine to do that for her now, will feel so strange. However, once she gets used to it she will be fine, we may even enter her in a drag racing competition.


I know from my own disability how hard it is to adapt to changes in one’s life, especially when these changes are out of your control and they are thrust upon you.  You have to learn new ways of doing everyday tasks that before were so easy to perform, but now we find those mundane tasks so strenuous and frustrating to do.


Given time and patience I have no doubt that Angela will adapt and accept the power-chair and she can begin her quest to terrorise the pigeons of Leeds as she weaves through the streets at 4 mph yelling “die pigeons, die” as the poor little birds flee for their lives!!!