March 2, 2016

My New Wheelchair/Walker and My New Approach to Blogging

I recently acquired a wheelchair and used it for the first time on Tuesday. 

Subscribers to the Kennedy Center's ballet series, of which I'm one, were given an opportunity to sit in on a rehearsal Tuesday afternoon by the New York City Ballet before the opening performance that night in its annual visit to the Kennedy Center.

Here I am in my new vehicle:

But I plan to use the wheelchair more often as a walker:

Two years ago, with my son and his lady friend, I went on a Norwegian cruise that started and ended in Copenhagen. This photo was taken in Copenhagen's famed Tivoli Gardens:

I’m in the wheelchair only because I decided it would be quicker for us to tour Tivoli Gardens. If I'd hobbled around with my cane, we wouldn’t have gotten very far. I found out that the park rented wheelchairs, and I brought my friends Terry and Prav over from London to push me around.

In December that same year -- based on the positive Tivoli Gardens experience -- I did a wheelchair tour of the National Zoo during its annual Zoo Lights holiday spectacle. This time, I borrowed the wheelchair my pal David Froemming had purchased when his dad, over 90 years old, came to live with him. This time, I experimented with using the wheelchair as a walker when going downhill and walking on level ground. But I was glad to climb into the chair when we headed up any inclines.

So I had another favorable wheelchair experience.

David's father died over a month ago. I thought about asking David for the wheelchair, but he had already given it away. 

My Wheelchair/Walker Acquisition and Experience
I decided to get my own wheelchair. I asked David how much his dad's wheelchair had cost. I was astounded to find that David got it for under $100 at Walmart! Here's the link.

I ordered it and was again surprised when it arrived with virtually no assembly required. It folded up nicely so it required little storage space, and was so light even I could lift it into my car.

Its maiden voyage at the Kennedy Center was great. I enjoyed being able to use it as a walker when I went outside onto the terrace at intermission. I didn't need to use the wheelchair ramp, either; when confronted with a few stairs, I simply got out of the chair while my companion carried it to the top of the steps. Easy.

The Kennedy Center ushers we dealt with were eager to help. In addition, audience members usually stepped aside when they saw me rolling toward them. 

I've got more to say about this experience, but....

This Is the Start of the New Blog
The old blogger would have rambled on and on about the pros and cons of using a wheelchair/walker. But the new blogger will stop here and save other comments for later... perhaps tomorrow, but who knows?

When I review earlier blog posts, I'm often appalled by their length. Assembling those essays took a lot of time and energy -- the main reason I decided to cut back on blogging.

I'm sure I'll get many complaints from readers who miss the old book-length posts. :-)

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