Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wheelchair Adventure in KC

I wrote that I wanted to give the new wheelchair its first trial run on a short trip to Kansas City. This is a short recap of that fun experiment.
We realized we had not marked the chair as to who owned it, and since most wheelchairs look alike, Bruce attached a small black luggage tag to it. I have always said I wasn’t going to decorate it up with big colorful graphics or balloons. He put it in the trunk of our Buick, whose name by the way is Tank.

I still am having major issues with accepting the need for a wheelchair. I can walk and stand for a few minutes at a time. However, really being on my feet long enough to shop, truly enjoy things when we travel, and of course, our casino trips are both painful and undoable. I thought I’d do a little of both walking and riding the first time.

We went to the Argosy C
asino for about an hour first. There I left the chair in the car and simply went from slot machine to slot machine and sat and played. When we got to the Ameristar Casino where we were staying, Bruce unloaded me, the chair, and overnight bags at the door. These casinos are big, and I was happy to be pushed upstairs to our room.

After we rested a bit, we headed downstairs to dinner at the Sports bar. Bruce thinks the chair hard to push on carpet; wow, did it speed up going down a wooden ramp. There I parked the chair in a corner and walked to the table. After we ate, I hopped back into the chair and off to the casino floor we went.

I told him I’d leave the chair by a bank of machines, and then I would play that small area awhile. This would be the plan for the evening, park it and play, repeat as needed. After I play a few non-winning slots, I went back to where the chair was waiting. Except now, I was surprised to see there was a little old lady sitting in it. I didn’t know exactly what to do, so I went on a played in another area. Then I got concerned she would think the chair belonged to the casino, so finally got up the nerve to speak to her. She was quite feeble, waiting for her daughter. They both apologized, but I assured them it was OK. I sat at a nearby machine and won $40. I laughed and told my new friends that mama had brought me luck and to sit as long as she wanted.

I found Bruce was playing close by watching that no one took off with the wheelchair. We walked around for another hour, much more walking than I needed to be doing. No way was I going to kick this sweet little old lady out of the chair, besides she had gone to sleep. Finally, we had to leave and retrieved the chair.

On Friday, we picked up my sister and we toured the WWI Memorial and Museum. There I rode some, walked some so I could actually see the exhibits. Much of the time, I used the wheelchair as a walker. All in all the adventure was OK. I learned I needed more practice with it, that Bruce can get it in and out of the trunk, and that white haired granny types look good it the wheelchair…be it myself or another who needs to sit a spell and rest.

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