Phoebe the Wheelchair has a few problems stemming from our trip last Friday on the community bus to go to the Tyler Senior Expo. Understand, dear reader, that Phoebe rides on the bus and the van all the time. It’s how I get out and about. The van has a ramp; the bus has a lift that lowers from the back of the bus. I get rolled on backwards and lock my brakes before the small flap part rolls up and the lift moves me up to bus floor level, where I unlock brakes and get wheeled off the lift and into my wheelchair transport spot.
So I’m not sure what happened on Friday, doing something we’ve done a bunch of times over the last year.
But now the left front caster has a cut, which doesn’t look bad but may turn out to be bad later. I just don’t know. The right side first seemed to just have a problem with a brake very hard to lock – and this is the arm with the sore shoulder, so trust me, I’m aware of any worsening of the experience. And know that I lock brakes dozens of times a day. When I looked at the chair head on from the front, I realized that the solid silver bar on the brake, that is perfectly horizontal on the left side, is on a 35 degree angle on the right side. Not sure how this messes up the ability to lock the brake but apparently it is.
Plus there is a second set of brakes below the regular ones. I can flip them into position to make sure I don’t go backwards, say, on an incline. But after Friday, these extra little brakes just flip down on their own, stopping me in my tracks without notice or intent. Oops.
And on top of that, I was aware that the right wheel was harder to roll than the left one. Took me two days to figure it out, because I thought my arm was just sore, but no. And when I really looked, I saw that the big right wheel is actually angled so it’s farther from the chair on the bottom than at the top, while the left wheel is perfectly vertical. This wheel positioning could explain why the lock was out of whack. Or not. They might not be connected at all, just happening at the same time.
All I know is that it’s harder to propel and harder to lock brakes. I don’t want to do extra traveling around because all the extra work is on the sore arm.
Being me, I took pictures of all of these things, added circles and arrows, and sent them with an explanation of what was wrong to NuMotion, the wheelchair company. I am now waiting to hear from the service team about what fix is needed and when that will happen.