Blogging A-Z: U is for uncontrolled, otherwise known as “Me in a Wheelchair.” I had a serious accident at school several years ago and ended up in a wheelchair for 2 1/2 years. I could select from a multitude of adjectives to describe that period in my life, but uncontrolled is a start. For the first months, I was in a manual wheelchair.
I was a hazard just to myself in that manual model, smashing my hand into door frames and requiring four teachers to extricate me from a hallway and a couple of opened doors. As my knee worsened and it became obvious that I was down for the count, I graduated to a Jazzy motorized chair. That is when my uncontrolled phase began in earnest. And I was a hazard to the world at large.
This splendid machine had a joystick device with adjustable speed controls! Woohoo! The speeds ranged from “turtle” to “jackrabbit.” Can you guess which speed I used? There was not a door or wall in the school I hadn’t rammed, a kid whose feet I hadn’t rolled over. My Jazzy had a horn, so I could shoo people out of the way, or at least warn them that they were about to collide with an uncontrolled teacher. A school secretary took primary responsibility for reprimanding me about my poor driving etiquette. I know she was right, but I ran heedlessly over everything she said.
I justified my outrageous careening as a way to start my groups on time. Hey, it was a very large building. The secretary would shake her head when she saw me rolling ahead of the pack of kids who trailed behind me, trying to keep up by power walking (a euphemism for slow running).
Perhaps I was overcompensating for being stuck in a chair. Perhaps my true, pushy self was simply more visible on wheels. I must admit to a certain pleasure from feeling the wind in my hair as I flew through the school. Aah, uncontrollable!