Saturday, January 5, 2013

Architecture imitates life

The adventures with The Chair and The Inescapable Fatigue continue.

The Chair... this one's easier to describe. Let's start there.

I'm really enjoying shuttling myself around in the wheelchair, especially given the glacial speeds that I move when using a walker. I feel like I can really get around. Getting things off shelves, not so much, but I still have enough leg-a-bility to stand up and reach things, and to negotiate roads that are too narrow for the chair, or to make my way around short distances such as inside bathrooms.

What I hate, still, are doors that push back/pull away from me, and wheelchair-unfriendly (if not downright wheelchair-impassible) thresholds.

It's a world of very basic Newtonian physics. Action creates reaction. Door pushes away from you, you roll away from it. Door pulls on you, you roll towards it. One of our number very kindly pointed me to some lovely training videos about going through doors, and I got some good ideas from them, but those particular "See how easy it is to open and go through doors when you're in a wheelchair?" scenarios involved a door that opened and STAYED open, out of your way, and the threshold was completely flat.

None of those things seem to happen in the real world.

And here's a tragi-comic thing... there's a bank I need to go to a couple of times a month, which has a door that is phenomenally easy to open. I love going through this door.

This selfsame bank is two, maybe three, doors down from a pharmacy that I likewise need to visit occasionally. A pharmacy that even sells walkers and wheelchairs and other assistants to the disabled.

That pharmacy's door won't open easily, and pushes back hard when you try to negotiate it.

I told the pharmacy's owner. His response was basically, yeah, we know, we've talked to the building owner, as far as we cam tell he doesn't care. It's just a matter of adjusting the door-closing mechanism not to push back so hard, but apparently, that can't be done. Building owner doesn't care.

Against "just doesn't care," there's very little winning. Kinda like a door that won't stay open, because it'd much rather close itself.

Architecture imitates life, it seems.

As to the Inescapable Fatigue... I'd talk about it, but I'm fading fast and may have to go back to bed now now now now and go to sleep for the rest of the afternoon. I may have a few minutes left of "poking at things" but the day of creativity I'd hoped for? Well, as of right now...

Not a chance. Gotta go to bed. Now.

PS: Oh by the way... that MRI that I had a week or so ago? Diagnosis is in... Seems that I have M.S. Well, I feel better worse nothing in particular. Unsurprised is about as far as I'd go.


Muffie said...

As I use a chair more, I'm recognizing the same stumbling blocks as you. Our library has a ramp, but it's so steep that even my husband has a tough time pushing me. Then the door is so heavy that he must hold the chair with his foot while he bumps me over the threshold. I love automatic doors that a slight touch opens them and keeps them open long enough to wheel through.

Robert Parker said...

Speaking of feet, I discovered yesterday that I have enough control of my legs to do "door kicking" with a foot to "fling wide the door," as the old song puts it.

We take our victories where we can.