And then there are the people who make your life easier.
My wheelchair has for some time been in need of a new motor. There's an odd clunking noise coming from the vicinity of my right rear wheel when I drive and this week it was finally time to get it done. While I was there, we’d take a look at it very puzzling issue that means I have to turn on my wheelchair twice before it wants to go - we tried replacing pretty much everything, but it still persists. The theory was that it was related to the right motor.
I've lived in Toronto for almost 30 years and since the very beginning, I've chosen Motion Specialties for repairs, equipment, etc.. 30 years ago, it was a small family business and although it is now larger and more successful, it still has the feel of a small family business. Most of the staff have been there for years, even decades and they do the job because they're passionate about helping people like myself get on with their lives. Although I like everyone I've ever met at Motion, it is the people in the shop who are closest to my heart. The women who organize the schedule for the trucks on the road who time and again have helped me out of a jam, responded with charm, caring and efficiency to a panicked call and whether it was a flat tire or a that have reacted like a bucking bronco, made sure that someone comes to help. There are the seating professionals who make sure I'm comfortable - no small feat, especially after the fibromyalgia. And then there are the repair guys. Dave the Wonder Repair Guy is one of this tribe of MacGyvers but everyone I've met is passionately dedicated and talented to the point where I sometimes think they can communicate with electronic bits inside my chair. They do custom work, altering standard wheelchairs into something comfortable and futuristic and I have yet to see them daunted.
Well, okay… Until my current chair (aforementioned bucking bronco that sometimes doesn't buck at all) showed up. They keep it going, but we have long since stopped calling it a lemon and now have the theory that it's possessed.
So there I was, at the shop, my rear wheels off the ground, Dave B. - another Wonder Repair Guy - tinkering away at my motor and some other things and it seemed to do the trick. After a couple of years the mysterious rebooting requirement and clunking seemed gone and I was ecstatic. And then I came home and realized that the reboot’s still around. I'm thinking of calling my chair Linda. It's annoying, especially considering I've had a Storm Arrow before and the first one was the little engine that could, lasting a good 10 years. It's also annoying because this thing was hugely expensive, but none of it is the fault of the guys at Motion and I'm pretty sure the manufacturer isn't talking to me anymore after a couple of letters – mostly polite, yet frustrated - I sent them. But I sidetrack, because here comes the amazing part.
I talked to Dave B. and we agreed to leave things until April when I’d come in to get my chair cleaned. He’ll do some thinking between now and then and I was fine with that. And then, a couple of hours later, just before Motion closes, I realized that one of my motor release brakes wouldn't stay down, which means you can't push the chair. Yet another panicked call to Motion, I talk to Dodi who organizes the service calls and we have a loose plan that I'll come in today around 1 PM. She goes to talk to Dave B., I arrange another ride - not WheelTrans, because my body wouldn't be able to handle it, but a private company that will cost me a lot of money, but in exchange, it will arrive on time and go straight there - and I chew my nails while I wait for her to call me back.
She does. Dave’s coming to my house this morning at 9:30. And yet again, I am overwhelmed with their commitment to making my life work. They should give workshops.
If you ever need any sort of disability/mobility-related equipment, call Motion. Tell them I sent you.