Monday, June 23, 2008

Wheelchair Races

Sunday morning I went to church and as I was going into church, I met a friend who had just had an operation on his foot. My friend was in a wheelchair so I challenged him to a wheelchair race. My friend was certain that he would win, but when I won, he claimed I had jumped the start. However, even if I had, I don’t believe he stood a chance of winning. I say this because as we were racing, I kept pulling further and further away from him.

This wasn’t the first time I was in a wheelchair race. When I was 12 I spent 6 weeks in the University of Iowa Hospital when I had both hip operated on for Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis. I spent the six weeks in a ward with a number of other children. As happens when you have a number of kids confined to crutches, or wheelchairs, boredom sets in. So it was decided that another wheelchair bound boy and myself would have a wheelchair race down the hall. As the others watched the two of us started racing down the hall. However, our race came to an unexpected stop when we ran into a nurse who walked out of a room into our path. Fortunately the nurse wasn’t hurt, however we had our wheelchairs taken away and were confined to our beds for the rest of the day.

The next afternoon after we had regained our freedom and were back in our wheelchairs, we were sitting watching television. One thing led to another and someone suggested we attempt to balance our wheelchairs on the rear wheels. As you would expect both of us promptly fell over backwards. And also as expected we both were confined to our beds again.

After that I don’t remember anymore issues with wheelchairs. However, as I look back on that hospital stay now, I can only imagine how glad those nurses were when we were discharged.

Years later after I was married and had two young boys we took a vacation to Washington DC. While in Washington DC we visited the National Zoo. Because of my hip problems I would always take a wheelchair whenever we were someplace that required a lot of walking. There I was in a wheelchair being pushed by my two young sons. The Washington Zoo has hills and so the boys would push help push the wheelchair. However, sometimes when we would be going down the hills they would let the wheelchair go letting me free wheel down the hills faster and faster. I would always let them think I wasn’t able to stop the wheelchair. However, I was no-longer 12 years old and knew the dangers of running into people with a wheelchair so I always had the wheelchair under control. I still can see both boys standing at the top of a hill laughing and laughing thinking they had pulled a fast one on their father.

Even though I wouldn’t let a wheelchair run away down the hills of the Washington Zoo, I still have enough child in me to race someone else in a wheelchair into church.


Blogger dot said...

Oh that's funny! You are such a great story teller.
Don't think the patients are the only ones who have fun with wheelchairs..I'm a nurse and I know better!

Monday, June 23, 2008 at 3:17:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Boots said...

As one of the sons in question in this story, I can say that I never knew that he had the wheelchair under control.

I remember going to the zoo YEARS later with my wife on a vacation and thinking how incredibly dangerous and irresponsible our behavior with dad and his wheelchair was.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 7:42:00 AM PDT  

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