So what could possibly happen when you are turned down for a wheelchair by the NHS, because of where you live, but you find the perfect chair at a good price, from a reputable company? A lot, believe me. (If you haven’t read part 1 and would like to, click here http://bit.ly/2gfxbNo) Because of the health and safety issues that the NHS cited as the reason to not give me an electric chair, I was really cautious. Before I clicked that buy button, I read all the small print. The only piece that niggled at me was a line that referred to the delivery. It stated that the delivery driver would deliver the package to our front door, but no further. What it didn’t say, was exactly which door qualified as our front door. To us, clearly it is the one that we open to enter our flat, but I worried that it might be possible that the driver would see the door at street level as our front door, rather than just the door to our close. With the chair being second hand, I didn’t want to loose it, as it could be weeks or months before we found another one. It was late on Thursday evening and their call centres were closed, so we took the chance and clicked buy.
That night, it kept going around and around in my head and I couldn’t get it to go away. Adam had agreed that he would call them first thing on Friday and if they wouldn’t bring it up the stairs, well we would work something out. When he called, he spoke to a really nice helpful and friendly person, who said we had nothing to worry about. My chair was to be delivered by TNT and it was already on its way and would arrive on Monday. If we called on Monday morning, they would them be able to give us the tracking number and we could speak to TNT to double check about the stairs, but they could see no problem. So we had a good weekend, counting down the time until I didn’t have to be pushing myself or have Adam pushing me around the house.
Monday arrived and Adam called TNT, then phoned me to confirm yet again, there was no problem with the delivery, and that it would be here in the afternoon. I was at ease, and I have to admit I was actually just that bit excited as well. Monday morning passed as usual. First the district nurse, then Laura arrived, who I think was just about as excited as I was. I really have found a total gem in her, to the point, that I actually wish I could now afford to have her here more often. If possible, I would have her here every weekday and I would extend the time from half an hour to an hour, but it’s just not possible. Anyway, I digress, I will come back to her in the future.
Laura had just been gone for about 20 minutes when the front door opened, it was Adam. At first, I thought that he had just come home for lunch but he explained that he had taken the half day everyone is given off in the run up to Christmas, to do Christmas shopping. He wasn’t going shopping, he was home because he just wanted to be totally sure about the chair being brought up the stairs. I was so pleased to see him as I too, wasn’t totally at ease about the whole thing. We had been chatting for about an hour when the buzzer went, Adam answered it and it was TNT. He opened our storm doors, our front door, and was waiting to hear them coming up the stairs, nothing happened other than the buzzer ringing again. I then heard Adam heading off down the stairs. I thought that he was just going down to help them, but it didn’t play out that way at all.
When he got down to the street door, the driver was standing on the pavement with a huge box, a box that he totally refused to even help him get through the door. He told Adam that there was absolutely no way that he was going to help carry it up all those stairs and turned and left without another word. By pure luck, the flat above us is having some work done and their plumber was also outside getting something out of his van. He overheard the whole thing and offered to help Adam get it into the house. This total stranger helped pick up a box that had to weigh about 15 stone and carried it, along with Adam’s help, all the way to our inner hall. We concluded that he was just as disgusted with the attitude of the delivery driver as we were. Adam told me that he had actually been really quite rude, about the whole thing. If it hadn’t been for this niggle about the whole thing that we both had, I could have so easily found myself sitting up here in the flat, with my new wheelchair abandoned in the street. I’m sure that your guess is as good as mine as to how long it would have remained there. We do live in a good area, but we know from throwing out old TV’s, that anything your not standing beside, well, it vanishes within a couple of hours.
It took Adam about another hour to put the chair together and for us to work out all the little fiddly bits, that the so-called instructions, didn’t really explain. The chair was already fully charged and appeared totally perfect. I’ve been using it now for about five days, and I can find nothing, really wrong with it. Even in this short length of time, I can say with certainty that it is going to change my life. My arms are already far less painful, and my fatigue levels have lowered. This is the answer that I have been looking for, despite rules and rude people, I nearly never got.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 27/11/2014 – It never ends