Saturday, May 7, 2016

ADVENTURES WITH ELEVATORS

Using elevators is a fact of life for me. My power chair is heavy so there is no other option. It takes very strong men to pick up the chair.  I remember being at a church gathering. It was announced that the small elevator was sparking and smoking. I was in the church basement. Four men carried me up the stairs in my power chair.. There was not a lot of room. I was relieved when we got to the first floor.

One year. on Palm Sunday, my mother and I got stuck in that same elevator.  Just as they were about to call the fire department, they managed to get us out. We were stuck between floors.

I remember the elevator being out of service one Friday afternoon, when I was on the second floor, at Meramec..I had to be carried down in my power chair again. That's scary because sometimes I  can feel those, who are carrying me, shaking a little bit.

The wrestling coach at Meramec  made a stick for me so I could reach the buttons in the elevator It looked like a small pool cue. It had a leather handle and rubber tip. I don't know what happened to it. It worked great  for turning lights on and off too.

When I was little, my mom and I had to use freight elevators. in department stores when  the main ones were not in operation. They were big and made a lot of noise.. I always thought this was kind of cool . We got to see parts of the store that no other shoppers did.

I have gotten stuck in the elevator here too. It happens because I have difficulty reaching the buttons I have to angle my chair just the right way. Then twist around in my chair to reach the buttons, I'm sure I look like a pretzel.  Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn't When it doesn't, I just wait for someone to come to use the elevator..I was stuck in an elevator with another resident . The other resident yelled for help. Thankfully, it worked..

My most recent  elevator adventure occurred last Thursday when a friend and I visited the mall. My friend also uses a power chair. We had an enjoyable time browsing in the mall's bookstore. We got a bite to eat in the bookstore's cafe.

We had to take the elevator upstairs when we were ready to leave. My friend pushed the button, the doors opened and we rolled in. The doors closed. It was at that moment we found neither of us could reach the buttons. Whenever two people in power chairs are in an elevator together, it takes a bit of maneuvering for both of the chairs to fit to allow the doors to close. It's like a very awkward ballet. Now, it was going to take some maneuvering for one of us to  get to the buttons. The elevator was quite small. We kept banging into each other, getting caught each other's chair and hitting the walls of the elevator. It seemed like an eternity, but in reality, it was only about five minutes/, My friend was able to reach buttons. We got out safely.

Elevators. Necessary. Frustrating. Never a dull moment.