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Friday, May 04, 2007

The Weakest Link

"If you look close enough, you'll find everyone has a weak spot."

That's a great line from "Fracture," starring Anthony Hopkins (excellent movie, by the way), but I think one could say the same thing about the wheelchair lift in my van. Its weak spot is the trip wire attached from van door to the lift, without which the lift will not operate (see picture). And to think that the ability of a piece of equipment strong enough to pick up a heavy motorized wheelchair all hinges upon one measly wire.

Well, the chickens came home to roost yesterday. Ready to grab some lunch after watching the aforementioned film -- no, Sir Anthony did not eat anyone, in case you were wondering -- my nurse and I were less than pleased to hear a loud "snap" when he opened the van door. Gulp!

"That's not good," we said at the same time.

Though I had several hours of power left on my ventilator battery as well as a cable to hook the ventilator to the van's cigarette lighter adapter, the goal was now to get me home. A few phone calls later and we learned how to use the lift's manual override. As we discovered, it has one speed: FAST! Let me tell you, I've never been happier to hit the ground. By the time we got home, I was so tired and hungry that I could have eaten someone!

For a relatively small sum, the folks at Accessible Vans and Mobility were able to fix the problem -- today (what a relief). They reattached the wire and added a spring that should have been there in the first place to relieve some of the tension on the wire.

But come to think of it, there are plenty of other weak spots in my life. You see, an existence such as mine is heavily dependent upon technology. The equipment that I use to move around, to get in my van, to operate my computer -- and even to breathe -- is so reliable that I sometimes take it for granted. But if any of these things fails, all that goes out the window -- and this life that I live becomes ever more complicated.

Of course, when that wire snapped yesterday, about the last thing that I was saying was how reliable the lift is. No, I think there were a few other words coming out of my mouth at that particular moment!


The Good Aunt said...

Good Gracious!! Be careful out there! Thank goodness nothing happened while you were ON the lift.

K. said...

Yo Josh, Awesome blog. Have always known you were exceptional. The way you share with compassion and humour and a natural optimism is inspiring. I am very fortunate to know you. Looking forward to celebrating the publication of your book!! Well done on your success. Cheers. Annah aka Cousin Karen