Since I hurt my back, I can no longer lift Namine to help her transfer to or from her wheelchair. She was already able to transfer herself in and out of the car, but she had always needed my help in getting into and out of her hand-pedal bike. Since my chiropractor gave me the okay to start running again, Namine has stayed in her wheelchair for the past few times of what she calls our “wheel runs.”
Namine told me that while she enjoys going out on wheel runs with me, she also misses being in her bike. In her wheelchair, it requires a lot more work. It’s not a racing chair; it’s an everyday chair, built so she can move quickly but not built with racing in mind. That’s what the bike is for.
The next time we headed out for a wheel run, Namine set her mind to transferring herself into her bike. Her first attempt was in crawling forward, the way she would transfer herself into the car. The difference there is that in the car, there is a lot more room. Even with the handlebars positioned to give her the most room, she still wouldn’t be able to turn herself around. Having discovered this, she backed into her chair and tried a different approach.
Rather than parking her wheelchair perpendicular to her bike, Namine repositioned it to be angled in the same direction. She removed the wheel guard and lifted herself, crab-walking sideways onto the bike seat.
After we got back from our three-mile wheel run, Namine transferred herself in the same way back to her wheelchair. It was much easier this time around, even with as tired as she was, because she’d already worked out the process.