Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Now I Can Go-Go When Mother Nature Calls

Filed under: Living with a disability — by Glenda at 11:41 pm on Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Last Monday morning…early last Monday morning…Mother Nature called me from my cozy, comfy bed. Begrudgingly I dragged myself up and into my scooter parked bedside.

Turning on my Zoom scooter, it did not zoom; it didn’t even budge, at all, after repeated attempts. I had been having trouble with the scooter and knew getting a replacement was in the near future, but I wanted to first pay off our Hawaii trip, the interior painting and March’s conferences trip before needing to buy a new scooter. Obviously that was not going to be the plan, but did the thing have to choose the most inopportune time to die? 

With Mother Nature now calling desperately, I was forced to take the ungraceful approach. I felt the strength of my Nana – who, on her hands and knees, crawled up and down her basement stairs to do the laundry while she battled bone cancer – as I got down on the hardwood floor, which felt even harder at that early hour.

Later, once he was up, Darrell managed to drag my ancient, juvenile-sized manual wheelchair over my side of the bed. I stuffed the somewhat-wider version of myself into the uncomfortable chair – the one no rubber left on its wheels, but that is another story.

With the foot pedals removed, I “walked” the hard-to-move-with-four-flat-tires-feeling chair through the minimal morning chores. Man, I was slow moving!

Finally at my desk, I booted my computer and headed straight for Scooter City’s website to see what they had available for indoor scooters. Sadly there was no Zoom listed, but there was a Go-Go scooter, which had been my second choice the last time around.

I then emailed Pam who has been my Scooter City contact through four scooters. Even though she was in Arizona, her staff arranged to have a Go-Go was in my home the next day for an extended in-home demo. Now that is customer service!

When choosing a scooter for indoors, there are three main points I consider:

  1. Size and manoeuvrability:Although our place is fairly open, my big scooter does not work in here; hence the need for a second, smaller one.
  2. Hand controls: A few of them I’ve looked at I could not use. It’s becoming harder to find ones that I can use.
  3. Tippiness: I’ve learned this one from experience (and not a pleasant, pain-free one).

The Go-Go fairs well on all three, although the looped handles makes corralling my splayed fingers a conscious effort; but not as conscious an effort as a week ago. Improvement.

The one attribute that does puzzle me is the placement of the battery charger outlet: on the front of the battery case, under the seat. To plug in the charger, I need to either:

  • lean forward with my head between my knees, fumble around with my “bad” right hand to lift the rubber protective flap, and plug in the charger with my “quasi good” left hand before passing out from blood rushing to my head; or
  • get down on my knees, lift up the flap and plug in the charger before losing my balance.

Who designs these things? The rubber flap may be short-lived…

Now I can get there when Mother Nature calls; I only wish she would stop calling so early in the morning.

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Comment by Paula Lee Bright

January 19, 2011 @ 1:39 am

Well, dang. I truly do commend you! My first scooter experience (I am not officially disabled, but my combined smaller disabilities are an ugly combination!) was at Blogworld. Whoa, I was a real killer on that thing…and I mean, almost literally. I am so lucky I didn’t hurt anybody.

I love getting your newsletter because it gives me a much clearer idea of the things I need to be thinking about as my stuff escalates and I need more and more outside assistance, and hopefully from devices like the go-go, rather than any person! Keep up the great work, Glenda. I always enjoy your writing. :)

Comment by MissDazey

January 19, 2011 @ 5:45 am

Have fun with the new scooter. Question- do you use a different model or type scooter outside? Which do you take on trips?

You might look at getting the new one this way. People trade cars ever so often, the scooter is your transportation.

I bought a new wheelchair off eBay a few years ago, a lot cheaper than in stores and/or other sites. About half price for same chair.

Comment by Doug

January 19, 2011 @ 6:47 am

Wow, that’s a really dumb place for a recharging socket! Maybe you can get a very short heavy duty extension cord (electric clothes dryers need really beefy ones too) and tie up the other end some place more accessible and safe?

Comment by marylee

January 19, 2011 @ 9:59 am


Comment by Barbara

January 19, 2011 @ 11:22 am

I’m happy to read you were scooter-less for such a brief time. I am not happy (appalled really but not at you) you do not have better back-up. While I read a fair few Canadian bloggers I can only ask – does your scooter come under the medical care provisions? It sounds like you will be buying it yourself. I hope you check into MISSDAZEY’s suggestion for buying a better second hand wheelchair as backup.

I saw a really small, er, compact scooter driven by someone at the World Congress on Disabilities. Sorry I did not get the brand name of it. Technology is constantly invented and so I hope you can always go to an upgrade of a previous mobility too with each transition.

Comment by Larry Lawfer

January 19, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

Glenda, you are such a wonderful story teller, even when the story isn’t that wonderful to have lived. Grace, strength, dignity, resourcefulness and humor. Isn’t it time you begin writing a book of the stories of your life? Or do you have it finished already and I missed that blog?

Comment by Glenda

January 19, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

Paula, thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoy my writing.

Next BlogWorld let’s introduce ourselves and then terrorize the hallways together!

Comment by Glenda

January 19, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

MissDazey, yes, different scooters for inside and out. There’s no way I could do what I do outside with the small one. I take the big one on trips, which is a little awkward in hotel rooms, but I make do.

Comment by Glenda

January 19, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

Doug, brilliant idea! Except the charger plug is not the same as a wall plug, of course. But, surely that would be fairly straightforward to produce, which Pride and other scooter/wheelchair manufacturers could offer as over priced accessory.

Comment by Glenda

January 19, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

Marylee, working on step one – tracking down an email for Pride Mobility.

Comment by Glenda

January 19, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

Barbara, usually I use my outside scooter inside when I REALLY need to, but with just having our place paint, I didn’t want to risk banging the walls.

Being on social assistance, there’s ridiculous limits on what they will buy as a back-up chair. And that process can take months – and I need the replacement NOW! It’s more complicated and I’m eagerly awaiting for the day when I can freely write about these issues without fear of the wrong person happening across blog…

Comment by Barbara

January 19, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

Sorry, Glenda. I probably asked a too personal question. I also missed that you have both an outdoor and indoor scooters.

I am truly not familiar with how DME is managed under the Canadian system. The limits exist here, too. Honestly, there’s not much more I can say as our system is completely in flux right now. I did hear rumors of very hard times for DME dealers at the Congress also.

No pressure from me to for divulging scooter secrets! ;)

Comment by Glenda

January 19, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

Larry, thank you. And, yes, I have shared many stories in my autobiography I’ll Do It Myself. Autographed copies are still available; also now available on the Amazon Kindle.

To let you in on a little secret, I’m going out on another virtual book tour shortly. Watch for details coming soon!

Comment by Glenda

January 19, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

Barbara, no problem. It’s nothing a little creative financial juggling can’t solve.

Here in Canada, each province likely has different rules – and social assistance medical is definitely different from medical insurance, which many people don’t realize. After two weeks in Hawaii, which has been hit hard by the recession/depression, I am grateful for the assistance we do receive. I also hope that we will be able to get off, for good, one day.

Comment by Kathy Olsen

January 20, 2011 @ 10:47 am

Glenda there is a great book called ‘ The inmates are in charge of the asylum’, it is about how important user design is in developing everything from websites, to scooters to washing machines. It is a good read and perhaps you might want to pass it on to the maker of your scooter to do some testing before they release the next version and fix the battery issue up. Thanks so much for your stories.

Comment by Dallas Hinton

January 13, 2013 @ 10:13 pm

If you contact Mark E. Smith at he might be able to assist with an adapter for your scooter (he’s a designer? for Pride).

Cheers from Vancouver!

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