If you follow me on Twitter, then you already know that last Friday was a VERY big day for me! And today, I’m so excited to share some photos of my new wheelchair! Or, as I like to call it…MY NEW RIDE!!!!
The backstory for those who haven’t kept up with my saga on social media: I started the process of ordering a new wheelchair way back in December. My mom, as moms are apt to do, had been getting on my case for awhile about getting a new one. In fact, she’d been
harping suggesting I get the process rolling (no pun intended…) since the summer — remember my snazzy new shoes?
“You need to order a new wheelchair,” she’d say in her most stern and authoritative voice. I knew then that she meant business.
Granted, I sort of saw her point, though I’m stubborn and so I wouldn’t dare admit it at first. I mean, my old wheelchair was 8-years-old, some of the foot rest was being held together with duct tape and one of the controllers had just broken off in November. So I suppose it did leave something to be desired, but you all know I get attached to things and HATE change — this one was a hard pill to swallow. I’d come to love my wheelchair and it had become a part of me; it wasn’t just a machine, was it? Gosh, it was so much more than that.
But, I slowly began to see my mom’s point, so I began the arduous process of acquiring a new set of wheels. If you’ve ever dealt with insurance companies when it comes to this, then I’m sure you have a bit of sympathy for me — or share in my anger?
First, in addition to the doctor’s prescription, I had to go for a wheelchair assessment with a physical therapist — you know, to make sure that I was still disabled and requiring a wheelchair. Considering that I’ve been disabled since birth and the majority of my body is fused, I honestly don’t foresee my disability status changing any time soon. Thankfully, that went well, and I was measured for my new one. Like I said at the time, celebrities and fashion people get fitted for designer clothes while I get fitted for a new wheelchair.
I spent the next two months waiting for the insurance company to authorize everything and trust me, it was a very, very long two months, indeed. Then, when I finally called, they delivered the dreaded news: “We’ve deemed that a new wheelchair isn’t medically necessary for you…”
As Miranda Sings would say, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I’ve been disabled from birth and I can’t walk. I was livid, to say the least, but my mom raised a woman who has no trouble advocating for herself, so with the help of social media, I was able to connect with someone from the insurance company who was able to get my case on the fast-track to approval — whew!!! The sense of victory was quite palpable in the air, let me tell you. I sort of felt like Norma Rae taking on the big, bad insurance company!
My wheelchair arrived last Friday and all I can say is that I’ve never been so happy to have the entire ordeal behind me! And, OK, the new wheelchair is kind of cool. As you can see from the pics, it’s shiny and still has that new-wheelchair smell to it. And, it’s super speedy, which is perfect because it’ll be able to keep up with my fast-and-furious lifestyle!
The lesson here, friends: ALWAYS fight for yourself and what you need. I hope you enjoyed these photos and let me know about a time that you were your own advocate! What did you do? How did it make you feel? Let’s chat, shall we? xoxo
[Thanks to my mom for her awesome photography skills in these pics!]