Asking Bella’s Physiotherapist if she could have a wheelchair was heartbreaking for me.
Her oversized pram was extremely uncomfortable for her and she wasn’t able to get involved in anything we were doing as a family outside of the house, the position she sat in meant she couldn’t use her arms or see around her properly when she was in it.
She would end up being carried wherever we went. Bella’s Cerebral Palsy prevents her from walking independently but she can use a walking frame with help.
Walking frames are fine for the house but slow and extremely tiring for Bella outside.
A wheelchair seemed the solution to getting her a little more independence and also more comfortable.
As parents of children with extra needs we feel guilty about a lot – could I have prevented this?
Am I spending enough time with siblings?
Am I doing this right?
Could I do more?
Asking for a wheelchair I felt like I was saying, ‘She’s never going to walk so now we need a wheelchair’.
Bella was over the moon when we went to see the wheelchairs as she was allowed to choose a pink one, and then she was allowed to choose pretty covers for the wheels.
The week running up to collecting the chair felt emotional, my daughter was going to become a wheelchair user.
It seemed a huge deal to me, it felt like she was now a label and I was worried about how she would be perceived by others.
As soon as she saw it, Bella thought the chair looked great, she was really enthusiastic about going in and within seconds of sitting in it she pushed herself down the corridor, with a huge smile on her face.
I knew straight away we had made the right decision.
I was either holding her pram, her or her walking frame. She sat so comfortably as well. We haven’t looked back since that day. She has never asked to come out when we are out, she sits in restaurants next to me instead of on my lap.
She can’t push herself far, but in a few weeks she is attending a wheelchair skills course run by a UK charity and I’m hoping it will at least make her realise what she can do when she’s ready.
She still uses her walking frame as much as before but is more comfortable and happy when we go out.
I have found getting around with the wheelchair so much easier then I imagined, I am always sure to check accessibility before we go anywhere but we had a day out in London and managed the underground and a few of the museums no problem.
People always smile when we pass and many people talk to Bella about how pretty her chair is.
The wheelchair has opened us up to a new world, and it’s pretty great!
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