I got a message from a visitor to the blog who sent me some photos of her pimped wheelchair. Shoshi puts alot of creativity and style into her wheelchair.
I invited Shoshi to tell her own story:
Pimping your wheelchair stops you being invisible. The first Christmas I was using it, I decided to put some Christmas decorations and lights on my Rolls Royce, and I was amazed at the response I got - total strangers kept coming up to me, smiling and making lovely comments, and I got into so many great conversations!
Sorry the photos are a bit dark, but it was the only way I could get the lights to show up. After Christmas I took the decorations off, and again I was amazed at the result - I was completely invisible again. So I decided I wasn't putting up with that, so I'd better have decorations on permanently. That's when I started doing it with flowers, and I haven't stopped since. This is my first attempt:
This is what I did the following summer:
and here it is against the beautiful backdrop of the gardens of Dartington Hall in Devon:
and in Bath, watching the mechanical guitar man:
We went to Naidex in April of 2009 and here I am waiting my turn for some wheelchair skills training, and you can see the Easter eggs and ribbons I put on:
I added some poppies and cornflowers for this summer's decorations:
I buy cheap silk flowers when I see them, and also sparkle trails and bits of bling to mix in with them, and of course my 2 strings of LCD lights - unfortunately the batteries don't last too well, and they don't show up in bright light, but out in the evenings they are really fun! I decorate my own spoke guards - you can find reasonably priced plain ones online. I painted the pink flowers myself, and the black ones I just stuck hotfix gems on to give some serious bling for Christmas/winter.
As a bit of reverse pimping, how's this for a bit of grunge?
I took the photo of this ancient wheelchair in its matching transport at this year's South West Disability Show, where, incidentally, I was instantly recognised by people who remembered me and my flowers from last year!
I think it's really important to make a statement with your wheelchair, or any mobility aids you may need. Nobody wants to go round looking like a grey National Health advert, and just as you express your personality with your tie, or handbag, or shoes or whatever, you can do it big time with a wheelchair. For me it's a "canvas to work on"! I also have a sticker that says "My other wheelchair is a Porsche," which like my other decorations, has an amazing effect on other people and breaks down any barriers of embarrassment they may have. I wrote an article entitled "Wheelchair Use and Attitudes" which was published on the Invest in ME website which covers this aspect as well as many other attitudes which need to be faced. The article is on page 48.
I am in the process of getting Rolls Royce Mark II at the moment - not quite sure which model it will be yet, but rest assured, it will not go out naked, but pimped to the eyeballs! I'm planning new spoke guards for it for starters. You can keep up to date with my pimping and bling-ing on Shoshi's blog
Go on, give it a go. Make someone smile today - even if it's only you!