While I can’t fully prance around in Wellies whenever the rain comes billowing in, even though a good pair is nice to have if you can’t walk, I still have a deep-seeded love for a warm rainshower. I grew up dancing in the summer rain. If it was summer and raining, I was out there. But my wheelchair however, now that I need to use one, is sadly not on the same page.
You hear the thunder, and you run out there to catch it. Before you know it you’re soaked, your hair is dripping down your back and you feel like you’re channeling a 21 year old at Woodstock. This is my happy place. But my power wheelchair is fueled by two regular car batteries. It is so not meant to be poured on.
Sprinkles are ok, even a steady rain for a few minutes, but no power wheelchair can safely spend hours on end in the rain. Trust me I’ve tried. There are just too many crevices and cracks the drops can seep into. Simply put: If you’re out longer in hard rain more than 10 minutes, I can tell you from experience – your joystick will start fritzing out; but don’t panic.
Just get yourself out of the rain, and wait overnight for the joystick to dry out, which thankfully (whew) it will. My poor-lady solution to the annoying sudden rain shower that can spontaneously occur is to tie an old plastic bag from Target around my joystick. And it works. It’ll try to blow away if you go too fast, but just tie it snugly. I always make sure I keep one in my purse too.
There is no plastic bag large enough though that would allow me to really spend quality time in the rain. I could throw a wheelchair rain poncho over me, or even an extra large plastic bag made for lawn clippings, but those aren’t 100% fail safe in the event of a deluge, which is what my soul craves big time.
I will say however there is one okay solution – a giant golf umbrella duct-taped to my wheelchair. If it’s big enough, it can cover everything that needs to be covered, but the only problem – it completely separates me from feeling the rain. Again, another lame accessible “solution” where we get the shaft and miss out on the physical-ness of an activity. Click here for a cool wheelchair umbrella research project
So at this point I’m finally considering getting in my manual chair as my last chance effort. It’s not the greatest solution since I can’t push myself that well, therefore being unable to “prance” around like I’d like to, but at least I’ll be able to finally separate myself from my “conjoined twin” and feel the rain on my face, skin, hair, and feel reborn again in the rain; the beautiful, beautiful rain.
Here’s to hoping a cool yellow waterproof wheelchair, all sporty just like a waterproof camera, may one day become available. Or at the very least, some kind of amazing skin-tight rain jacket for a powerchair.
Is there a real-deal waterproof power wheelchair out there, other than Sue Austin’s famed powered diving wheelchair that is (link)? If anyone knows from experience, please share.
– Wellies from Isotoner
– Wheelchair Umbrella w/ holder
At UNlimiters, we’re always looking for products that help us live more independent and easier lives. Have you found a product that has improved your life? Let us know in the Shout section of our store and we’ll try to add it to our selection.