Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s my wheelchair!

Resilience? Don’t make me laugh! So our flight was diverted to Brest for a medical emergency, fair do’s. But that added two hours onto a five hour ‘cross your legs’ situation, and me newly prescribed with diuretics. 🚽Then when we arrive at Tenerife my wheelchair cannot be found, nada as they say. So I am lugged into an airport wheelchair, feeling like a sack of potatoes by now, demanding to be taken to the ‘servicios’ (toilets) which of course are occupied by a mum with her baby and toddler, despite the fact that there is a baby-changing room next door.

Finally relieved – in one sense – we trundle off to the easyJet office to fill in the required forms and receive in return three bog-standard letters and precious little else. All this time I am perched precariously and uncomfortably in an airport wheelchair which has ‘sin barreras’ painted on the side. Then they try to take it off me, wanting to lift me into an even more unsuitable chair belonging to the transfer company (who, to be fair, have stayed with us throughout). My ‘no’ was pretty definite I thought.

And then ‘wait’ was the name of the game. For 24 hours. 

No contact from easyJet, from the airport, from anyone in fact.

Finally, at about 2 o’clock this afternoon I get a call saying my chair is being despatched from Gatwick (!) and will land at Tenerife at 18.10 and then be despatched to my hotel – where, incidentally, I am stuck on the seventh floor because the lift has broken! Oh, and it’s raining ☔️

How to convey to non-wheelchair users the impact of such experiences? Having followed all correct procedures and ticked all relevant boxes, I am nevertheless rendered immobile, in pain and discomfort, and unable to begin my holiday. And of course the knock-on impact on Tony is huge! All that is consistent is uncertainty, discomfort, and an inability to function to the limits of my capacity.

Resilience? Now where did I put it?


About lorrainegradwell

Active in the disabled peoples' movement since the early 80's, stepping back a bit now but still speaking up and still looking for independence and an end to discrimination.
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One Response to Resilience.

  1. Joe Whittaker says:

    What a horrible painful nightmare – how can airlines have such dreadful back up systems ? I

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