A few nights ago, I was sitting in my chair with my computer screen on. I received an email from a friend that said, “dude, I need to get this.” I realized the thing my buddy claimed to have needed was impractical. When I think of something that is a necessity, the first thing that comes to my mind is my wheelchair. without my power chair I lose almost all my independence.
It doesn’t matter if you are in a wheelchair or not. We all have some type of errand to do. I am very thankful for my Quantum motorized wheelchair. It allows me to have the independence I need to do my weekly errands. In my life, the biggest errand I have to complete is going to the grocery store. We all need to eat. Before COVID-19, I was in the grocery store on average two times a week. I’m pretty strict with my time management and want to make sure I get the most out of every errand I run.
Before I head out to do my errands, I go to the grocery store’s website to look up the things I would like to purchase. This is also a great way to view the weekly sales and set a budget. In my opinion, budgeting is key and the best way to avoid buying things you don’t need. It’s easy to become excited by something in the store because the item is on display or has a big sign. Grocery stores love when consumers buy things on a whim.
Once I make my list, I head to the store. I’m very thankful for iLevel on my Edge® 3 motorized wheelchair because the elevation allows me to reach items I would not be able to reach while using a traditional wheelchair. I can’t hold my hands out in front of me anymore. So, if something is on the middle shelf, the elevation allows me to it. If something is on the bottom shelf, I just lower down.
Now, I have to be honest. There are some items that are really high on a shelf or in the freezer section that I can never get. Usually what I do is mark down the items on my list I could not reach. When I’m done shopping, I go up to the customer service desk (as long as I don’t see a big line) and ask if they can have someone pull the items for me. They’re always happy to assist me with the items I can’t reach or are too heavy for me to lift. If the customer service desk is busy, I just pay for the groceries I have and go home. Once I am home, I go back on the website and order the items I couldn’t reach for curbside pickup the next day. This is not the most ideal situation but it’s what I have to do.
If I did not have iLevel, I would not be able to check out at the grocery store. Without iLevel, I am unable to get the items out of my cart and onto the conveyer belt. I am also unable to reach the credit card swipe machine. Last week I stopped at the grocery store, and this was my first time going to the store in months. I needed broccoli for my dinner. I put my mask on and wore rubber gloves. Between the gloves and my power wheelchair, the looks on people’s faces were priceless.
As I was checking out, the lady at the register remarked how amazing it is that I can sit up high like that in my chair. So, I started to explain to her how iLevel allows me to do my errands. This lady brought a huge smile to my face. She was the first person in a grocery store to acknowledge that my electric wheelchair allows me to use the credit card machine. She told me that she has worked for the store for 15 years and has only seen one other person in a wheelchair check out. She had to call a manager to process the gentleman’s payment for him because they had to tilt the screen so far down, he couldn’t put his card in.
In my life, independence is a huge thing. Without my Edge® 3, I would not be able to do my grocery shopping and run my weekly errands.
About Josh McDermott: Josh is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. He is a public speaker and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Josh lives in New York and loves to travel. Click here to learn more about Josh.