Ranaway Wheelchair

               This is a speech I delivered on March 5, 2013 in the Atrium of the Ohio State Capital. https://reneewood2.wordpress.com/lent-2013/look-beyond-speech-at-ohio-capital/  The speech is pretty on paper at least. In delivering it, I was going strong and in the heat of passion until half way through my throat got seriously dry, I choked, and needed water badly! I tried to find saliva, but there just wasn’t any (who ever heard of a CP in need of saliva!?). Although I struggled to make a miraculous recovery as I sometimes do, I just couldn’t go on without water! Water finally came from some kind soul in the audience. I was worried about time, in front of like 500 people, so I let Floris finish it because of time! WHY DIDN’T I BRING WATER!? I even thought about it at the hotel but was worried about making it  to the event on time that I sloughed it off. I’ve talked many times longer than that and did well. Lesson learned!

               Later, on top of that I was cold! And when I get cold my muscle tone increases and I become rigid, so it becomes increasingly difficult to move my body parts. Add a dose of fear, and I become totally unable to move. So I’m talking with Paul, a DD Council staff person, when suddenly I realize my chair is pushing the table with people behind the table. As my chair hits the table, it’s pushing the mechanical arm that my joystick rests on, in towards my body which in turn causes the joystick to be push into my hand harder causing me to accelerate! Terrified, I was going to hurt someone, after moving the table like a foot or more, I turn to the left going towards the wall, hoping that now I can get my hand off the damn joystick! Nope, it was on there good! Turned left 160 degrees oncoming people! Shit, Turned left 90 degrees aiming back towards the table, I think I hit the table again and Paul pulled my hand off the joystick Thank God, and thanks to Paul of course!

               Worried I may have hurt someone behind the table, and completely mortified that these people are going to think I lost my freakin’ mind, I apologized and made sure no one was hurt, and then explained what happened. Paul said he realized I couldn’t get my hand off.  We later joked about me getting a job moving furniture!

               Then a state trooper approaches me and my brain goes into cop mode because I realized how that must have looked. Plus being arrested so many times for civil disobedience I know how to handle this. I look him directly in the eye, making sure I never lose eye contact, and explained what happened. He asked if I was hurt I said, no, I’m fine. I’m glad he wasn’t there when it happened, or he may have shot me ’cause I couldn’t stop, but I was avoiding people, except the ones behind that table!   

               Just a day in the life of someone with CP!

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