Many years ago now, I ended up with a pair of large buggies. One was a random eBay find to prove out an idea and the other I got by helping someone with a website.
They where both useful when I was recovering from the gallstones. But over time we didn’t use them and the ended up in my storage unit.
In the last 6 weeks or so that’s all changed. The two buggies have become critical to my daily life.
This is a post about why they are so useful and important, but also some of the challenges and barriers which turn up as we use them.
I’ll start with the the smaller of the two buggies. It’s an advance mobility independence, but it’s more or less the same design as a regular baby jogger stroller / pushchair. It folds in half by pulling up on a strap.
It’s not big enough for traveling form A to B. But indoors it’s been fab. Outfitted with some shaped foam pillows it’s become my default place to sit when I am at home.
It’s the only place I can sit in my flat which is pain positive. It’s not just low pain, it is a place I can sit to recover from pain. I normally spend around two thirds of all my waking hours sat in the small buggy.
It’s really effective as a desk chair. I can roll it under my desk and use my Mac and play Xbox etc. To make it a bit easier I’ve recently got a slightly larger display. Just so I can read stuff better. It works really damn well.
From time to time I take the small buggy to my friends house. If I’m visiting for dinner or for a gaming evening it’s easier for me to take my own seat. It also fits in the car easily and can be used to move me around if needed to transfer from one place to another.
If I could have anything, I’d make three changes.
The buggy would be a fraction wider. Just an inch or two would rock. The buggy would have a longer footplate so my feet didn’t dangle above the floor and they’d make something in this design with just a tiny bit more capacity. An extra 15kg would do. That would make it even more useful.
That said. They do make a bigger buggy and I am lucky enough to own one.
The big buggy is an advanced mobility freedom. It’s very well named. It really is freedom for me. Right now it’s the only way I can leave the flat. I can toe walk inside with walls to hold, but outside I can’t go any further than the end of my path where the wall stops.
The physical side of things is pretty simple. It’s big and stable. It has wheels we can swap which makes it a little easier to take to different places. It’s the other place where I am pain free.
The other aspect is the sensory and security. The big buggy is really big. I am a bit small for it so it means I sit deep inside with ample room for multiple plushies, my phone, ear defenders sunglasses case and a drink. It’s safe and secure feeling. Unlike a wheelchair I don’t feel perched on top and exposed.
I wouldn’t change all that much about it really. It’s clunky, but that’s sort of innate with the size. It would be nice if it steered better and the harness could do with better straps.
I was always anxious about the buggies. However out in the real world no one cares much and any anxiety quickly passes. They enable so much.
The wheels are big and easy to roll. My friends are wonderful and happy to push…. they say the buggies handle the weight better than most wheelchairs do.
The buggies can go places where a wheelchair wouldn’t cope. It makes it much easier to plan a trip knowing a small flight of steps or a muddy field isn’t a huge barrier. I often can get out of the buggy and toe walk a few meters with help to clear anything too narrow. The small buggy means I have a safe comfortable seat which can go pretty much anywhere. Between the two, visiting a friend for a BBQ is trivial.
I suspect even when I have a wheelchair and trike etc the buggies will be an important part of how I move around and enjoy my life.
They make my world bigger and that’s the most important thing. For some situations they are the most in incredible tool. We’ve gone for adventures with the buggy which we never would have attempted even before my current mobility issue.
They create a portable safe place. I’m probably as mobile as I am going to get and for the foreseeable future the two buggies are well named. They deliver me independence and freedom. Everyday.