Marc, you are known as "the Wheelchair Kamikaze." How would you describe the relationship you have with your wheelchair? Have you been able to dothings you might not otherwise be able to with the use of your chair?
Well, I'd say me and my wheelchair are very good friends. Like most people facing the prospect of getting a wheelchair, I was very wary of the whole proposition at first. I really resisted the whole idea for a while, but all the time my world was shrinking. I was able to walk less and less, but living in New York City, as long as you can get to a corner, you can always hail a cab. Unfortunately, my disease was progressing to the point where I couldn't even get to the corner. I had to undergo a long-running battle with my insurance company to get the wheelchair that I thought was right for me, because they had approved a wheelchair more suited for indoor and suburban use, whereas living in the city presents challenges best tackled by a more rugged machine. There are huge avenues to cross, the pavement is often in terrible shape, and numerous construction sites create some very haphazard pedestrian walkways. Also, I really wanted a chair that goes fast. I made the argument to the insurance company that this was because of the hazards of city living, but in reality I'm just a guy who always owned sports cars, and the thought of being stuck in a little putt putt chair was unacceptable. I finally got the insurance company to pay for a rugged chair with a high-speed package installed, so that I can go about 8.5 m/h, almost 3 times typical walking speed. The speed has actually turned out to be very handy, and I can get around the city much faster than most of my fellow New Yorkers, even if they hop on a bus.
Read this post in its entirety:
Wheelchair Kamikaze: Marc discuss Life in NYC, Progressive MS, Relationships, and CCSVI (Part One)