okay, i’m just putting this out here because it needs to be said and i’m sick of letting the bullshit train continue when i could help stop - or at least bring attention to - it. i have a friend who is diplegic and therefore uses a manual chair (her twin was also quadriplegic and in a motorized chair) and when we watch movies with wheelchairs in them, we like to critique the designs.
do you know why mcavoy couldn’t/can’t drive his motorized wheelchair? BECAUSE THE FUCKING WHEELS ARE ON THE WRONG WAY. HANK MCCOY, WHO IS SUPPOSEDLY A “GENIUS”, DESIGNED THE WHEELCHAIR SO THE BIG WHEELS ARE ON THE FRONT AND THE SMALL WHEELS ARE ON THE BACK.
LOOK AT THIS ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT. DO YOU KNOW WHY HE CAN’T DRIVE IT? THE SMALL WHEELS ARE AT THE FRONT BECAUSE THEY ARE SMALL AND THEREFORE ALLOW FOR LOTS OF FINE CONTROL, AND THE BIG WHEELS ARE AT THE BACK BECAUSE THEY OFFER POWER. WHEN THE BIG WHEELS ARE ON THE FRONT IT IS SO DIFFICULT TO CONTROL WHERE YOU ARE GOING. IT’S LIKE WHEN YOU WALK BACKWARDS ON A BIKE AND TRY TO STEER STILL WITH THE HANDLEBARS. I SAT BACKWARDS ON MY FRIEND’S MANUAL CHAIR AND TRIED TO WHEEL MYSELF. IT WAS LIKE COMPLETELY REWIRING MY MOTOR SKILLS EVERY SECOND I WAS MOVING. IT. IS. BULLSHIT. AND ALL OF CHARLES’ CHAIRS ARE LIKE THIS!!! HANK!!!!! WTF!!!!!!!
ALSO. Charles would have THE WORST backpain from that stiff-ass unnecessary fuckin metal backrest that goes all the way up. YOU KNOW HOW PEOPLE’S BACKS GET UNCOMFORTABLE WHEN SITTING FOR HOURS ON A LONG PLANE OR CAR RIDE???? YOU KNOW THAT FEELING??? THAT FEELING IS THIS CHARLES’ LIFE, OKAY. HIS BACK HAS TO BE UNNATURALLY STRAIGHT ALL THE TIME. THIS CRITIQUE IS TAKEN FROM MY FRIEND’S EXPERIENCE BECAUSE SHE ALSO HAS A HARD BACK CHAIR AND HAS BEEN TOLD SHE’S GOING TO HAVE AWFUL BACK AND SHOULDER PROBLEMS BECAUSE OF IT. YET HARD BACKS ARE STANDARD AND SLING BACKS - LIKE THE ONE I’M GOING TO SHOW YOU IN A SECOND - ARE NOT! THIS IS BECAUSE THE WHEELCHAIR-GETTING SYSTEM IS COMPLETELY BROKEN AND IT’S SOMETHING YOU SHOULD REALLY CARE ABOUT BUT IT IS A RANT FOR ANOTHER DAY). THE POINT IS, CHARLES’ BACK IS ONE HURTIN’ UNIT IN THIS CHAIR I GUARANTEE YOU. HE OBVIOUSLY DOESN’T NEED IT FOR TRUNK CONTROL. HE HAS AMAZINGLY FREE RANGE OF MOVEMENT ABOVE HIS HIPS. THIS CHAIR IS B U L L S H I T. HE CAN’T DRIVE, HE CAN’T SIT UP IN A COMFORTABLE WAY. POOR BABY IS H U R T I N G but right, Hank’s ~~a genius~~
In contrast, look at this chair!
Look at those tiny-ass wheels on the front! The user of this could spin ON A DIME. It’s Nice as Fuck. Look at that back. (Okay I’m not 1000% certain it’s a slingback) but it doesn’t go all the way up the user’s back! That’s some free-range-of-movement-let-your-spine-do-almost-anything-it-wants-shit right there. Since Charles pretty clearly has full use of his trunk in the movies, this would make much more sense. Also, Ann (friend) and I really don’t see why he would want an electric wheelchair when he clearly could have a manual one that allows for even more control.
AND OKAY, all wheelchairs should be specific to their users. Some people need more back support. In Ann’s quadriplegic brother’s chair there was a neck brace and little wing things on the side that came out and clamped around his body. Some people’s foot rests need to go out like Charles’ does (whether or not he requires this is kind of foggy, espc. since the overall design is so. asinine.). Some need their footrests to be more in like the orange chair. Some people get tilted wheels, some people don’t. (Also the process for deciding this is bullshit - on government insurance they will only build your chair with the assumption that you will never leave your house and therefore it’s almost impossible to get ‘add ons’ like sling backs and tilted wheels and under-the-seat brakes WHICH SHOULD BE STANDARD, AGAIN, BECAUSE IF YOU DON’T HAVE THEM YOU COULD HAVE MORE MEDICAL ISSUES DOWN THE ROAD OMG THIS SYSTEM IS SO BROKEN).
But I think we can ALL fucking agree that your wheels should go on the goddamn correct way so you can, you know, steer. And that maybe your chair should be designed more like a mobility assistance device than a fucking 1860′s gentleman’s club wingback for no goddamn earthly reason.
i am all about gray foggy mornings in late autumn when there’s a chill and a shiver in my body. mornings that call for large sweaters and rain boots. standing in the woods with pine and rain and smoke in the air. or standing at the edge of the ocean with salt in your mouth and the wind in your hair. the feeling of being both lost and found at the same time. the promise of returning home in your hands. a lick of winter at your heels.