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To hire a wheelchair?

(16 Posts)
BestZebbie Sun 05-Mar-17 23:42:15

I have rheumatoid arthritis. I have had symptoms and treatment for about two years, but for approximately 48 weeks of the year it is 'invisible' and more of an inconvenience than a disability (for the remaining time it flares up and I am definitely disabled by it with very reduced mobility, brainfog etc).
I can walk about two miles before fatigue/pain stops me and often use a cane if I will need to walk further than between a car and a building outside my home. At the start of a walk I am symptom free but it is as if I gradually wade through thicker and thicker quicksand until I stop making forward progress altogether.

I'm considering a day trip to a large safari park, on previous shorter visits to it I ran out of walking-around after about a third of the park.

WIBU to hire a wheelchair for myself (I would be with other people who would be prepared to push a chair for part of the day), considering that when I first go up to the wheelchair-hiring desk in the morning I will be completely fit and healthy. It seems like the sensible thing to do, but also like I'd be a massive fraud/they'd refuse to hire me one because I can walk perfectly well (at that point)/like I'd be taking a wheelchair that someone else might need. I have never been in a situation where I've had to consider using a chair before, so I think possibly the issue is my self-identity not catching up with my legs, but I'd like other opinions!

WorraLiberty Sun 05-Mar-17 23:44:59

Sounds fine to me.

My MIL has MS and is far more mobile on some days than others. She would always take a wheelchair on days out, just in case.

I'm pretty sure most places let you book in advance too, so it's unlikely you'd be taking a chair from someone who you feel needs it more.

Dawndonnaagain Sun 05-Mar-17 23:47:50

It sounds like a sensible option to me. If you feel awkward asking on site, you could get hold of your local Red Cross a week or so beforehand and hire one of theirs for a couple of days, that way you take it with you. They are really helpful and are not judgemental.
Hope you have a lovely time!

WattdeEll Sun 05-Mar-17 23:50:05

Go for it. That's what they're there for. I hired a wheelchair when I was 8 months pregnant, it as a very hot and humid day and I was on holiday taking my kids to look around a huge museum of science. I couldn't have managed without it and they had a great time. The customer service desk didn't bat an eyelid.
My husband also hires one when we need to go to on our annual trip to giant shopping centre because his knees are buggered and he can't walk for long on the hard floors without being in a lot of pain. He is wiating for knee replacements but looks pretty healthy otherwise and no one has ever stopped to question him either.

ThinEndOfASlipperySlope Mon 06-Mar-17 00:00:37

I think that's exactly what they're for OP! People who need a wheelchair all the time (like me) usually have their own; the hire ones are for people who need them temporarily.

Have a great time!

BackforGood Mon 06-Mar-17 00:02:57

What thin end said.

lalalalyra Mon 06-Mar-17 00:03:26

That's what they are for. The Red Cross is a good suggestion as well.

The other thing to ask the park is if they hire out any mobility scooters - that way you don't need a pusher.

PickAChew Mon 06-Mar-17 00:03:47

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

I own a walking stick. I need it only when the ground is icy or I'm walking on very hilly or uneven ground. I have a couple of days a year when I can barely walk at all.

Variable is variable.

TellMeItsNotTrue Mon 06-Mar-17 00:19:10

I often push my wheelchair, it helps me in the same way my zimmer does, then get in and out as necessary. If it helps, the person who pushes me sometimes goes to collect it then comes back to the car to get me. Saves me walking, especially as some are ridiculously far away, and walking without support (if I use zimmer there is then no way of sorting that when I get in the chair. They have never questioned me though, and I am young and no visible disabilities

r0tringLover Mon 06-Mar-17 05:59:17

But you aren't a fraud. You're hiring a wheelchair because you need it to save yourself pain. Someone else may need it but that isn't your fault.

You're overthinking it. Possibly because you'd feel self-conscious being in the chair more than the 'level' of need you have.

Enjoy the park.

EveOnline2016 Mon 06-Mar-17 06:18:40

Go for it.

The alternative is not to go and the company will lose that loss in revenue.

TheFirstMrsDV Mon 06-Mar-17 06:49:16

Lots, if not the majority, of wheelchair users don't use a wheelchair all the time.
Many use them for outdoors or long trips.
People who have two fully functioning legs use them due to fatigue or balance issues.

Use one if you need one.

PollyHampton Mon 06-Mar-17 06:53:40

Def do it, you will enjoy the day so much more! Not sure if it's the same all over the country but here the Red Cross require a letter from your GP before you can hire equipment so it might be worth checking.

MidniteScribbler Mon 06-Mar-17 07:00:28

That's exactly what the hire wheelchairs are for.

ZigZagIntoTheBlue Mon 06-Mar-17 07:06:33

I own a wheelchair for this kind of reason! It mostly lives in the shed, currently on loan to a friend who had a tendon op in her leg but it's there for when I or my 90 yr old gran needs it. Pm me if you're in the south east, you could borrow mine!

harderandharder2breathe Mon 06-Mar-17 07:15:50

Do it!

The people that hire them are likely like yourself, that only need them in that sort of environment.

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