Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday guest post- Officer Cynical!

From our favorite man-in-blue:


Last night, near the end of my shift, I happened upon a disabled car in the middle of a busy intersection. I pulled in behind him and put my overhead lights on, then went to talk to the driver to see what needed to be done.

The driver and a passenger were there, waiting for traffic to clear so they could push it out of the street. As I was talking to them, I noticed a guy in one of those serious, heavy-duty, motorized wheelchairs cruising by on the sidewalk, but didn't pay him much attention.

Well, as we started pushing the car, this guy suddenly jumped out of the StephenHawkingmobile, ran over, got behind the dead car, and helped us push it through the intersection and onto a side street. Then he ran back to the chair, hopped in, and motored away. It was like seeing a new-fangled superhero or something.

I still don't know what the hell happened.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just curious - does Officer Cynical have a blog?

Kim said...

Well, I have no suggestions as to why he ran over and helped then ran back, other than maybe he was just helpful and shy and wanted to be an unknown hero, but my guess as to why he was in the chair to begin with is that he had to move the chair from one location to another, it wasn't his chair, but there was no other way to move it so he got in it. I've actually done that for people. It's easier to ride in it then to undo everything and push it. :)

Anonymous said...

My first thought was insurance fraud.

Anonymous said...

Wheelchair faster than car in peak hour trafic?

Anonymous said...

Its got Little Britain written all over it..! its a UK comedy..google it...the characters are andy and lou... content may offend if you're not British!

Karen Whiddon said...

I miss your blog, Officer Cynical. That said, I love the glass half full person who said he was moving it. Kudos!

Anonymous said...

Never let the glasses and mild-manner fool you...

brent said...

That was very noble of our hero to risk revealing his secret identity like that! With the advent of cell phone and the decline of payphones, there probably wasn't anywhere for him to change into his superhero outfit.

The great part of the story: people actually stopped to helped.

Carolyn said...

I still miss your blog but love seeing you pop up in the comments of my other favorites and Dr. Grumpy is awesome for having you guest post.

I'm going to agree with Kim's theory - my grandmother had a crazyhuge chair like that and trying to control it if you weren't sitting in it typically meant run over toes and dented walls.

But even knowing that, even having ridden in her chair to move it, if I saw that? I would be all o_0

Wendy said...

They help their own.

Li'l Azathoth said...

"Dammit, Jim, I'm a faith healer, not a mechanic."

Steeny Lou said...

It could have been that the guy was just taking a friend's wheelchair out for a cruise, just for fun, like, "Hey, can I try your wheelchair?" kinda thing, and he indeed had no medical reason to be in it. Just my thought.

Amanda said...

With gas prices the way they are, those chairs are probably more economical than a car...of course, walking would be faster than most of them.

Anonymous said...

Also, people who use chairs like that might be able to handle walking short distances. He could have had a bad heart and needed it because he needed oxygen, and maybe it was a good day for him so he felt like he could do a good deed that day.

W8ng2retireRPH said...

StevenHawkingMobile hahahha I'm dying over here. terrible.

MDB said...

Sadly in my town all we have usually are the jerks in the hover-round type scooters/chairs. A couple will drive nearly in the road and get pissed if cars don't swing clear into the opposite lane for at least 100 or more feet behind and in front of them when on the road when they start passing them. One particular scooter driver will drive down the center of the lane of traffic if it is winter and the snow berms are high as he doesn't feel like using the sidewalks that no one is on but will call the cops to get him unstuck when he hits something in the road.

I have also seen this pair around town of a tandem, one lady in an electric scooter pulling a guy in a regular wheelchair around town, usually seen coming or going from the local supermarket.

Referee said...

dun du na na! It's a miracle!

Anonymous said...

We see this all the time in Brittain. It's called the 'too lazy to walk' syndrome. Sales of mobility scooters, as they're called here, aren't restricted to disabled people.

Cape Cod Step-Mom said...

Many cities do not do a good job of clearing curb cuts making it difficult for people with mobility issues. Sidewalks are cleared then the plows come and push the snow over the curbs.

Crazy RxMan said...

Working retail pharmacy, I can tell you there's a number of people who ride around on the motorized shopping carts WHO DON'T NEED TO! I even had one guy admit to me that he just liked the ability to sit down while he shopped! Meanwhile grandma over there who can't walk is trying to push a grocery cart around.

lbparker said...

There's also the fact that you don't need a driver's license to drive a powered wheelchair. Kind of like the folks who ride their lawnmowers to the liquor store.

Ok, I'm REALLY cynical.

Anonymous said...

My sone took his grandmother to Motor Vehicles for a license renewal, he said she along with 15 others parked their walkers scooter/ wheelchairs outside the door and went in with canes.

Dies Irae said...

Could be it was all his grandma left him.

grumpy but gorgeous said...

yh a wheelchair probably is quicker thatn cars in traffic lol.

Ianto Jones said...

Erm -- especially on a neurologist's blog (even a primarily humorous one), I'm feeling strongly pressed to speak up on this one.

Not everyone with a "legitimate" need for a motorized wheelchair is paralyzed.
They are amazing works of tech-craft, and can completely open up someone's world.

When you are dealing with a medical condition that saps your strength, energy, or health (*not* just one that physically removes literal movement), you can find your choices in a day dramatically narrowed.

In the sense of "if I bathe today, I won't have the wherewithal to also eat". No exaggeration.

And ambulation takes/uses a great deal of energy (moreso if you have any gait abnormalities ).

The use of a mobility device can mean having the energy to be able to do things others take for granted. Many diseases are perfectly invisible, sometimes intermittent, and sometimes cumulative.

Just because the man was able to help push the car (and kind enough to do so!) doesn't imply any kind of fraud -- quite the opposite; someone with something to hide wouldn't 've been willing to be seen as able to help at all.

Sorry, but button is *very* hot.

Ianto Jones said...

And while it shouldn't matter that I have personal examples, I have several:
1) My wife has MS (and was undiagnosed for nearly a decade before, with something causing severe pain when she had to stand STILL, which made queues an agony for her (walking briskly was fine - even for several miles! - but slowly or standstill hurt like burning). This meant that when the market was busy, she had to use a chair or rollator -- not because she couldn't walk but because she couldn't wait on line.
2) My mother had COPD/emphysema/severe asthma. With a very intermittent course. On a good day, she was fine -- couldn't tell by looking at her that there was anything in the world wrong with her.
On a bad day she could not take five steps without turning blue. No exaggeration. And so if we planned a day out (such as a trip to a Renaissance Faire), she would ride in her powerchair. Even on a good day. Just in case. Even though she looked and sounded like a healthy 55yo (and could get up just fine to ride the elephant...on a good day). She also died at 65, with no specific notable previous downturn.
3) I know someone with both post-polio syndrome and chronic non-migraine headaches. They *are* paraplegic, though they spent two decades on forearm crutches and another in a manual wheelchair. They were able to work full-time, and commute over an hour.
And apart from that? They slept. From 7:30 at night to 6 in the morning during the week, and nearly all day both days all weekends.
They ate microwave burritos or packaged plain lunchmeat slices (if they weren't too exhausted to even cope with the microwave -- if so, they simply drank a large glass of milk).
No social interaction, no entertainment, no family life -- subsistence .
Finally, their health failed to the point where they could no longer push the manual chair, no longer drag themself out of bed, no longer brave the angry public who resented the inconvenience of their wheelchair on public transportation ... and their employer's insurance decided they were an appropriate candidate for a powerchair.
That post-polio responds well to an approach of "conserve to preserve" -- treating energy as a bank account with finite resources.
And it was as if a whole new world had opened up!
I mean, we aren't talking overnight social butterfly, but it became possible to watch a tv program with a friend on a Saturday, and supper became a far more regular occurrence (though still microwave centric).
It also extended the work career an additional five years before disability -- and quite frankly, if the powerchair had happened fifteen years earlier, they might very well still be working today.

My point is -- powerchair use, wheelchair use, mobility device use, is NOT equal to paralysis.

And just because you are capable of walking doesn't mean it's in your best interest to do so, or that you don't "legitimately" need your assistive device.

Also, I can't count how many times I've seen and talked with frail and or elderly people who resisted or refused assistive devices because they didn't want to think of themselves or be perceived as either "older" or "more disabled", yet they were struggling and clearly risking disabling falls with every tottering, cane-clutching, visibly exhausting step, when I *knew* that the use of an appropriate tool would help them conserve energy and therefore be able to use said energy on the things and people they enjoy, ultimately rendering them far LESS disabled... It makes me sad to see people suffer over societal preconceptions. Hence this hot button and this post.
/me gets off soap box ...

 
Locations of visitors to this page