I try and manage without using my manual wheelchair at poolside and last night was no exception until the pain got so bad I had no choice but to use the wheelchair on poolside.
I had initially intended to just sit on the side and not move it up and down poolside.
The children were swimming on their backs and being safety conscious I wanted to ensure they didn't bump their heads at the other end of the pool.
The Head Coach was busy at the other end of the pool. That was it confidence up, I pushed off and got down the other end far quicker than I could walk.
The children had seen the wheelchair arrive on poolside and thought I was "playing around" with it.
Until they realised it was my own. They looked puzzled but then this turned to amusement when they saw how easily I managed to turn the wheelchair around in a very tight corner.
The Head Coach made a joke of it with the children and this allayed my fears.
One child asked "Have you got something wrong with your leg". I replied I had as it was far simpler than going into further details.
As the children headed up towards the other end of the pool. I trundled along in the wheelchair and managed to reach the other side to ensure that they were safe.
One little girl needed her goggles adjusting. Goggles always need adjusting and I am getting quite good at doing this. I got out of the wheelchair and took the goggles from her to adjust them. At this point the Head Coach decided to sit in my wheelchair. The children were laughing when I turned around and noticed him in the chair. He decided to try play act and be scared of me.
I told him I didn't mind him sitting in it if he wished.
The children set off swimming lengths again and I trundled up and down the poolside in my wheelchair one of children had no idea I would be at the other end before him and was really surprised.
Now I know I can be safe on poolside in my wheelchair I know I will use it far more often as I am quicker with it than I am walking. Also I have no pain while using it.
I don't know why I try and cope and not use the "aids" I have until I actually have to. I suppose I want to stay as mobile as possible but when I am swimming I am mobile so it is just a matter now of obtaining a happy balance.
The staff at the leisure centre had been asking me for a while if I wanted a chair on poolside I had been leaning on the steps of the look out post to help support me when I knew I needed to rest.
Now I will not need a rest I can be active in the chair and just as useful.
So it just shows that with a bit confidence what can be achieved.