My first encounter with a mobility scooter

When the possibility of using a mobility scooter was first raised I involuntarily contracted as another sign of my disability flashed before my eyes. I saw that sign as something in me I had lost because of my Parkinson’s.

I went to a theme park today and knowing my walking has become shuffling, unsteady and exhausting I knew I was putting myself in a situation where a mobility scooter was necessary. I lasted about 10 minutes on my feet before having to stop and rest. I was holding everyone up so I relented and climbed onboard the red machine. I had to give up driving after my diagnosis so this was the first time in nine months I had taken charge of a motor vehicle. With some trepidation I turned the ignition key and the electric motor came to life without a sound; I expected a throaty roar of the engine but alas nothing. I shrugged my shoulders as much as my Parkinson’s will allow and laid my hands on the controls. They consisted of handle bars looped at each end with a moveable lever extending from the centre; I was informed that pushing the lever away from me propelled the machine forward, pulling the lever toward me put it in reverse and letting go applied the brakes. I was ready…

I gently pushed the lever and the mobility scooter lurched forward then settled into a steady pace. I was off!!! The wind streamed passed my face and the surroundings became a blur as I raced ahead, knuckles white as I grasped the handle bars…meanwhile toddlers and old people confidently strode past me and left me in their dust; I was actually doing 2mph! But I was mobile, in control and most importantly sat down resting my legs! I drove around the theme park with growing confidence. I even did a U-turn!

I now realise my fear was misplaced; using a mobility scooter is not about what I’ve lost but what I gain from using it, no matter how fast or slow I go.

dr jonny
Hi i use a mobility scooter it been the best thing ive done.i had pd for 12 years and only 43.but i thought od hadvtook my independence away when me neuroligist told me to hand me licsence for me car.i felt like me life was over.but when me scooter came along wellbi enjoy goin out agin now got that good feeling back.some people would think a scooters not wot they need but when your stuck in the four walls climbing the walls with borderm.having a scooter gives you back your freedom.:smile:

I have a friend who has suffered a lot by Parkinson but i always intended to help him. last month I bought him a TGA Superlight RWD. He loves it a lot. and happy now we go every evening for a walk as usual. we spend time just like old days.

Great post dr jonny and well written.  I had to use a wheelchair when we went to Florida. Not the same independence as a scooter, but at least I didn't slow everyone down. A friend of mine used to terrify me doing wheelies on his mobility scooter. I quite look forwards to the day I get one!

Hi drjohnny

The first time I drove my scooter I crashed into a shop front!

Having driven a car for over 30 years I was used to having to make a positive action in order to stop so when I tried to park up in front of a shop I instinctively pulled on a lever which of course speeded me up. Fortunately there were several bags of paper and cardboard rubbish in front of the shop or I might have launched myself through the glass window!

I'm much better now but still have the odd moment of panic.