Lists are extremely popular these days. We have lists of the best performing schools and hospitals, least/most expensive towns to buy a house in the UK, smallest/largest immigrant populations in the UK, best/worst rubbish collection. Frankly, the list of lists seems endless.
A list that has not yet been compiled, probably because it's a minority interest, is a list of The Best Public Places to Get a Large Wheelchair. Here is my list:
1) JFK Airport, NY, NY
2) London Heathrow Airport
3) London Stanstead Airport
Here is my list of The Worst Public Places to Get a Large Wheelchair:
A Certain World Famous Teaching Hospital In North West London
Let me digress. I have a medical condition called Lymphodoema. for me, this means that my knees are extremely swollen, and I can't walk very far. this also means that, together, my knees are bigger than my body. So, although my bottom fits comfortably into a standard wheel chair, my legs are over the wheels, and the chair cannot move. I am receiving excellent medical attention at a Certain World Famous Teaching Hospital In North West London, and I have to attend not only my Consultant's (all bow down and worship him. He is not only clever and charming, but also gorgeous) clinic, but also Physiotherapy. Now, Katy usually takes me to my Consultant's appointments, as they are only about once every six weeks, but I have to attend Physio rather more often. As Katy has a Very Important Job, and is often Very Busy Indeed, alternative arrangements have to be made.
The CWFTHinNWL has a service where ambulances, with attendants, more like coaches actually, who will collect raddled old cripples like myself from their homes, wheel them to the vehicle in a wheelchair, deposit them at the appropriate clinic, collect them after their appointments, and drop them home again afterwards. It was decided that that was the road which I would travel. Arrangements were made, and a note was placed on my file to tell transport that I needed the large wheelchair. We all knew it existed, because I was sitting in it in the CWFTHinNWL as the arrangements were being made. It was also suggested that I telephone Transport the day previous to the appointment to remind them about the chair. Which I did. I was assured that they knew everything, and that I was to be ready at 11.30am.
Do you remember the story of the Three Little Pigs, and how they got up earlier and earlier to beat the Big Bad Wolf? This was obviously the premis on which the Transport service works, for they arrived at 9.30am. Anyway, they agreed to wait while I got ready, a long and tedious process, but eventually, ready I was, and the smiling attendant came in with THE STANDARD WHEELCHAIR. Of course, this was no good to woman nor beast, so he phoned his Despatcher, and I phoned my Physiotherapist, who changed the appointment for another day, and I put my feet back up, and though a little put out, thought no more of it.
The next day the Physiotherapist telephoned me. Transport had told her that the CWFTHinNWL didn't have a large wheelchair. This was ridiculous for 2 reasons, firstly the hospital sees people my size and larger all the time, I have seen them there. I have also seen some of them in wheelchairs. Secondly, as mentioned earlier, I have, myself, sat, and been seen sitting, in the large wheelchair. More to-ing and fro-ing continued, until eventually Transport came up with this solution. It went like this, 'If we can find the large wheelchair, we will put it on an ambulance, but we can't guarantee that the ambulance that goes to the Chairwoman's house, will be the one with the large wheelchair on it'.
I have made alternative arrangements. My friend's husband comes here early in the morning,
he then switches to my car, drives me and my mobility scooter to the CWFTHinNWL, I then switch from car to scooter and zoom (!!) off to my appointment with a cheery wave, and at lunchtime he collects me and we reverse the procedure. It may be a little clumsy, but it works.