As I posted on Facebook, yesterday I got trapped in my new car. I literally couldn't get out. My wheelchair was secured to the floor of the car and the boot wouldn't open to allow the ramp to deploy.
After being freed by the AA, who were amazing, I reflected on the emotional toll it took on me, even though I was in my own driveway with my friend Jude there for support. It was really quite scary. And given the prospect of freedom it offered me, I can't help feeling a sense of betrayal, especially as it was such a large investment of money.
In my early 20s I made a conscious decision to start using a wheelchair when I was out in public, even though I could walk, albeit unsteadily.
There were many reasons for my choice. Using a chair stopped me being anxious about falling over. It allowed me to communicate in a more relaxed and articulate manner. And it stopped strangers thinking I was drunk or deranged.
The wheelchair acted as a recognisable symbol that I was "disabled". People got it, they didn't need to cope with ambiguity and I didn't need to respond to their uncomfortable, confused reactions.