Saturday, 12 February 2011

Flat Tire

Well, the good news is that its only flat on the bottom!

It may have happened a week ago...or maybe just the previous day. Perhaps there was just one sheet of paper too many. The custodian may have been in a rush to finish sweeping the floor that evening. Regardless, events converged this Saturday morning to send some grief my way.

First to arrive at work, I began to settle into my routine. Within minutes of driving my chair about the room, I realized something was amiss when the wheelchair began to klunk and sag to one side. My first flat tire since I acquired this 300 pound set of wheels strapped to my ass.

Somewhere between panic and disgust, I assessed the situation. Co-workers had yet to arrive and wouldn't be able to offer any meaningful assistance. I didn't carry any of the wheelchair service phone numbers with me so I phoned my wife and asked her to contact the wheelchair technician on my behalf. With my home only minutes from my workplace, I also asked my wife to bring my manual wheelchair to my workplace so that I could at least maneuver without damaging the rim. Still, this wasn't the solution for to drive the manual wheelchair, I needed both hands free to power myself about the room. With the electric chair I could carry supplies in my left hand while driving by use of the joy-stick with my right.

Well, to make this long story short, the technician on-call this weekend was on the other side of Toronto and thought he would need about 1.5 to 2 hours to gather his gear and make it across town to my workplace. Bang on! On arrival he quickly replaced the flat tire and discovered that it was a common household paper staple which had punctured the heavy nylon tire. One tang had made it through whatever sheaf of paper it had tried to secure, however the thickness proved to be just too much for the other tang to poke through. Instead the point had curled up around itself and created with minute wire ball with a point. Someone had pulled it back out then carelessly tossed it in the general direction of the waste basket, That's all it took to drop my tire pressure and raise my blood pressure.

It cost about $200 Cnd to pay for the technician's weekend 'call-back', the labour and new tire however I finally did find myself back in business. I had feared that the expense would be mine alone however I was pleasantly surprised when my private health insurance picked up the tab for all costs.

That evening I went out to purchase a pressurized can of aerosol tire repair. A can of sealant and compressed gas used to seal and inflate the tire in one step. No idea of how effective it may be and have no desire to find out.
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