The Power Chair
I woke up around seven Am the next morning. I called for my aunt. She
came in quickly and I asked for some water.
“Do you want to get up now Paula?” she asked.
“No, I want to enjoy my iron lung for an hour or so. Can you switch
on the TV?” I asked.
“Of course dear,” she replied.
I watched TV and enjoyed the fact that I could not feel any part of
my body below my neck. The rhythm of my iron lung was very soothing.
Once again I thought of the Polio girls who spent months or even years
in their iron lungs. Finally I decided it was time to get up and spend
my second day as a quad. I called for my aunt. After she came in she
used the patient lift to get me into the bathroom. She undressed me and
took care of my bowel movement. This had to be induced and I won’t go
over how unpleasant this was. Next she placed me in the bath tub and
proceeded to bath me. Of course she had to remove my leg bag and plug my
catheter. She shaved my legs, pubic area and my underarms. I felt
absolutely nothing. She dried me and got me back on the bed. I was
“Paula, I think you should be dilated. We don’t what that lovely
vagina of yours to close up.”
She got my largest diameter dilator, lubricated it, and inserted it,
“Do you feel anything?” she asked.
“Nothing at all,” I replied.
“It was a little tight going in. We better leave it in for a half
While I was being dilated we chatted.
“Do you think you would ever want to be permanently paralyzed from
the neck down?”
“I like the experience, but I don’t think I want to be this way
forever. Maybe a paraplegic, but not a quad. I liked being blind, but I
don’t want to be permanently blind either.”
“How about being a double arm amputee like Andrea?” my aunt asked.
“I am not sure, but I keep thinking about it,” I said.
“Below or above your elbows?” she asked.
“Oh gosh I don’t know. I do love using hooks and I think I like the
look of above the elbow stumps.”
“That was a tough decision for Andrea. I am sure you will eventually
decide if you want a permanent handicap and what it will be. I think you
have been dilated enough. Before I dress you I need to change your
My aunt removed my dilator and proceeded to deflate the balloon of my
catheter and pull it out. She inserted a new one and inflated the
balloon. She then slipped on a pair of panties with a fresh pad,
threaded the catheter line through the leg opening and attached it to my
leg bag. Next came my bra. She dressed me in a skirt that was long
enough to cover my leg bag. I also had on a sleeveless top. She put a
pair of white socks and sneakers on my feet. I felt nothing.
I was then placed in the power chair. I was strapped down in the same
way as the manual chair. My aunt turned on the power. She explained how
hard and weak sips and puffs controlled the forward and backward motion
as well as turning. Hard sips and puffs made the chair go forward and
backward. Weak sips and puffs turned the chair.
“Okay Paula, I am now going to position the straw in front of your
mouth. Tell me when you think it is in the right position.”
“A little closer please,” I requested. I could not easily place my
mouth over the straw.
“A hard puff will make the chair go forward. Be ready for a hard sip
to stop it. Go ahead and try it,” my aunt instructed.
I blew into the straw and the chair started to move forward. It let
it go for a few feet and sipped hard. It stopped immediately. I tried
sipping hard and then puffing hard. The chair went back and then
“When you are moving you can turn left by holding a weak sip. Let up
and the chair will stop turning. You can go right with a weak puff. Try
I did and to my amazement I went forward and turned left. I stopped
“That is wonderful dear.”
I was a little proud that I could do this. I can’t adequate describe
what it felt like not feeling a thing below my neck, but being able to
move the chair around. I looked in the wall mirrors and saw a very
severely disabled, but very attractive girl, reflecting back at me. For
the next few hours I practiced. I went all over the house. Really not
being able to move made the experience so much more enjoyable. Later in
the day Kevin came over. I showed off my skills moving the power chair.
“That is so cool Paula,” he said.
“Why don’t you two go to the park? You can use the ramp and I think
you can find curb cuts along the way so you won’t have a problem,” my
I was a bit nervous about this as I was totally helpless if something
went wrong. Nothing did. We go to the park and I liked being able to
cruise around in a more open space. We ran into other people and of
course I got looked at. I knew that anyone would immediately know I was
a quadriplegic because of the chair and my mouth controls. The fact that
I really was a quad made the experience even better.
The rest of the week went fast. I was getting used to being helpless
and not feeling anything. My aunt took me out in the van to shop and to
eat. One experience I had not anticipated, My aunt took me to the salon
to have my hair and nails done.
“You mean she really is paralyzed?” Joan asked.
“Oh yes. She has injections to keep her that way. You will have to
work on her in her chair. It is difficult to move her.”
It was strange to have a pedicure and manicure. My limp hands made it
a little more difficult for the women to work on me. When I was done my
hair looked great, my eyebrows were neatly plucked and I had nice red
nails on my hands and feet.
“How is that Paula?” Joan asked,
“Even though I can’t feel anything I still want to look pretty,” I
“Well you are a beautiful girl. That is for sure,” she replied.
At the end of the week I started to feel some sensation in my
fingers. I knew it was time for a booster shot from Dr. Marks. This time
I went in my power chair. The visit didn’t take long and I didn’t feel
anything. It was only about fifteen minutes when I lost the slight
sensation in my fingers. I was totally paralyzed once again. We went out
to lunch and I thoroughly enjoyed being helpless and getting the usual
I stilled liked being placed in my iron lung at night. I felt secure
inside the tank. I even wondered what it would be like if I was
paralyzed at a higher level, like C3, so that I really would need the
iro lung or a vent. I decided against that. I liked the state I was
During the second week I did something really neat. My aunt drove
Kevin and I to the zoo. She said we should go alone and she would come
back at four. I was in Kevin’s hands. We really had fun. I loved it when
Kevin feed me lunch. He had to, of course. I couldn’t lift a hand.
Poor Kevin. He had to empty my leg bag. He couldn’t take me in the
men’s room and he certainly couldn’t go in the ladies room. Just out
front he had to lift up one side of my skirt to detach and plug my
catheter line. He then removed my collection bag. Just before he went in
he spotted two girls coming out of the ladies room.
“Would you two mind staying with my girlfriend for a minute? I don’t
want to leave her alone.”
“Sure,” they said. They introduced themselves and I did the same.
“It must be hard being like that,” the girl named Jen said.
“You get used to it. I wish I could feel something in my arms, but I
never will. You two are so lucky to be able bodied,” I said.
“What is your boyfriend doing with that bag thing?” she asked.
“Emptying it. That is the collection bag for my catheter.”
“What’s a catheter?” Sue asked.
Well I have a tube that goes up inside my bladder through my urethra.
I pee into the bag continuously. Without it I would need a diaper.”
“I am so sorry. That must feel really gross.”
“No. I don’t feel anything from my neck down so I am never bothered,”
I explained. “Can you pull my bra strap up?”
“Sure,” Jen said. I had noticed that my strap had slipped off my
shoulder. Kevin came out a moment later.
“Can we hang out with you guys?” Sue asked.
We agreed and the four of us spent the rest of the day roaming around
the zoo. The two girls had lots of questions for me. They were very
curious about what it is like to be totally paralyzed. We stopped off
for something to eat.
“Can we feed you Paula?” Sue asked.
“Sure,” I replied. They took turns feeding me.
“Thanks for letting us spend the day with you. I learned a lot about
what it is like being a quadriplegic,” Jen explained. “I hope someday
you will be able to walk again.”
We said goodbye when my aunt was due to arrive. When we got back home
Kevin and I went to my room and once again he got my limp body on the
bed and we had sex that I never felt.
When will Paula walk again? Will she need braces? Find out in the next