All hail Permobil

Of course, when everything appears to be as good as can be, something bad is bound to happen. And it did. We decided to go up to Louvre today, and on our way back down the hotel I suddenly felt like my wheelchair was acting weird. At first I thought I might have punctured one on the wheels, but nothing looked wrong. Then I started feeling a subtle jerking to the right, and then came the sound - a screeching noise, and along the sound came the smell, the smell of something burning. Nice huh? Not so much. With several pauses I managed to get back to the hotel, where I'm now stuck until we get in contact with someone in France who might be able to fix my wheelchair. I wanna cry, I really do. You might think it's easy to get the hold of a spare wheelchair, and surely it is, but in my case I'm dependent of my own wheelchair to even get out of bed in the mornings. I can't use any generic chair, so when my wheelchair breaks down, I'm basically confined to whatever place I'm at when it happens. Which is what happened. I had to spend 1.5 days in our hotel room. Again.

Then all hell broke loose. I was sure our vacation was ruined after only three mere days in Paris, that we would have to go home to get the wheelchair repaired, and I didn't dare to move around much because of the smell of burning plastic and the screeching noise. It was late, too late to call any offices back in Norway, so we had to call the emergency number (if you experience any emergencies with your aids). Naturally the person answering didn't know anything about anything, but he opened up a case and asked us to call back the next day. So much for emergencies. He did fill out a requisition, so when we called Permobil the morning after, they could start working on a solution straight away. Now, finding the right people isn't always easy, and we ended up calling Oslo, then Sweden, then France, and lastly Oslo again before we got in contact with an extraordinary man who made a few phone calls on our behalf - and did a lot of magic. After a few calls back and forth we were told that the man in Paris was in a meeting, which would take all day, so our hope to get it fixed before Bastille Day was running out.. Luckily he called us back that very afternoon. He said it could be difficult to arrange because of the bank holiday since the needed spare parts were in Lyon, but he would do his best to find a solution for us. One hour later he called back and told us that it had been arranged, so a repair man would be at our hotel between 9 and 10 AM the following day. I can honestly said that was the most nerve-wrecking hours I've experienced in a long time!

Wednesday morning he arrived as promised, the hotel management gave him an empty room to work in, and he changed both motors of my wheelchair in about four hours. He then brought my wheelchair back, asked me to test it and check for abnormalities while he had lunch close to the hotel. I tested it, found a few minor issues that he fixed when he came back, and then everything was back to normal again! I was immensely happy, and I really couldn't thank our repair man enough. I'm forever grateful for all the help we received from both Hjelpemiddelsentralen (fixing all requisitions needed) and Permobil, you guys are utterly fantastic. And our french repair man? Extraordinaire! The very best there is.

.. and they all lived happily ever after ..