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My Parkinson's Journey

In which Terri shares a humorous look at her journey with Parkinson's disease and Dystonia:

For me, illness and health are not opposites but exist together. Everyone has something that is challenging to them. Mine just simply has a recognizable name. My life will take a different path because of this but that's okay. Everyone has changes in their lives that create their path.  I'm learning how to enjoy whatever path I'm on.

Filtering by Tag: TravelScoot review

TravelScooting: the first adventure

Terri Reinhart

July 18, 2013

It was the day.  After some busy weeks, I took a personal/mental health day and rode my new TravelScoot to the bus stop and took the bus downtown.  I planned on spending the entire day shopping, exploring, and generally having fun riding my new scooter.

A few weeks before, I had taken our daughter to a large shopping mall to look for a dress.  As this was in my pre-TravelScoot days, I was walking.  I'm afraid I didn't last long before informing our daughter of her choices:  either we go home or she had to give me a piggy back ride.  We went home.

This trip would be different.  I had a TravelScoot.  I had dreamed of owning one of these incredible machines.  It's like a sports car. Invented in Germany, it's the Porsche of mobility scooters.  It's built for durability, ease of use, and speed.  Okay, I added the last one.  I'm not sure speed was one of the goals; I just happen to enjoy it. 

There are a few things one must know about these scooters.  They're not for everyone.  You have to be able to walk somewhat and balance.  The simplicity of this machine appealed to me.   To go backwards, you have to push with your feet.  It has hand brakes.  If you don't remember to apply the brakes, you will coast.  To me, this means fewer things to go wrong.  This is one scooter where reading the instructions completely and following them religiously is essential. It's not difficult, but important.  Thank you to Tony at TravelScoot USA for all your help!

The first test was riding the bus.  With most scooters, trying to park in the space allowed is a little like trying to parallel park an SUV on a street crowded with other vehicles and pedestrians.  Everyone is waiting for you and watching you as you inch forward and get stuck in your attempt to hurry.  In comparison, the TravelScoot was like parking a child's tricycle in a large space.  I was able to put the bus seat up by myself, maneuver into position using my feet to help, and was ready before the driver had the lift back in place and the door closed.

Getting out at the 16th Street Mall, I had a wonderful sense of freedom!  I could go anywhere and do anything I wanted to do!  I zipped up and down the sidewalks.  Getting there early enough, there weren't many people about the mall, so I sailed around town.  I had tea, got a haircut, and went to a few stores.  The TravelScoot was able to maneuver through large stores as well as tiny gift shops.  Some of the older shops have a step at the front door. No problem!  It was easy to put my feet down and lift the front wheel up the step, push a little forward, and repeat for the back wheels. No way could I have done it with a heavier scooter.

After zipping around town, I went back to the bus stop to wait for the bus. It was getting very hot by that time and sitting in one place was not pleasant.  It took seconds for me to decide to try taking the TravelScoot home without the bus!  Turning aside, I found the pedestrian bridge over the highway.  Halfway over the bridge, I had the incredible urge to take off my hat, swing it around, and give a loud WHOOP for joy!  I was seeing all sorts of new places in town and having a wonderful time!

The entire journey, from downtown to our house in Wheat Ridge, would have been about 4 1/2 miles.  I went almost 3 miles of this on the TravelScoot, going through the shopping discricts of LoDo (lower downtown), LoHi (Lower Highlands), and Highlands before getting back on the bus for the last leg of my journey.  Tired, but happy, I came back home and rested for awhile.  I don't think I stopped smiling for hours.

Owning a TravelScoot would have remained a dream, but for the kindness and generosity of a dear cousin from Europe.  He decided it would be a good way for me to be more independent.  How does one repay a gift like this?  It's not possible.  I can only be grateful and try to show kindness and generosity to others whenever and however I am able. 

And have many more adventures!