Sunday evening was the first real accumulating snow fall here in Southern Wisconsin. It wasn't bad at all, only a couple of inches, but it brought about a brand new experience for Ian in his wheelchair. When I took him to therapy today, I got the wheelchair out in the parking lot, set him in it, and pushed him into the building. Once inside, he wanted to roll up to the front desk to say "hello" to the receptionist, Miss Joy, and as he did so, was met with an unpleasant surprise upon grasping his wheels. He gave one push, then recoiled his hands, examined the cold, wet, grime on them, then looked to me for what should be done next. Thanks to Miss Joy, paper towels were produced and I was able to dry his hands as well as his wheels so that he could push himself around as usual.
Now, winter has only just begun, and there will be many more winters after this one, so what am I to do every time we go out into the snow with the wheelchair? Carry a roll of paper towel in my purse to dry his wheels once we're inside? Never let him push himself because his wheels are wet and dirty? Invent some kind of plastic wheel baggie that can be torn off and discarded once inside? What do others in this situation do? I know there are gloves that can be worn, but just the idea of having to touch wet, dirty wheels, even through gloves, seems unappealing. I'm sure we'll figure out a solution that works for us all, but I think I'll be stashing a roll of paper towel in the car for the remainder of winter.