-by Rob Irvine
On Saturday, May 2nd my wife and I had plans to go see The Tenderloins, aka the Impractical Jokers, at their Foxwoods show. Our friend pulled some strings to arrange a meet and greet as well. All seemed fine until it was time to get me in my wheelchair.
Although we use a sit-to-stand lift, getting in my wheelchair is always a challenge. With one leg shorter than the other due to a broken hip two years ago it’s always tough to get into the wheelchair straight. Once in, my daughter was helping sit me forward but never put my legs down and this put pressure on the footrest and it broke. Now nothing would hold the footrest off the floor. In stressful situations my nerves go wild and my muscles, especially in my legs clench up to the point where it is painful. I was sure that the night was ruined.
After some frustration my wife (Melissa) found a bungee cord and tied the footrest up enough to drive the wheelchair but my feet were still dangling and I couldn’t drive because of the tilt angle and also the fact that I was slouching from not having a useful footrest. Off we went.
Stressed out, nerves shot and running late, we were on our way. Luckily, another friend had VIP valet service set up for us so arriving went great. Now came the tricky part, navigating through a crowded casino with my nerves shot, legs straight out from having clenched muscles and Melissa driving my wheelchair while walking beside me. I don’t know how she did it, navigating through the crowd, through doorways (even disengaging the wheels to push me through narrow ones) and down ramps but we were in line to meet the Impractical Jokers!
When they came in we were first in line. Other than being hilarious they were very sincere and listened to everything we had to say. Brian Quinn “Q” was very interested in how my eye gaze computer worked. They told Melissa that meeting us made an impact on them.
It was a great time meeting them and a hilarious show afterwards. I am very grateful to our friends that made this happen and most of all thankful to Melissa for going above and beyond in not giving up on the night with everything she had to do after things went wrong.