Archive for October, 2012

3. Addendum Eigude Shame XX

Friday, October 26th, 2012


Letter from the German Federal President’s office!!!

As already reported several times I was during my visit at the book fair on 12.10.2012 pushed ruggedly across the street without asking by a bodyguard due to the arrival of our federal president.

Thereupon I wrote on 15.10. an e-mail to the federal president.

All this can be referred to in the blogposts from 14.10.12 and 16.10.12.

I have continuously heard comments that I should have saved the work with the letter, it wouldn’t bother anyway anyone “up there” what concerns us “minor citizens”.

Even if I got a reply this would last weeks, or even months.

But many people were curious to read the reply as well!

On Friday 25.10.2012, already 10 days after the e-mail, I received a letter from Bellevue Palace (translator’s note: official residence of the German federal president), see stamp.

The letter is not signed by Mr Gauck, but by one of his three closest staff members, his

Personal Officer Mr Johannes Sturm.

Personal office of the
Federal President

BERLIN, 19th October 2012
Spreeweg 1

Steffen Löw
xxxxx Frankfurt am Main

Dear Mister Löw,

Federal President Joachim Gauck thanks you for your e-mail from 15th October 2012.
He has asked me to answer you. He has read your description of your unpleasant experience at the Frankfurt book fair attentively.
I can understand very well that it must have been unpleasant that you were pushed across a street in your wheelchair surprisingly and without being correctly addressed. It is regrettable that this apparently happened. It is not possible to verify your suspicion any more that the person concerned was a security force of the federal president. At this day personnel of a private security company and the Hessian state police were on duty as well.

At the same time I am asking for your understanding that the officers who are in charge of the security of the federal president before and during an event visited by such numerous people like the book fair are bearing a particularly large responsibility. This is concerning the security of the federal president as well as the prevention of possible accidents during arrival and departure of the car convoy.

In good knowledge of the acting officers and the described situation I can assure you that none of the officers is acting in thoughtless or unkind intention.

However I used your letter as occasion to discuss with the officers again the special situation of wheelchair users. Therefore I thank you for your feedback.

The federal president sends his best wishes and sincere regards.

Kind regards,

Johannes Sturm
Personal Officer of the Federal President

Mail address: Bundespräsidialamt 11010 Berlin, lnternet:

I have achieved what I had intended with my e-mail.

Mr Sturm has discussed with the security forces the special situation of us wheelchair users.

Download as PDF answer_federal_president_office

Translator BL

Wheeler book tip part I

Thursday, October 25th, 2012


One of the reasons why I was at the book fair 2012 in the beautiful Frankfurt was to meet again my friend and author Roberto Sastre in person.

Many fellow wheelers keep a diary already in the hospital after their accident. Writing as is known is medicine as well. So did my friend who wrote down his experiences from the start (as skilled IT guy of course in an internet blog).

This blog has been so successful that he was forced a little to publish it as a book.

His writing style is unique. He manages with his easy cynical style to describe the beginning as wheeler rookie so that articulations like ehhh, ouch, ahaaaaaaaaaaa are totally normal while reading.

The book may not be so suitable to read in a train.

Everybody who liked the movie “The Intouchables” gets his money’s worth with Sastre. The book is called

Rolling Thunder,

(ISBN/EAN: 9783845006550) you have to read it, a little bit like:

” Everything you always wanted to know about spinal cord injury but were afraid to ask”


His next literary act is a crime story,

Bender’s 1st case “Blackout”

(ISBN/EAN: 978-3-8450-0962-9) which is set in Frankfurt. An excellent book!!!

Private investigator Bender is of course a wheelchair using ex-commissar, with a van type “A-team” and an a little bit modified electric wheelchair with the name Elsbeth.

His own vehicle is a bit customized as well.

The book starts with the sentence: This book is made-up from the beginning to the end…

I don’t believe this, I even have the suspicion that he has hacked my computer, stolen my latest research results of most innovative wheelchair reconstruction and published them in his book. ;-)

Extract from this novel:

As already said, you can build a lot into such an electric wheelchair.
In Rehab I have met Steffen.
He is totally nuts, has the weirdest ideas, and I and my electric wheelchair always have to suffer. With the result that my batteries are constantly empty.

Until Steffen had the idea with the fuel cell. Had almost cost me my wheelchair.
Because my bottom sustained a slight fire damage I let the hospital check it first…

“Now you’ve got a micro turbine.
There is a new bearing material. Special ceramics. Doesn’t need greasing, nor cooling. Is whistling a bit, but I’ll still carry that off.

From naught to fifty in 2.6 seconds. A bottle of camping gas every 4 weeks.
And I built in a small surprise for you.”

I can recommend those two books out of my deepest conviction, there is so much info inside, and even in a splendid packaging!!!

Translator BL

Crazy Flash XVII

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012


My favourite wheeler joke


A blind, a deaf and a wheeler stand at the river Jordan.

Then a voice speaks to them:

Swim through the river, and you will experience a miracle.

The wheeler is pushing the blind first to the right direction, and he falls into the water.

He swims to the other side and calls out loud, I can see again, I can see again.

Now it’s the turn of the deaf, when he comes out of the water he cries out lout, I can hear again!!!

The wheeler jumps into the water, he just makes it to the other side without drowning.

When he comes up the bank, he calls out loud:

Yippie… a set of “new tyres”,… a set of “new tyres”…!!!

Translator BL

2. Addendum Eigude Shame XX

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

Addendum Eigude Shame XX

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012


I have really done it!!!

e-mail to the Federal President Mr. Gauck…!!!

After my not-so-nice experience at the book fair in Frankfurt when a bodyguard of our federal president pushed me in my wheelchair out of the way without asking (see blogpost of 14.10.12) I have decided after a day of soul-searching to report this incident to our federal president.

Download as PDF Letter to the federal president


Dear Mister President,

I would like to draw your attention to an incident which happened in connection with your visit to the book fair in Frankfurt on Saturday October 13th, 2012.

I am a wheelchair user and was going around 15:00 hrs from the exit of exhibition hall 3 in the direction of the main plaza when suddenly without prior warning an unknown man grabbed quite ruthless and snappy the handles of my wheelchair and pushed me across the street which was actually closed to traffic.

I was rather in panic, but even shouting didn’t help, the man pushed me further across the street.
It turned out that the man was one of your security forces. You yourself were driving immediately afterwards with your convoy around the corner.

I was very lucky that I didn’t fall out of the wheelchair with this involuntary action because I am sitting in my wheelchair rather unstable due to my quadriplegia (cervical vertebra) and can’t firm up myself with my paralysed legs either.

Additionally I am using, like our minister of Finance, an active wheelchair which stops suddenly even at a small curb due to its construction and the small front tyres, and thus there is the risk for me to be dumped out of my wheelchair. As pushing escort person one should be trained accordingly.

Your staff member most probably would not have been able to hold me back when there would have been only a small curb or similar.

I fell out of my wheelchair in September 2011 the last time.
At this occasion I broke my right shinbone and fibula, spent four weeks in a hospital bed and had to painfully wear an orthosis for five further months, see blogposts on my weblog:

When I addressed your staff member that I didn’t like this conduct I got the reply:

This is the president, it is like it is!!!

Mr. Gauck, I have great respect for your function as federal president, but this statement is not acceptable for me.
I am asking you in person to have your security staff trained and sensitized especially in interaction with disabled people.

A possible “accident”, how it could have happened, cannot be in your interest.
I am completely at your disposal in case of further enquiries or in advisory capacity.
Awaiting your reply.


Steffen Löw

Translator BL

Eigude Shame XX

Saturday, October 13th, 2012


Unbelievable but true, something new all the time…

Today I was at the

book fair in Frankfurt.

I wanted to meet my friend and author Roberto Sastre there.

I will write a separate blogpost about the reunion with him.

When I left hall 3 where there were mainly children books, comics and presumably human beings in Manga costumes, it happened.

I was suddenly grabbed quite ruthless on the handles of my wheelchair by an unknown guy and was pushed without asking me quite snappy across a small road to the main plaza of the fair.

Except me, there were only pedestrians on this road, the passage was closed to traffic.
Even shouting didn’t help, the guy didn’t let go my handles.

I was rather in panic, but was lucky that this guy didn’t push me out of my wheelchair.

If there would have been a small curb I would have been licking the pavement.

What was happening???

Just in the moment when I was at the other side of the road three black cars with flashing blue light came speeding around the corner.
One of the limousines had the

license plate 0-1

and two coloured flags with a black eagle on the wings.
Actually our

Federal President Joachim Gauck

was sitting in the back of the car.
This would have been something again if the bodyguard of our head of state would have pushed me out of the wheelchair.

Who doesn’t know my “Eigude blog” (click Frontpage) should know that last time I fell out of my wheelchair I broke my shinbone and fibula (see older blogposts).

When I explained to the guy with the ear piece that I didn’t like this he told me:

This is the president, it is like it is!!!


When I was driving home in my car this convoy blocked me again, now our president is spending the night in a grand hotel around the corner of my home.

I would be interested if this bodyguard has ever pushed around Mr Schäuble (translator’s note: the German minister of Finance is sitting in a wheelchair).

Translator BL

Technical Aids Tips and Tricks XLVIII

Thursday, October 11th, 2012


Rehacare 2012 Part I

The Rehacare fair which takes place once a year in DĂĽsseldorf is a must for each wheeler.

There you can see more or less everything you can imagine relating to technical aids and medical devices.

Starting with wheelchair manufacturers, hand cycles, ski, bath equipment, car customizing, help for everyday life, travel agencies for handicapped, etc, etc, etc,…

Unfortunately I couldn’t go to the fair last year. As is known I had left my wheelchair involuntarily and broken my right leg (see older blogpost).

Currently the absolute highlight in the wheelchair area is the Genny.

The Genny

Basically it is nothing different than a “Segway” in wheelchair variant.

A Segway is this 2-wheel-vehicle on which you can drive around standing as pedestrian, and which meanwhile even the police is using.

The wheelchair variant is distributed only since August 2012 from the Suisse company Gennymobility in Germany.

Due to the big tyres uneven grounds or holes are no problem anymore.

This is mobility!!!

Watch the video how you can speed with the Genny along the beach as a wheeler, this vehicle is awesome…

I was hoping that I would be able to test this special wheelchair. This was one of the main reasons for me visiting the fair this year. I was very lucky that I only had to wait for around 15 minutes.

After I was eventually sitting on the vehicle the kind lady on the picture below was telling me that we quadriplegics are not allowed to drive with the Genny due to missing stability of the upper part of the body, we might fall down!

Uh,… I especially brought my belt from home.

Then she said it was not allowed to buckle up so that one doesn’t get hurt when the Genny falls over.

No,… I wanted to get started with it,… this is not easy to understand, these Swiss people are crazy…!!!

Well, after short discussion in Italian without me at the booth they were gracious, and I was allowed to get cruising under supervision, like everyone else.

The handling is very easy, by bending forward you start, by leaning backwards the lady Genny stops or drives backwards.

The handle bar is for steering, what else. With a bit of training it is possible without problems to turn on the spot.

The driving experience reminded me a lot of skiing, what made me cry a little bit as formerly obsessed skier, amazing…

According to my opinion the wheelchair Segway, in which variant ever, will make its way as variant of an electric wheelchair due to its easy, comfortable and speedy driving manner and in spite of its size, weight and high purchase price.

The “Genny” is still a vehicle for physically fit wheelers. We will have to wait a bit longer until it will get a technical aid for us “tired warriors”, but it’s a beginning!

If they wouldn’t have let me start, I would have gone on “sit-down strike” on the vehicle ;-)

Translator BL


Technical Aids Tips and Tricks XLVII

Friday, October 5th, 2012


I have already introduced my car customized with hand throttle and wheelchair loading system (see older blogpost).

With a wheelchair loading system with sliding door you always have to consider how long the wheelchair is, otherwise it doesn’t fit into the car lifted upright (see older blogpost).

My wheelchair is rather short, and there is maximum 1 cm space left at the upper door edge when pulling the wheelchair in, otherwise the Astra would have been out of question as vehicle.

Therefore many wheelchair users have a minivan, like for example a VW Caddy.

An alternative is a wheelchair loading system on the roof, this looks a bit like a ski box.

A friend has such a box on his car, have a look yourself:

I have the yellow PLEASE-KEEP-DISTANCE-SIGN at the driver’s door as well!!!


A Jeep Commander is quite unusual on a disabled parking place, but with the wheelchair loading system it hypnotizes each pedestrian in passing.

You should see him jumping back into the car, he would easily win “Germany’s Got Talent”, wheelchair high jump unfortunately is not a Paralympics discipline ;-)

Translator BL