Sunday, July 31, 2011

Will Our Condo Survive?

I know I know summer is here yet I'm wishing we were turning the page to October not August.

My reasoning is fairly simple, while I am fortunate to have the use of a loaner chair as I await the arrival of my new one I'm not certain our condo will stand up to the abuse. 

You see my previous chair and its replacement are mid-wheel chairs, my loaner is not.

For those of you who have not experienced the difference between a mid-wheel versus a regular power wheelchair let me assure you at least in my opinion the differences are substantial, my personal choice is a mid-wheel.  While the regular power chair may prove best if you spend a lot of time outdoors, travel great distances however in tight spaces the mid-wheel wins hands down.

Initially the mid-wheels were probably not as comfortable as the regular power chairs yet in my opinion their maneuverability made up for this shortfall. The mid-wheel chairs turn on a dime requiring little space

Years ago when I first went from a manual chair to a power one I had the opportunity of trying one of each type for an entire weekend.  The first thing I did was go to a shopping mall and try to use the facilities at various locations.  We went to different restaurants and basically utilized the chair as I would normally during the course of my normal daily activities.
All doors within our condo are 36 inches wide yet a few walls are suffering due to the longer turning radius required by the loaner chair.  It is also outfitted with what I call  "Destructive Foot Plates"  I mean these things are unforgiving why in the world they were not made of plastic I'll never know yet with these things whatever you bang will be immediately dented, scratched, destroyed. I have not found them very comfortable either perhaps it's because the chair is not new, I will make due.  Repairing the nick's caused a while I play the waiting game.  I've also identified what's known as a Water Dam used to prevent water from getting onto the floor.  This was necessary as I would frequently flood the bathroom floor when taking a shower in my wheelchair accessible shower stall.  Since the condominium was constructed with poured concrete flooring it was impossible to install the shower without a threshold mine is approximately 1 inch high which for me is not a problem yet due to its installation the Water Dam made of collapsible rubber material ensures the floor stays dry. If you search on Google for a water dam for use in wheelchair accessible showers I am certain you will find a distributor close by.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Which one?

We returned safely from our trip to see the grandkids. It was great but tiring personally I find the drive takes a lot out of me even though I'm not doing any actual driving. Possibly just a fact of being confined makes the six hours seem like much longer yet we did it and I'm pleased to say everyone is doing fine.

Had my first appointment with the ergo therapist on Tuesday my second appointment is this coming Tuesday where everything will be finalized for my new chair. There is one problem however I have the choice of two models a Quantum 6000 or a Sunrise 323 I have no idea which to select. Of course I've tried posting my request for information on what I felt was a popular website however so far I've only received one response. It is impossible for me to imagine that I am the only one in a wheelchair? Are people simply afraid to share their opinion. It seems strange especially when quantum is manufactured by Pride when the largest manufacturers of wheelchairs around. It's understandable with the Sunrise as they are manufactured in Canada and are not as well known at least not yet.

If you have an opinion please send me a note

If you are using a power wheelchair I could really use your input.


Friday, July 15, 2011

At least I came away with options For My Chariot

Another visit but at least I cannot say I walked out of there empty-handed. I left with a script for my new wheelchair so it has the tilt option as well is the recline option. My feet have a tendency to swell during the day and by the end of the day the swelling is pretty bad. These modifications will allow me to raise my feet during the day so my feet don't hurt as much during the day.




This picture has nothing to do with MS but it's pretty cool. Can you imagine towing the line for so many little ones?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

No More Questions

For the past several days I've been trying to psych myself up for my appointment tomorrow with my neurologist.

In the beginning I would never enter his office without a list of questions.  Something would pop into my mind and it would be added to my list of things to ask.

Unfortunately I'm all out of questions there are no answers there are no longer any lists or queries which need to be addressed.

What's left is what is, plain and simple.  I may ask for his opinion regarding my chair yet I already know what I require and would just be making casual conversation.  It really is nothing new my appointments have never been anything but casual conversations because when it comes to the disease there isn't much to discuss.

Friday, July 8, 2011

To the Recycling Department


11, 16, 2005 - 7, 7, 2011

It really was inevitable a question of time really just like everything else in this world.
I was fond of this chair its design and ease of maneuverability.

 How about that for an eulogy of an inanimate object !
On Wednesday morning they picked it up, dropped off a service loaner taking my old chair to the recycling department.

Even though I enjoyed it, in my humble opinion the reliability of this chair left much to be desired. Not long after I received it the onboard charger failed.

My biggest concern? The majority of the problems encountered were intermittent. In a nutshell I would make an appointment bring my chair in for service yet the problem would not manifest itself.

They would try a few things based on my description of the problem I would leave only to have the problem reoccur later that day. One problem endured for over a year until the frequency was such that I couldn't deal with it any longer it was not only inconvenient yet potentially dangerous. Traveling at maximum speed the chair would come to an abrupt stop. All lights on the control panel would turn off, fortunately in most cases simply pressing the on button sufficed and away I went, unfortunately sometimes I would sit there and keep pressing the on and off button for half an hour before it finally would wake up. Definitely not the type of problem you want to encounter at a busy intersection. Having lived through this experience I can assure you when that light turns green you feel the size of a mouse and pray that oncoming traffic sees you.

Based on this experience and my complaining regarding its performance a meeting was set with the company representative. It was decided that based on the age of the chair the complete wiring harness including a modulator board be replaced.

I must admit once these items were replaced that intermittent abrupt stopping problem
never manifested itself it was gone and I was relieved.
It worked well for a bit yet other problems surfaced with the tilt mechanism, the main motor was replaced yet the same condition manifested itself less than one month later in addition another annoying intermittent problem.

Utimately it got to the point where I would video tape the problem as it occurred and bring my laptop with me to show the technicians what the chair was doing. Tuesday I brought in a recorder to let them hear the chair as it moved the tilt mechanism had failed completely no intermittent problem there. They came to realize that 14 service calls in one year was not exactly acceptable more importantly the costs associated with the required repairs were not justified.

 oddly enough

The loaner is not a mid-wheel chair and believe me it's taking me a certain amount of time to adapt to this new driving style, although you wouldn't think there would be that much of a difference it is incredible.

My mid-wheel chair could turn on a dime.

By comparison my loaner is your typical power wheelchair which requires a wider turning radius. I am learning how to control it within our condo yet I must admit I am doing so at the detriment of our walls. I'm also sitting much lower in this chair which in itself takes quite the adaptation, it's mazing how you get used to your environment when something changes everything is thrown out of kilter. Transfers are more difficult and I can't say I'm that fond of the overall comfort I must remind myself it is only for a short period of time. Short however is a word that is subject to interpretation based on what side of the fence you're on, personally tomorrow would be great realistically November is probably more in line with the speed at which paperwork travels throughout governmental departments.

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