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.


Karen said...

Oh dear...sorry your chair has quit on you. You will just get used to the loaner chair, then they will have the new one for you, hopefully way before November.

I do have a couple of photo editing programs, and I can get the photos to the right size, but still can't import them into Blogger.
Have a nice weekend.

Matt said...

I've been reading about your wheelchair troubles for a while now and I'm glad to hear you're getting a new one. But I also learned an important lesson: if you're having trouble with a wheelchair that's hard to show the technicians, take a video of the problem at home and use that to show them.

With many cell phones able to record video now, that's a realistic solution for many people. Empowerment!

I'm not in a wheelchair but this type of lesson and information sharing is what blogging in the MS community is all about. It may feel weird to share our lives, but when we do, it helps other people directly. Thanks!

MikeH said...

my appointment with the ergo therapist is in July so hopefully I'll be getting it before the snow flies LOL
send you a separate e-mail regarding the background.

you'd be surprised how many times we don't make use of the technology we have. A little while ago I purchased some toner for my laser printer from a gentleman in Japan. When I received the toner he sent me two bottles of yellow instead of one bottle of yellow and one bottle of magenta. When I saw conversation would be difficult at best I put the four bottles on the kitchen table snapped the picture and sent it to him. I received the magenta bottle within a week or so.

Studio Jo said...

Hello Dad! It must be really weird to have the loaner chair, especially not turn on a dime. I sure hope they get you that new one super soon. xo

Nicole said...

The video tape! I think that idea is awesome! I just maybe impressed. Thank goodness for a loaner!

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