Old 05-13-2010, 04:25 PM #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: We're getting a PWC!

The delivery folks just left. Wow! Now I know why this thing cost so much. It is amazing what it does. So happy that Mike will have more independence now. I've got tears in my eyes of thanks!
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:32 PM #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: We're getting a PWC!

I am happy for Mike and you, Judie.

I am sure both offr you will enjoy the new found freedom it will bring.

cheers
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:38 AM #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: We're getting a PWC!

Judie, that is great! I also have a chair through Chesapeake Rehab. I'm so happy for you both. He should have more energy now that he can conserve his strength. Let us know how he likes it after a little use.
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:51 PM #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: We're getting a PWC!

Just J,
I am so glad your insurance approved a good chair for your husband. They are very costly.

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Old 05-14-2010, 09:37 PM #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: We're getting a PWC!

Chair is going to take some getting used to. There are controls on the left side which control the various movements of the chair (vertical, recline, etc) then there's also a joystick on the right side that controls the forward, back, and turning motion of the chair (the wheels). This one swings out of the way and can be turned off. The joystick on the left however is stationary and is always on (there is no off switch). Mike has caught it on his arm several times already which moves the chair in whichever position he leaned against (up, down, back, etc). Its becoming annoying! So, bad design on that part.

We also have had to remove 3 oriental rugs. Apparently these chairs just don't like moving over our rugs. Now the house looks bare! <ok, I can live with this>
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:16 PM #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: We're getting a PWC!

What brand of chair did you get? HUGS Lori
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Old 05-16-2010, 04:33 PM #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: We're getting a PWC!

Lori, we got an Invacare TDX. It is quite nice! I just over-estimated the freedom it would bring. Ex: can't get close enough to the bathroom sink for shaving, brushing teeth because of the lower cabinet. Same deal in the kitchen. Thankfully though it fits perfectly up to our kitchen table. The plate at the bottom where the feet rest is a bit of a nuisance. The plate must be folded up (facing the chair so that it is flat) when getting on or off the chair. It has to be manually moved and Mike can't bend over to reach it to fold it out of the way, he has figured out how to sort of straddle the plate so he can get on/off the chair but that's not going to last too long. His legs are soo weak now.
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:26 PM #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: We're getting a PWC!

Judie, mine is also Invacare...TDX SP. I have to say that eventually, I believe the foot plate will be wonderful for him. When the time comes that he doesn't have the ability to get out the the chair, the plate just stays flat. He'll be hoisted out eventually. Good deal that the chair works with your kitchen table--means he doesn't need to dirty his hands with the footplate just before eating. As for the crazy controls, mine are different, and all on the right side. Hopefully for a good laugh as well as a helpful lesson, I will tell you what happened within the last week...

I wear a denim shirt with rolled up sleeves nearly all the time (saves arms from the hooking frame which is wire), and was paying bills at the kitchen table while Phil was still eating dinner. My hands do not work well and things "slip" a lot now. So, I dropped the stamps onto the floor, and Phil said "I'll get them, don't lean over" as I was leaning over... and caught the wadded up sleeve of my shirt on the joy stick, while I couldn't sit up-- so I'm bent down, head near lap and moving erratically toward the top of the stairs. He grabbed the joystick when I was within a foot of the stairs, Judie. After his venting a bit, I got extra chocolate, lol, but it is really dangerous.

Yeah, you still cannot get close to having real accessibility, and may need to stash the essentials down at his level of reach. At the kitchen sink, I can wash one hand, then turn the chair around and wash the other. I have to really want to wash up downstairs to bother. Up at the vanity I can tilt the chair (learned to do it before pulling under the vanity the hard way). Then, lift the right arm and move under the vanity while holding up that arm, so that I pull in as close as possible and am as high as possible. If Mike does some really good damage to the house, trust me.... he cannot escape it. Especially when tired. Once in a while Phil has to move my chair around and I LOVE it. lol. He always finishes with a new respect for all it entails.

Having said all the negatives, Judie, I love my chair. I really do. It's my home within my home. As I lay outside today, my feet were higher than my head, and very happy to be up in the air. And, I'm able to stretch by doing all that recline. I feel like I used to on those big exercise balls when you lay on your back on them... a good stretch.
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:45 PM #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: We're getting a PWC!

Ann, thats a great story! I love this chair for all the positions that Mike can put himself in which I hope are more comfortable then how he was getting along before. Thanks for the tips. I am sure we will figure all this out in no time. The last few months Mike has spent all his time in our bedroom and kitchen. Yesterday as I was washing dishes (we have a pass through window to the front of the house, kitchen is in the middle) I witnessed Mike take off on the chair to the front living room and he just sat there looking around. It brought tears to my eyes. The thought that he hadn't really been in that room in about 7 months due to his mobility limitation. Next steps will be a walk around the neighborhood. Unfortunately though we have to wait on that b/c we don't have a ramp yet. We should have one in a few weeks though.
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:37 PM #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: We're getting a PWC!

Judie, check with the loan closet for a ramp. Our lady bought out a wood pallet, that actually worked for us until we got our ramp installed. The makeshift one is not up to code, but it worked. HUGS Lori
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:01 AM #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: We're getting a PWC!

Thanks for the tip Lori, I'll check into it. For as little as Mike will go out I wish we could use the portable one and not have the expense of the "code" ramp.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:37 AM #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: We're getting a PWC!

Ann-

Jim had a similar experience (several actually). The joystick is so sensitive & it's placement does cause it to be activated easily.
I have accidentally bumped it and sent him spinning; of course, our granddaughter, Lucy, goes for the joystick immediately!

And Jim did have a fall while transferring from the w/c to a scooter- bumped the joystick as he was standing and the w/c went backwards while Jim went down!
There have also been times when someone will come up to say hi, shake his hand, etc. & hit the joystick- a few toes have been run over!
He now makes it a practice to always turn the power off every time he is stationary.

Judi-

I agree with Lori about checking the loan closet for a portable ramp. How many steps up/down does he have to go? We actually bought a portable ramp that we used while waiting for our ramps to be built. I now keep it in the van for use when visiting family, etc. It's a little heavy, and definitely bulky to open up, but do-able.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:48 PM #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: We're getting a PWC!

Mare, I've also had it "attacked" by the huggers...the dear folks who lean down and hug, but their elbow (I guess) presses the joystick. Mare, I know you're right about being stationary... I am bad about that.

Judie, if Mike's joystick will turn, make sure it's kept in the "up position". Mine gradually seems to turn inward, which makes bumping it much easier. I can still shove it back around.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:49 PM #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: We're getting a PWC!

The joystick on the right can "swing" out of the way and can be shut off. This joystick controls the front and back movement of the wheels. The joystick on the left controls all the various seat movements. It is stationary and cannot be turned off! This is the one causing the most trouble. You lean on it accidentally and Mike's seat, legs, or back start to move. It frustrates him to no end. But I guess he'll get used to it or just have to deal with this inconvenience.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:16 AM #30 (permalink)
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Default Re: We're getting a PWC!

Before my wife could get her PWC she had to go to a "seating clinic." They are held every other week at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The problem is there's a waiting list to get an appointment at the clinic. At the clinic we were shown lots (AND LOTS) of models with even more options. The salesman and the occupational therapist offered suggestions so it wasn't so ominous. Once we were done with the "seating clinic" they submitted a statement to my wife's principal physician and he signed off on it. Then it was about a month from that time until delivery. The whole process took about 6 weeks. It's very (VERY ! ! ! ) important to be connected somehow to a clinic. They insure that you'll get the kind of a PWC that you need...one that matches your current and future potential needs. Also by going through the clinic procedure the documentation was immediately forwarded to Medicare & our supplemental insurance company. All of that bureaucracy was worth it. The PWC didn't cost us anything. My brother-in-law also had ALS. He passed away about 5 years ago. They bought their PWC without the benefit of a "seating clinic." It took them just over a year to get reimbursement from Medicare. So the bureaucracy is well worth it.

No matter what kind of a PWC you get, it's never short enough or narrow enough to drive up and down hallways and turn into rooms without dinging up the woodwork. We now know that there will be lots of refurbishing to do to our house if/when we sell it. That's one of the things that goes with PWC's. In my bother-in-law's case they built on a room for him in their house. After he passed away they still had to do some woodwork clean-up in spite of the fact that the hallway was VERY wide and the doors were extra wide.
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