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BethU

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Hi, all ...

I'm the PALS, but I need to get a wheelchair for my husband ASAP, and I have no idea what to look for. I assume it would be good to get something I can use down the line.

Background: You don't have to read all this, as it doesn't relate to ALS. But I think my husband has MS ... his neuro symptoms started 30 years (1978 ... and I was sqwacking about having to wait 2 years for a diagnosed!). His symptoms started with seizures, extreme memory loss, numbness, pain and pins & needles in his feet and legs. Doctors then said it was probably MS, but couldn't get any test to confirm it. He's had the pain for 30 years (OMG), and in compiling his medical records for upcoming tests, I realized he saw one neuro every three months for EIGHT YEARS with no relief. All that idiot did was keep switching his meds around. Anyway ... his past history is beside the point. He's now having what I am sure is an MS flare-up ... the symptoms are classic ... inability to walk or stand, loss of bladder control, double vision, plus a slew of other symptoms that indicate MS (or a few other things that are even worse).
I had to bang my PCP over the head to even get a referral to a neuro for him. She ordered home nursing for him. I told her he needs a doctor, not a nurse! He's going to a pain clinic this week, and I'm hoping the doctor there will take his situation seriously. And I hope I can get an appt with the neuro for him quickly.

(I am actually hoping it is MS, as that would explain everything he's been through in the past 30 years, and there are some treatments for MS that help alleviate symptoms. According to Google, MS can present and then go fallow for decades, so maybe ... MAYBE ... his present condition will abate and he might regain some strength. I keep telling him there could be really good news coming and that it's possible he may actually get relief from the pain, and even some treatments that will help him regain his strength. He's really depressed, of course, which makes it all that much worse, and pretty much a zombie at this point. He's totally exhausted and all he wants to do is sleep.).


BUT BACK TO THE WHEELCHAIR. I have to get one now! I can't lift and carry him much longer, or drag him on the office chair when his legs stop working. I'm starting to get really bad back pain, which I know is from the lifting and pulling. With his mental confusion, when his legs are working, he gets out of bed (very shaky) and starts wandering without his cane, then his legs give out and he collapses, and I find him and have to get him back to bed somehow.

So I am checking wheelchairs online, and some start at only $125. They all look the same to me. Our house has narrow hallways with lots of zig-zags. I figure if I get something now I will be able to use it when the time comes for me. But I can't afford a big ol' motorized job, and that wouldn't fit into our hallway anyway.

Does anybody know if cheap wheelchairs are OK, or if there are things to watch out for? These cheap ones online are collapsible, which I need, although they weigh about 30 pounds, which is probably going to be a lot for me to get into and out of a Honda Civic!

Any advice would really be welcome. I'm out of ideas.
Thanks!
BethU
P.S. This whole situation is way beyond my capacity to solve, so I have turned the whole thing over to my Higher Power. My HP hasn't failed me yet, so I know there will be a solution!
 

BethU

Extremely helpful member
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PALS
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Nevermind :)

After posting the message, I went out for the mail, and there was the new Yellow Pages on the doorstep (sometimes my Higher Power makes deliveries) so I figured HP was telling me to get my lazy butt off the Internet and go out and talk to people and find some resources close at hand.

So ... am now the proud possesser of a 14 1/2 pound red "transport" chair which folds up nicely and fits in the back seat of my Civic. Biggest decision was red or blue.

Paul has now had a couple wild rides through the house, in which I managed to bump him into every piece of furniture we own, plus myriad corners, walls, doors, etc. I am ignoring his comments about women drivers ...

BethU
 

brendapals

Senior member
Joined
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Hey to Beth,

good for you- now you can tell him you are the "keystone cops" of driving thru the house! Be careful with the wheelies though, someone might take a spill!

So which was it, red or blue?
Happy Monday night,
Keep the faith,
brenda
 

BethU

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Red, of course :) :) :)

BethU
 

Al

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Good for you Beth. My mum used to say the Lord helps those that help themselves. She's been gone a long time so I can't remember if she just said that at dinner time. But you get the idea right? LOL

AL.
 

CindyM

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I can just see you and Paul in that snazzy ed chair, Beth! Way to go! :-D
 

Just J

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DX UMND/PLS
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01/2010
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Havre de Grace
After posting the message, I went out for the mail, and there was the new Yellow Pages on the doorstep (sometimes my Higher Power makes deliveries) so I figured HP was telling me to get my lazy butt off the Internet and go out and talk to people and find some resources close at hand.

So ... am now the proud possesser of a 14 1/2 pound red "transport" chair which folds up nicely and fits in the back seat of my Civic. Biggest decision was red or blue.

Paul has now had a couple wild rides through the house, in which I managed to bump him into every piece of furniture we own, plus myriad corners, walls, doors, etc. I am ignoring his comments about women drivers ...

BethU


Beth, thanks for this post. My husband and I are taking in a few months what will most likely be our last BIG vacation due to it being harder for him to get around and I've had "find wheelchair" on my task list for about 2 months now. I don't think we can go away without this extra set of wheels (we are headed to Wine Country in California - one of our passions). So this information is very helpful to me. The chair you described is light weight and portable....just what I was looking for.
 

BethU

Extremely helpful member
Joined
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Messages
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Reason
PALS
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I've had "find wheelchair" on my task list for about 2 months now. I don't think we can go away without this extra set of wheels (we are headed to Wine Country in California - one of our passions).

So glad it helped! One thing to note: this was a "transport" chair, which I didn't realize does not allow the patient to propel himself. I didn't think to look for the big wheels on the side. My main concern was getting something that was light and could fit in a Civic, and could also go through our narrow doorways at home.

The next lightest chair I could find was around 30 pounds. This is 14 pounds.

My husband kind of resists riding in it, I think because he is not in control (and I'm a lousy wheelchair driver). However, it is perfect for me, as it is really light to push and simple to collapse and unfold. My husband uses it as a walker sometimes. If you have a long way to walk on a hard surface, it is perfect.

And it has a cup holder! And a seat belt. Something you will definitely need in wine country. :)

Sounds like a wonderful vacation! Hope you have a terrific time.
BethU
 

John1

Very helpful member
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scooter

I would suggest he get an ultra-light 3 wheel scooter such as the Pride Go-Go. It has many advantages over a wheelchair:
1. It provides much greater freedom and control to the disabled person.
2. He is independent of a caregiver.
3. It frees up the caregiver.

Like a chair, it is portable in cars as well. The Go-Go for example breaks down quickly to 5 pieces with the largest weighing about 28 lb. It sells for about $789 in the US.
 
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boblandstar

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Aug 27, 2008
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PALS
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OK
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MUSKOGEE
Expeience is invaluable

u will need a powerchair before long. elevate and precline are a must for easier transfers. u also want a low profile for transport. the VA PAID 4 my chair. medicare may pay aso. the mda often has donation high end pwrchairs they will provide 4 free. the mda will provide a one time UP TO $2000.00 benefit for push chairs,walkers etc. Make an appt with them. A full support team will see you. This company is owned by invacare.
 
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patricia1

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Sep 18, 2006
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newjersey
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lopatcong NJ
There Is A Wheelchair Clinic In Good Sheppard Rehab In Allentown Pa.
There You Can Decide Whats Good For Your Needs.
I Am Sure There Is Something Like That Near You


Pat 1
 

Just J

Distinguished member
Joined
Oct 30, 2007
Messages
300
Reason
DX UMND/PLS
Diagnosis
01/2010
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MD
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Havre de Grace
So glad it helped! One thing to note: this was a "transport" chair, which I didn't realize does not allow the patient to propel himself.

Yes, I checked these out this week and explained to my husband the difference between the two (the kind with the big wheels and the kind that can only be pushed). For travel the light weight version will be fine. He is not yet ready for one permanately but I think that might not be too far off. I too think my husband will resist (he'd rather stay home than go through the trouble) but I keep nagging at him and tell him if he doesn't do anything that life will start passing him by. Is it mean of me to nag him to do things if he's not up to it?
 

magc

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Loved one DX
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Norwalk
So glad it helped! One thing to note: this was a "transport" chair, which I didn't realize does not allow the patient to propel himself.

Yes, I checked these out this week and explained to my husband the difference between the two (the kind with the big wheels and the kind that can only be pushed). For travel the light weight version will be fine. He is not yet ready for one permanately but I think that might not be too far off. I too think my husband will resist (he'd rather stay home than go through the trouble) but I keep nagging at him and tell him if he doesn't do anything that life will start passing him by. Is it mean of me to nag him to do things if he's not up to it?
If your husband has M.S. or ALS he is not feeling well, that is why he
does not want to do things. Maybe he should get a DX incase he has
something that can be fixed by surgery and or treatment.
Good Luck with the wheelchair.:wink:
 

brooksea

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HM
Welcome to the forum magc.

Unfortunately, our dear Beth has passed away.

Sweet Judy's husband has ALS.
 

abbas child

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Joined
Feb 29, 2008
Messages
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PALS
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07/2007
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Maryland
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Eastern Shore
Another sad update... Judie's husband has also passed away.
 
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