Saturday, April 03, 2010

The new Wheelchair has arrived

Monday March 22, 2010 my son J. drove me to the Rehab Tech facility in Naperville, Illinois so I could show Rehab Tech’s fabricating technician what medical equipment needed to be mounted on a shelf on the back of the new wheelchair. It was long morning, we had a 10:30 appointment and the Rehab Tech facility was an hour’s drive from my home. Once we arrived and the fabricating technician and Rehab Tech’s service technician, who had met me at the Rehab Institute of Chicago (RIC) and ordered the wheelchair, arrived we were only there for about an hour while they measured and discussed how to mount everything. We asked them how long it usually took to get an appointment at RIC for the final fitting and adjustment of the wheelchair and were told that it usually took about 3 weeks. Imagine my surprise when I received an email on Friday afternoon, March 27, 2010 stating that there was an appointment slot open on Thursday April 1, 2010 at 1:00 PM.



Thursday morning April 1, 2010 at 11:30 we left the house and drove to RIC for the fitting and adjustment session. The Wheelchair needed a lot of adjusting; however the Rehab Tech technician just worked his way through each adjustment. Some of these adjustments required the use of a drill to drill additional holes and the laptop tray mounting bracket to extend it past my extending stomach. At 3:30 we were ready to leave RIC; I in my new wheelchair and my nurse Chuck pushing my old wheelchair.

Once we arrived at the van I was a bit apprehensive wondering if the new wheelchair would fit in the van. As I slowly drove up the ramp I realized that I wouldn’t have to duck my head or do anything to adjust the tilt or recline of the wheelchair in order to drive the wheelchair into the van. After some turning and going back and forth I was able to get the wheelchair positioned it the spot I normally sat while in the van. Then P had to crawl around using the tie down straps to secure the wheelchair to the van. We have contacted the van after market manufacture and have order the kit that will allow us to use the power locking system to secure the new wheelchair to the van, but until it arrives and is installed, we will have to use the tie down straps.

When we arrived home, I was so exhausted by the entire trip, I went to bed for the night. When I used the old wheelchair, I would transfer from the wheelchair to the recliner in the den. So I would spend my days in the recliner in the den. P and I talked and talked about how we would be able to move the two pieces of furniture, the recliner and the couch, around to make room for me and the new wheelchair. We finally settled on having me stay in my bedroom. P starts work later on Fridays of course that means she also works later in the day. But because she started work later we were able to make further modifications to my bedroom to accommodate the new wheelchair. Earlier in the week my son C and Grandson L had moved a lot of items around in my bedroom, so we have only had to make minor changes. Staying in my bedroom isn’t as bad as it sounds. I am now able to look out of windows on the front of the house giving me a different view after a number of years looking out the den windows. And I have a television in my bedroom and it is in a better position allowing me to be doing something on my laptop while watching baseball. This is a huge improvement because the position of the recliner, the television and the window in the den, there was such sun glare from the window that I would get eye strain trying to watch an afternoon baseball game.


We finally settled on having me stay in my bedroom. This isn’t as bad as it sounds. I am now able to look out of windows on the front of the house giving me a different view after a number of years looking out the den windows. And I have a television in my bedroom and it is in a better position allowing me to be doing something on my laptop while watching baseball. This is a huge improvement because the position of the recliner, the television and the window, there was such sun glare from the window that I would get eye strain trying to watch an afternoon baseball game.


I am hoping that being in the wheelchair all the time will help with my painful left shoulder. The exercises the physical therapist is having my do seem to be helping. Also now that I no longer have to put weight on that shoulder when using a walker to transfer from wheelchair to recliner and back again I am hoping for more shoulder improvement and less shoulder pain. The new chair also comes with a seat belt which I find helps with the problem of sliding down in the chair and having to use my arms to push myself back up in the chair. While the new wheelchair comes with a head support, I have found I need a pillow for additional support on my neck.

I am certain that as time goes on and I get more and more used to my new wheelchair and get used to being in a different room I will make changes to where I have items on the small table next to the wheelchair. P and I have already made a number of changes making life easier for me in this new chair and different room. I am really pleased with the way everything is working out so far.

1 Comments:

Blogger justfaith said...

Up Up and Away in your Beautiful Flying Machine

Monday, April 5, 2010 at 5:58:00 AM PDT  

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