To update: I have got clearance from work and the MS Australia to have funded a wheelchair and power assist. Personally fitted (whatever on earth that means – do they do dental records or something?).
Can’t say I am super pumped about going down this road (see related post, seems I am not alone in this boat), but it appears to be happening weather I want it to or not. Am finding it easier to work with this at the moment (long may this headspace last!)
Either way it is not a $250 escape-from-the-asylum style chair they are talking, but something high end (up to about AU$15000 all up, what ever that is in pounds, something like 8000 I think…)
So I have done some research but have a few questions about what people think / have decided with regards to options before I get this approved (since I am not paying, there is no going back…)
Hard frame or not? Seems to relate to weight versus easy to fold-ness. I need to get it out of the car by myself, either one handed (one hand on crutch/car) or whilst sitting in/on the boot of the car before hobbling around to the driving seat. What are people’s thoughts?
Power assist – apparently it can be removable, or not (fixed to the chair). Again, relates to weight / fold-easy-ness… thoughts?
Wheels – blow up or rubber? Small thing, but pumping tyres is NOT something I have the capacity for, but apparently rubber tyres are like a car with no suspension…
Handles. Have had a recent bad experience with someone who insisted on pushing me around the entire time we were on holiday together (2 weeks). Literally didn’t take her hands off the chair. I was NOT happy (and am still NOT happy, read my written tone…), but have a dilemma because at least with handles you can hang a bag off the back of the chair which is good for me (never one to travel light), but then there is the temptation there for “helpful” people to want to push me around. (because, of course, when you are in a wheel chair you really don’t care about giving up the last bit of control over your body, that being where you are in a room and which direction you are facing…). What are people’s thoughts here?
Foot pedals. Again small thing. But also big thing. I have discovered that if my feed are further back under the seat there is less chance of the chair bottoming out when going over gutters, but then I am more likely to end up being totally spastic with cramps and agony. Not sure which is the winner here (pain versus freedom of terrain?). Experiences welcome!
What else have I not considered? Would appreciate anyone’s input. Obviously I don’t want to look like an escaped inmate on gate leave from the local loony bin, but then am never likely to feel glamorous sitting down anyway…
Perhaps consider this a “If your wish list for wheelchair could include…” type discussion.
Thank you everyone for your support and replying to my last post (love the friends I have on here!), and sorry to impose on needing more advice. I am having a trial at work with MS Australia and their WheelChair provider people next Monday. They have come up with 3-4 chair / power assist combo units they think would work, but I need this to be my choice.
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