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Friday, May 27, 2011
My New Ride
That’s my new baseball seat! Okay, it’s for more than just baseball, but baseball is the most important thing the wheelchair will do. This one is mine, not borrowed and not reusing a “retired” chair, it is brand new and only mine.
I knew I needed a chair now for sporting events, concerts, festivals, conferences, anything that requires more walking than I can stagger with a walker for. When I talked to my regular doctor about it and told him what I wanted and what type, he agreed it was a good idea and wrote me a prescription for a manual, not power, wheelchair.
After using the one that David’s Mom had used for the Rush concert and for SEMMantics this year, I definitely realized that it was a good thing to have. The chair that was my Mother-in-law’s was well-used and, while I am SO glad we had it, there are a few things that needed fixing, worn brakes and the tendency to roll to the left when I was moving the wheels straight. Add to that, Kay was much thinner than me and I don’t know what the weight range on that chair is. On my own chair, I know that I won’t fall through the frame! I also know that this time last year I would have needed a weight range up from this chair. Yay me!
It was like car-shopping, really it was! There are so many types of chairs! It’s not just manual or motorized. There are folding and standard, light ones and heavy ones, “sport” ones that are great for basketball or racing and don’t have the handles in the back for someone else to push, ones that recline, ones with padded leg supports that extend up or down. There are extras like pockets and organizers, different firmnesses of padded seats even cane, purse or cup holders! I was really drawn to the colored ones! There are chairs that have all the metal parts in red, purple, green, blue or even black chrome. In my mind I wanted a red chrome, folding ultra light, one I could leverage out of the car myself if I wanted to use it someplace I was going solo, but with the handles, so if someone is with me and wants to push they can, or if I need a shove uphill, I can ask for help.
You probably noticed that picture shows silver chrome parts on my chair. That picture is from the owner’s manual. No, it doesn’t have a glove box, but yes, it’s all the information you’d read in a car owner’s manual, tire pressure stats, maintenance, safety. It can be kept in a file at home or a pouch on the chair if that accessory is ordered. My wheelchair is silver. Like the photo. This model is like the Model-T cars were, any color you like as long as it’s silver chrome. Do you know what the difference is between the models that come in silver only and the ones that come in all those colored chrome colors? About $400 that insurance doesn’t cover between the top of the line one-colors and the bottom multi-colors! What insurance does cover for a manual chair is pretty much a coupon as is unless you want the Yugo equivalent wheelchair. The Yugo equivalent is a heavy standard chair. I wanted a folding wheelchair that I could lift. This one isn’t too heavy and if I unlock the wheels, I can use them to leverage it and roll it in or out of my backseat if I’m solo. I use the wheels on the walker that way and it works great. For quick errands, I still use the walker. Important things my chair has that aren’t in the owner’s manual picture are the gel and foam seat pad, the backpack and the cup holder!
Coming out of the box, it smells like a new car! A new car must have a maiden voyage to truly enjoy it. Plans are to do a test run to a Mud Hens game this weekend with the new wheelchair for its maiden voyage. You know, to make sure it works!