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Thread: Wheelchair progress

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    Default Wheelchair progress

    Local rehab PT supposed to call to set up appt to assess my mobility needs and measure me. They'll know if Medicare would cover ultralight wc rather than heavy wc.

    This will be excellent start. Might even ask about assess my new house plan for accessibility issues I missed.

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  3. #2
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    Medicare will not support an ultralight, only a standard wheelchair.

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    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    That's what I thought. But the gal said if I have documented need, they will. Not sure yet what gets documented,

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    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    Tomorrow is my PT wc eval. Apparently they will pay for an ultralight if arm strength and fatigue is an issue, as those chairs roll easier. It is indeed an issue for me, so let’s see how that works.

    Last night at 2 am woke up with a bad Charley horse( if they are bad, are they called Charles horse? ); so I leapt out of bed and leaned over the bed to try to stretch it out. Balance has been a bit of an issue lately, and I collapsed on the floor partly due to balance and partly because one of my legs was immobilized with the spasm. On the way down to the floor I hit my head on the edge of my bedside stand. Everything went flying off of the stand. I have a nice bruise now on my cheek and a redlined it looks like I was in knife fight.

    Tomorrow when I am at my physical therapy appointment to qualify for a wheelchair, one of the things they will ask me is about my balance and do I fall. This may have been a timely piece of evidence! Although I would rather not have had it happen.

    Thankfully, my husband who was dead asleep, was awoken by the commotion and at my side instantly. He said it was very hard to pick me up off the floor because my arms and legs were all flailing around like loose missiles. He is a big guy he was able to get me back onto the bed anyway. I told him that if it happens again just put nice cushions on the floor and lay me on that until I’m able to get back into bed.

    All in all, the incident really pissed me off. I have been very good about planning my days that I would not fall. I didn’t take into account that waking up from a dead sleep I might not have my wits about me

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    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    Also, any advantage of a rigid chair over foldable? Am thinking rigid might be light? And firmer back rest??

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    Distinguished Community Member Cherie's Avatar
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    If there are more accessibility needs, you might connect with your local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Our chapter helps widen doorways, install grab bars and ramps. You provide materials or get them at a discount rate from their resale store ReStore and the labor is done by volunteers for a donation to the Chapter.
    Last edited by Cherie; 11-05-2017 at 01:20 PM.

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  13. #7
    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    Good info. We do have one 30 mins away. We may have to do this as the new accessible house is @15 months away.

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  15. #8
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((BBS)))))) ~

    I highly recommend applying Witch Hazel (soak a paper towel or kleenex in Witch Hazel) to your cheek. It's an anti-inflammatory and will reduce swelling and bruising.

    One remedy for nocturnal leg cramps, which sounds goofy, is to place a bar of soap at the foot of your bed, under the bottom sheet. We tried this many years ago, and it actually works for the most part. I don't know why. Here's what Snopes has to say about soaps:

    https://www.snopes.com/oldwives/legcramp.asp

    Other suggestions on how to prevent leg cramps are included in the Snopes article.

    And here's a potential explanation of the derivation of "Charley Horse:"

    http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-cha1.htm

    In my fairly extensive experience with wheelchairs over the years for my sons, I learned that the way to make a w/c "lightweight" is to have removable parts. Arm and foot rests specifically. And you want foot rests that swing out of the way, so that you can stand, as well as access a walker, if you use one.

    In addition to weight, you probably should factor in that a w/c can be awkward to lift, even if it is relatively light. In my younger years, I lifted many a wheelchair, usually two wheelchairs, when loading my sons in the car at the same time. I was diagnosed with PA in 1968, and RA in 1972. So, I know what a strain it can be to lift wheelchairs. I'm positive that I could never do it again.

    I've also been through countless wheelchair clinics, with physical therapists measuring my sons and asking me lots of questions. Take a list with you of all of the things you want to know, as well as all of your physical needs. Tell your PT everything. What you want, what you need, what you can handle and can't. Think about how your needs might change in the next 5 or so years, so that the chair will be able to meet those changing needs. I don't know about Medicare, but Medicaid won't pay for a new chair, despite changing needs, until an existing chair is 5 years old.

    I'll be sending you positive energy tomorrow and looking forward to your update.

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    BBS, I got my first manual chair in '84 and kept it till 2010, and the new manual chair that I've had since 2010 is similar but lighter. It has no elevating legrests or headrest, unfortunately, but I've become used to not having them any more.

    I agree with Rose completely that having a chair with easily removable parts is the easiest way to making the chair easier to lift! I just snap off the arm rests and legrests and can even snap off the wheels, and then remove the seating, and the mainframe is easily foldable though it's still not easy to lift. I can't lift it but it can be tilted and eased into many situations such as the back section of a vehicle.

    In your discussion with the experts, think about how you spend your time on typical days. Would you be needing the chair for a lot of fairly long distance travel? In-home use mainly? Both? What kind of terrain would you be wanting to go over?

    That is really an issue because manual chairs often are hard to propel over carpets and don't do gravel at all. If someone is available who will push your chair with you in it, it's a different story entirely.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    The chairs she brought were great, but, . Instead of swing away footrests, it had foot plate you can push back with back if foot, I think, when you want to get out of the chair. I think I prefer the swing away foot rest. She is going to call the manufacturer and see if they make the same chair with swing away foot rest so I can look at it before they order it with my specifications.

    Do you have any comments about the swing away foot rest versus the footplate?

    Oh, and by the way, she said I do definitely qualify for a Medicare wheelchair. She said I qualify for a ultralight chair. She said that Medicare will not pay for titanium, only for aluminum. My husband lift it up in aluminum chair and then a titanium chair. He said that they seemed to weigh the same to him. The wheelchair person said there is only a couple pounds difference between them. So, I am definitely doing aluminum and Iím feeling good about not paying for a titanium chair out of pocket.

    The physical therapist was professional. For some reason or other, however, she said to wait to see the neurologist for my wheelchair appointment for 4 to 6 weeks I should have asked her why it would take four weeks for her to get the report to him. Oh well, itís only a matter of a few extra weeks without a good wheelchair.

    After that part of the paperwork is completed, then my guesses I wait until the manufacture put together my chair with my specifications. This must be why the store told me it would take about four months to get a Medicare paid wheelchair.
    Last edited by BBS1951; 11-09-2017 at 11:42 AM.

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