Made of Gray

The Powerchair

Holly D Gray10 Comments
Yesterday our DME group came out to do a second round trial with the powerchair. This time last month when we tried it at the showroom things ended up badly. So at that time we made another appointment for them to come to us and at 10am instead of nap time.

This time Caleigh rocked it. She knew what she was doing and did it well. We decided on proximity switches and while she was trying it we had left and right activated so that she would just go in circles and not run into anything. This is probably how we will start out when we get her own chair.

The positioning wasn't wonderful in the demo chair. Her feet weren't strapped in and her legs weren't at a 90 degree angle, but positioning wasn't the point of the trial.

They did humor me and set up a joystick. Caleigh ran herself into the fireplace and started crying. I explained to her that we would use the buttons instead of the joystick and told her that I understood it was scary. She immediately calmed down and grinned.

Basically the PT from the DME company needed to see that Caleigh has the "spark" there to initiate the movement. So that she can "prove" her need to insurance and medicaid.

As far as options go...it's like buying a car and cost as much or more than the average car. More than my car for sure. The most important part was to pick a color of course! Caleigh chose popstar pink off a card with colors that they brought. We may have influenced that one a bit. It's a possibility. She will be getting the option to have infared activated. This is basically a big universal remote control. She will be able to turn on lights, ceiling fans, the tv, etc. all from her chair. It will also be bluetooth ready. This means that she will be able to use a mouse for a computer or a usb switch both for future computer accessibility. There will be different profiles loaded. One for thick grass, one that goes a bit slower for in the house, one that goes faster, and an administrative profile that will allow Eric and I to move the chair. The chair will come with tilt and Caleigh will be able to operate that by herself. I'm sure I am missing something but that's the jest of it.

We are looking at head rest options. With Caleigh's tilted head preference it makes things a little more difficult. They brought a neck support out to try with the chair and we all agreed it made a huge difference. Caleigh didn't get mad about it once and actually acted like it made life a lot easier. I would love for her to not have to wear something like that, but if it will help her independent mobility then I'm not going to let my vanity get in her way. Who cares? She's moving, she's happy...

Estimated arrival date for Caleigh's new wheelchair will be within the next 6 months if not sooner. They will also be ordering a suit case ramp for our van. This is a manual ramp that we will have to take down and put up everytime we put the 250lb chair in our van. I watched the DME guy load the chair on when he was leaving and it looked like a big ole pain. We will probably do that for quite sometime before we figure out van conversion options. We will most likely have to get a new van, but we can figure that out when the time gets here.

Here's a video of our little hot rod...


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