Thursday, 2 December 2010

My New Wheels - Update

Having used my new wheels for a few days, I've decided they aren't quite "tippy" enough, making it hard to do wheelies - back-wheel balancing is an essential wheelchair skill which increases independence and enables the user to climb small kerbs and negotiate over objects. I rang the Exeter Disability Centre this morning to check that someone would be in the workshop, and my hubby very kindly drove me over there again this afternoon.

After a bit of trial and error to get it right, they have adjusted the centre of gravity backwards a bit, so that the chair now feels a lot more nippy and manoeuvrable without being unstable.

Also today, the gentleman from the company who supply the power assist system phoned. Unfortunately he is not going to be down in our area in the foreseeable future, and after some discussion, my hubby spoke to him, and arranged to go up to Hemel Hempstead to take the new wheelchair, and the brackets off the old one, so that they can transfer the system over.

It's a day's work, so my hubby probably won't hang around to wait, as it's a 3 or 4 hour drive from here; they will send it by courier when it's done. It was a question of weighing up the cost - if my hubby stayed overnight in a bed and breakfast, and also added his petrol, not to mention the time he'd be giving up, it might end up more expensive than getting them to send the chair back by courier. I am very reluctant to send it up from here by courier because it requires specialist packing in a good strong box, which I am unable to do.

Anyway, my hubby has arranged to go up on Monday, all being well - it has to be confirmed with the engineer to make sure he has a slot to do the work. Hopefully it won't take more than a couple of days before I get it back again.

When my old one went up to be fitted with the system originally, there was a mix-up with the courier on the way back, and I was without it for about 10 days, which was simply awful because I was reliant on an Iron Maiden hired from the Red Cross - it was like sitting in a steel box - terrifically heavy and unmanoeuvreable, quite impossible to do a wheelie in, so I felt as if I was nailed to the floor, and with absolutely no adjustments on it at all, so after sitting in it for an hour, I was in pain! How the NHS thought they could get away with prescribing this sort of wheelchair for so many years is beyond me! At least they now have a much better range to choose from, and also a voucher scheme to enable you to buy the wheelchair of your choice to the same value as the one that would have been prescribed, and to add to the voucher from your own pocket if the one you want is more expensive. (This is what I have done.)

The mix-up with the courier meant that instead of the nice air conditioning unit that the Dartmouth Health Club was expecting, they got my wheelchair instead!!! I'd have been just as miffed as they probably were, if I'd got the air conditioning unit instead of my wheelchair... At least I got a refund on the courier fee.

So it's all happening! I should be well and truly kitted out by Christmas. Watch this space.

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