New guy

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New guy

Postby Lone Beagle » 05 May 2018, 21:02

Hi all
Name is John. I am 61 y.o. and been a para for 34 years. I have destroyed my shoulder so I am looking at getting a power chair for the first time.
I have learned a lot and am looking forward to learning more.
And so it goes
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Re: New guy

Postby Burgerman » 05 May 2018, 21:13

Welcome. My name is also john. I crashed a bike and landed as a wheelchair user 22 years ago and am 58. I started using a powerchair through choice 1 year after my accident. After seeing a bunch of paraplegics with massive shoulder problems at the spinal injuries unit.

Why? Every T4 paraplegic I know, and similar, refuses to use one. Or try one. Or even think about doing so. The reason comes from the brainwashing they and possibly you recieved as you are rehabilitated. Apparently you dont "need" a powerchair. Those are for tertraplegics, etc. Not paraplegics. This attitude is frankly rediculous but never questioned. And it sticks to the point that paras will not even think about it. Yet they WILL consider a sad addon thingy that motorises a manual chair. Which is worse than a manual chair on its own, and way worse than a powerchair!

In a manual chair your life is rediculously restricted. They are not even any good INDOORS! You cant carry a bowl of soup through a coule of doors without a struggle and risk. You have no stability for working on anything. And no arms, no backrest, no stability or comfort. And outdoors? You must be kidding. I do about half a dozen trips into town pubs, etc during the day. Walk dog (no longer sadly) And fly model planes at the wrong end of a 1 mile grass airstrip. Manual chairs jam up against ridges, are impossible up a hill, in the rain, or actually covering any sensible distance. And they leave you exhausted doing anyhing. You cant even carry a beer without risk.

So its about time you changed. You will not regret it. Only that you waited. A powerchair does everything better other than getting one into a car. You need a van. From the US...
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Re: New guy

Postby Lone Beagle » 05 May 2018, 21:45

I was operating on the idea that I was getting exercise. When I lived in Florida that was reasonable. In the mountains where I am now I the exertion is extreme to say the least!

I am looking at a Frontier chair and a VMI Chrysler Pacifica to haul it around. I have a very nice Mazda 5 with a lift that puts the empty chair where the drivers side rear seat would be. I have had full size vans and a Rollx minivan in the past while the children were growing up. The Mazda is a lot of fun to drive but the transfers are painful
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Re: New guy

Postby Burgerman » 05 May 2018, 22:59

That will work. Once programmed so it steers! And thats another subject. But the dealer cannot and likely will not do that. Not least because the programmers they have are dealer/end user ones normally. But there are ways. Sometimes expensive however. You may prefer the rear drive one.
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Re: New guy

Postby Lone Beagle » 06 May 2018, 00:50

I am going to go with the rear wheel drive. They do look like the best option here in the states.the

I must say that when I was in rehab ('84) all of the parts who were halfway fit could out run the power chairs. It was in Orlando when it was growing a lot. Lots of smooth, flat pavement. Then of course the batteries were even crappier than they are now.

All of that is ancient history now
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Re: New guy

Postby Burgerman » 06 May 2018, 10:33

I must say that when I was in rehab ('84) all of the paras who were halfway fit could out run the power chairs. It was in Orlando when it was growing a lot. Lots of smooth, flat pavement. Then of course the batteries were even crappier than they are now.

All of that is ancient history now


Things moved on. They still preach the same crap though. You CAN use a manual provided you dont mind being exhausted, fingers all cut up and hard skin, or covered in crap. With destroyed shoulder or elbow joints long term. And only on the flat, no hills, no cross or transverse slope, while not carrying anything such as a camera or tin of coke, as long as the ground is smooth and only for short distances... Massive fight getting into or out of a car.

With todays footpaths, the stupid little caster wheels on manual chairs, and no suspension even going up the hill out of my street, to a pub 1/4 mile away along broken footpaths is a nightmare. Even if its not raining or freezing cold. And by the time you arrive, no strength left to do the 15 degree ramp... So what manual chair users often do, is mentally make 101 excuses as to why you are not going to the pub, bank, etc today... Same thing with trips to the beach, walking your dog, going out to do a bit of photography, popping up the road to the takeaway. The result is that you miss out on life and make excuses to yourself for why you are not in the local park for an hour while eating your dinner. They will try to add power to manual chairs. They will buy power addons or power wheels. Which always makes a useless powerchair. Anything but actually try a real "powerchair"...

Once you do manage to persuade a para to "try" a powerchair, they are always converted. The beloved manual chair is kept, but seldom ever gets used again. 20 years on, mine is in the garage, flat tyres, and covered in dust. I wont even consider it for backup use as its harder to transfer into, unstable, uncomfortable and my life goes from active/normal to extremely restricted!

Basically its £££ sat there for no good reason.
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Re: New guy

Postby martin007 » 16 May 2018, 23:53

Welcome Lone Beagle


The wheelchairs are the past.
The powerchair are the present and the future.
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