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Reality Check

One week on and I am getting to grips (pardon the pun) with my wheelchair. I have found I cannot wheel it very far at all athough I nearly lost the tips of my fingers when it rolled away on a slight slope and I tried to stop it. As I didn’t have one, I have asked for an assessment to find out if I was deluding myself to think I could self propel or if a lighter chair would help. I’ll also be doing the rounds of the local mobility shops to test drive a few models.

We did have a lovely day out yesterday taking it on the train and the bus with hubbie providing the pushing power. It will let us get out and about on public transport and anywhere I can’t take my buggy so that’s good.

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Hi Seabird,

Pleased you are getting to grips with your new wheels,

self propelling takes a lot of upper body strength,i have never had the strength to self propel,dont think many with ms will .

J x

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Seabird, you’ll learn to dislike several things- carpets, hills and slopes, narrow doorways, tight corners in old buildings, kerbs, manhole covers etc etc etc

but on a nice level, smooth floor you’ll feel great.

Mrs J is right, upper body strength is vital. I still have plenty, but always take advantage of being pushed whenever I can. Sit back and enjoy the ride :slight_smile:

Kev x

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Good for you Seabird. It takes guts to go out in wheelchair first time… so you can be proud of yourself.

I find self propelling really hard. It’s exhausting and as Kev says, slopes, doorways, all sorts of things make it hard. What’s that called when the pavement slopes to one side? That one is really difficult.

So pleased you had a nice a day.

Pat xx

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I do my best to propel myself, however become very weak when I push my chair… When my kids push it, they try and damage as amany people as possible … When my hubby pushes me he turn into Lewis Hamilton and I don’t get the chance to see a thing!

However it’s better than stumbling along in pain on crutches.

Polly xxx

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Pat, I think you mean the cambers. The peeps who decide the things about pavements should really ask a wheelchair user for input, perhaps then it would be better, but that seems to me like common sense, so I doubt it will happen.

The cambers are also a nightmare in a power chair, problem here is the castor wheels on the front of your chair, slightest camber sends you in the wrong direction, ie into the road!

Have a good weekend, and if you are like me, enjoy the football.

Pam x

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Good for you in your efforts.! Self propelling is hard…good for keeping the bingo wings at bay!

Ask for an assessment for an electric chair, eh?

pollx

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Exactly Pam, you’re spot on about cambers. Really hard on a scooter or a wheelchair. And badly done repairs to the surface. Ouch-oooh-ouch- ooufff etc etc

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Well done Seabird. I’m still hobbling around either with a stick or crutches but with each of those it took me a while to brave leaving the house. I hate it as I look well just to look at (even though I’m haggared at the moment) so I was self conscious at what people would say but everyone (except one person who asked if I wasn’t dragging out my lameness a bit), were lovely and hold doors etc for me.

I imagine it’s going to be another adjustment if I need a chair. Could I just ask though who decides what type of chair you need as this concerns me as my arms are weak and I don’t have anyone who could push me? Oh and an electric chair is out of my budget. I’m terrified of losing what independence I have.

Cath xx

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Cath you get the ot or gp to refer you to wheelchair services and they decide what is best for you. There normally is quite a wait, so maybe something to take into consideration.

If you decide you don’t want the chair they offer you, they can give you a voucher to help buy a particular model.

Hope this helps.

Pam x

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Hi Cath

I asked for GP referral after speaking to my MS nurse and three weeks later a wheelchair was delivered! I have now asked for an assessment as what was delivered may not be the best option. I spoke to my local wheelchair services who said that they don’t always do an assessment, but you should push for one as it may be better in the long run. I was also told that my MS nurse should not have mentioned the voucher scheme! This even though the information is freely available on the NHS choices website!

I am also going to test drive various models at our local mobility stores so that I am armed with all the information when I go for the assessment.

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Cath have you considerd getting a scooter i have a luggie,and much prefer it to a w/c.

J x

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I went for wheelchair assesment and as soon as I walked (well ok… I hobbled) into the room they offered me an electric wheelchair!

I had to argue may case for a manual one as I only wanted it for trips by car… I use my scooter for local trips.

Thanks Pam… yes I meant camber!!! (I can never remember that word).

Pat xx

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Thanks for that. I’m worried about my future but also that of my poor dad. He’s almost certainly got Motor Neurone Disease and has lost all his muscles, I’d hate for him to not be able to get about, and then it’d be nice to know how it works for myself when / if the time comes. I also prefer the scooter option of I’m honest, so thanks again.

Cath xx

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