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Wheelchair or no wheelchair ???

Hello !! Any advice or opinions much appreciated !! Have been so so tired lately and finding things hard that my ms nurse has asked me to consider a wheelchair , I use a stick when needed at the moment but she said it would save my energies so I wouldn’t be so tired and be able to do other things. I wanted to ask if anyone else did this and did it help ?? Part of me thinks if this is the start of the wheelchair it’s scary !!! The other part thinks am I just being vain !!! Opinions much appreciated !! Margaret xx

Hi Margaret,and I hope the slight improvement in the weather suits you.I agree with the nurse,which is unusual 'cos my opinion is that they are the ‘experts’ but we are the users.If you can get them you should consider a Rollator,a Wheelchair,a Scooter and anything else you can beg steal and borrow.This gear is there to make our lives easier by reducing fatigue and pain,increasing mobility,giving options and generally improving quality of life.Oh,I can get around the shops on my buggy or powerchair quicker than a hungry shop-lifter.

I understand that vanity issues exist,but you must forget them.I’ve never had any such concerns and have found that people appreciate the effort you put in to getting out and just getting on with it.If anybody ever does get shirty the problem is their’s and the concern that they couldn’t do what you are.

If you think that you should be walking or whatever and aren’t because you’re using a bit of machinery you can exhaust yourself with exercises which any fizzio will happily give you.

Happy rolling,

Wb x

Hi Margaret , i asked my m.s nurse if i could get an electric wheelchair for the house to help me get a little more done and save a little energy . I had a relapse on December which caused problems walking and im using crutches, only went out 2 weeks ago since my relapse in December . Anyway i phoned my m.s nurse and asked to get a electric wheelchair and she told me NO because i can walk and would only get one if i could not walk at all . That wasnt what i expected to hear , sounds like you have a good m.s nurse if shes telling u to get one . Dont feel scared its only to help you store a little more energy and get more done , i say go for it . Take care and good luck , Fiona xx

Hello Margaret, I’ve recently gone through this myself as I was walking with 2 sticks and had days really struggling even with that but then hit by a big relapse in January and I’m now using a self propelled wheelchair out and about (I can still potter about indoors with a walking frame). At first it was just so others could push me and I could still participate in life as it were but as the relapse has levelled out into the (probable) new normal I find that it is so much easier being in a chair even a self propelling one and I find I am less fatigued propelling myself and in less pain. Being out in the chair has also given me confidence knowing I don’t have be on the lookout for somewhere to sit or perch every few minutes and know that I’m not going to fall which for me was becoming a big and constant dread (oh the humiliation of a sprall in the supermarket!) At first it’s daunting and I felt self conscious but everyone has been so nice and helpful and the only vibes I’ve picked up from people have been positive, good for you getting on with things etc. It allows me to get out of the house and I’m even going to have a go at wheelchair basketball! Plus, although my r arm is weaker than my left I am able to propel although that’s taken some working up to and I won’t have bingo wings come the summer - bonus! I now need to look into a scooter for a bit more independence so that’s on my to do list. Best of luck to you and I hope this has encouraged you that it can be liberating - don’t think of it as the start of the slippery slope downwards.

ps - Fiona, I’m pretty sure wheelchair services won’t fund electric wheelchairs unless you have zero mobility so it would have to be self propelled for you although I do think this would still help you to save energy.

Good luck to you both x

hi, oh now this is a pet subject of mine!

I`m often seen on here, banging on about the benefits of using wheelies.

I`ve been a full timer for 9 years now.

Yes, I am afraid there are some down sides of being so, but they are outweighed by the good ones.

Rather than risk a serious fall (had a few myself) and miss out on so may things my legs couldnt take me to, it was the best transition I made.

why not try borrowing a chair from Shopmob first, eh?

Hope it works out well for you.

have wheels, will travel!

luv Pollx

Where Poll goes extolling the virtues of a wheelchair – I will follow.

When the issue of a wheelchair first came up I had lots of objections but my daughter – oh so wise – said

“Mum, not using a wheelchair doesn’t make you look less disabled – you’re fooling no one”

That put the vanity away for good, and she’s right I’d much rather go out in my wheelchair than expose the world to the shambles I call walking.

Using a wheelchair when you need it isn’t a decision to climb into the damn thing for good. I remember my first trip out and I was exhilarated! I spent a whole day round a theme park and I was fresh as a daisy whilst everyone else drooped with fatigue (odd experience for an MSer)

I now have an outdoor electric wheelchair and have regained much of my lost independence. I can more or less come and go as I like.

Wheelchair services have very strict rules about the prescription of indoor/outdoor electric chairs so you probably wouldn’t get one of those but I had a manual chair (with willing pushers) for about 10 years before I went electric. You can either have a chair provided by them or a voucher towards a better chair.

Go for it I promise you won’t regret it.

Jane

Me again…just a warning…gained by my own experience

Initially I bought my own wheelchairs…still had some dosh in those days, from early retirement.

I bought 2 powerchairs, which looked and felt good. One lasted 3/4 years and then I replaced it with the same thing (they cost a grand each!)

But some time after I`d bought the second one, my knee and hip were splaying out and causing pain. I also kept banging my knees on door frames. An OT suggested a referral to wheelchair services.

I found out the chairs were totally unsuitable for me…salesmen love you and your dough, but dont always offer the right assessment, when choosing wheelies.

So nowadays, I would always advise getting an assessment from someone who knows their stuff.

luv Pollx

If I could afford I’d certainly consider getting self propelled whelchair. The DWP dont want to acknowledge that MS is dibilitating so no help there.

Hi anon, wheelchair services provide self propelled wheelchairs for you following assessment, as Jane said. Your MS nurse, GP or physio should be able to refer you. Self propelled can be borrowed from the Red Cross too (I think free or small charge?) if you want to have one for a short time to see how you get on. Either way, it should be free or cost very little. Hope this helps and good luck x