I’m sitting here at home, waiting for the wheelchair salesman for a local store to come and bring several wheelchairs for me to see. Now, I would rather not do it this way, as my house is in somewhat of a mess. Well, it’s more than ‘somewhat’… there’s stuff all over the floor, ’cause when I drop something I couldn’t pick it up, until yesterday, when Keith’s dad brought me a replacement Gopher (pick up tool). There are a couple of styles. I have the original Gopher right now. I HAVE had the Deluxe Gopher III – Pick Up and Reaching Tool W/ LED Light, but I accidently got it caught in my wheelchair and broke it. My father-in-law bought me the original Ontel Products GOPMO2 Deluxe Gopher Pick Up and Reaching Tool Set
and I am now able to pick up anything that weighs less than 5 pounds. Yes, the Gopher can pick up something that weighs 5 pounds! Pretty nifty, huh? Anyway, with the Gopher, I now don’t have any excuse NOT to clean my house, . Not that I’m trying to make one up… I hate living in what amounts to a pigsty. I WANT my house to be clean. I’d love to have friends over, and throw video parties, since we have a projection TV system. When the house gets cleaned up, we’ll be able to do that.
That will be neat. I’ll have to actually COOK, but that’s okay. PotLucks are good, too. We have over 900 DVDs, plus a laserdisc player, so we have plenty to watch and we’ve been known to throw parties when Star Trek was on TV. Since that isn’t happening anymore, we’ll watch DVDs and just have a good time.
Okay, I know this is supposed to be about me buying a wheelchair, but I got sidetracked. Anyway, I originally visited a store that impressed me with their display at the annual Abilities Expo last year. I went to their store, and they only cell the wheelchairs with the one post that supports the seat from companies like Pride Mobility. Those chairs work great for most people, but I need a custom seating system, and I have broken that post, because of the way I get out of a wheelchair. I need a wheelchair like my current one, which is a Invacare Action Arrow.
Well, Steve, (the wheelchair guy), just left. And I won’t be getting the newest version of my current wheelchair. He took lots of notes, and pictures. Of me and of my wheelchair and of my house. It looks like I’ll be getting a mid-wheel drive chair (compared to a rear wheel drive chair). It may take some time for my insurance to approve it, or it may be approved in no time at all. Steve told me a story where a person with the same insurance that I had, got a motorized wheelchair approved in TWO weeks! Now that would be awesome if that happened to me.
I REALLY need a new wheelchair. My old one is 10 years old. I bought it from Frederick A. Shotz, a dear friend of mine that helped write the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), and helped with the Owner-Trained Assistance Dog (OT-Adogs) list. He and I worked together in inspecting businesses for ADAAG (ADA Archtectural guidelines) so that they were accessible to persons using wheelchairs. He taught me everything I know.
Anyway, the wheelchair I have now, I bought from Fred, and he got it when it was only a few months old from the estate of a friend. Fred did not like the hard seat and back, which are required because the wheelchair has ’tilt and space’ which is where the wheelchair’s entire seating system tilts back to perform a ‘pressure release’, which is where you lift up your body to take the pressure off your butt to prevent pressure sores. You only need to hoist your butt off the seat for about 30 seconds, but even that is painful, so the tilt on the wheelchair is used instead. I love it, and would not want to part with it.
The new wheelchair would have ’tilt and space’ but also have a reclining back and footrests that move so you can basically be in a flat position. Basically a bed on wheels. Sheer luxury! We’ll see how it goes, and yes, I’ll keep people updated! The cost of the wheelchair is probably going to be at the upper end of $15,000-$20,000 although, I can’t be sure of that. My insurance, Regence MedAdvantage, will pay 100% with no deductible, which was planned when I chose my Medicare provider this year. I knew I was buying a wheelchair, so I chose a provider that had good DME (Durable Medical Equipment) coverage. Yes, I pay an extra $100 a month, but it’s worth it. If I hadn’t, I would probably have to pay about 15% out of pocket, which would be a lot more than $120.