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    Quads in manual chairs

    I see questions being asked by quads all the time on what other quads use as far as the chair, push rims and whatever else you can think of. I was thinking we can start a central location on who pushes manual chair's, what level, what kind of chair, what kind of push rims, tires, etc. Maybe note how independent you are in the chair and what other options you've used in the past to get to where you are now. I'll go first.
    I am a C-5 injury with some C6 function but not enough to be independent like some people here are. I push a Quickie Q7 wheelchair. It's a 16 x 16 with 19 inch front seat height and a 15 inch rear seat height. The 4 inches of dump give me a little more stability and it brings my hands a little closer to the wheels to give me more power to push. I use pretty much standard black coated push rims on spinergy wheels. I think they might be a little bit more sticky than the standard ones, but I'm not sure. My seatback height is 18 inches but I think I only use roughly 16 inches of it because I lean forward a little bit. To stop and turn, I use the insides of my wrists. I have a special seatback with some adjustable straps to give me a little more stability once again. My chair has armrests and clothing guards, though I seldom use armrests unless I'm all alone and doing nothing that way I have some place to set my arms. My tires are high-pressure tires although I'm considering getting flat free inserts instead. I'm kind of tired of having to get someone to air up my tires once or twice a week. They have high-pressure valves on them which makes it a little bit difficult to air them up. I do my weight shifts by leaning over side to side and leaning forward. I know you all know that I've had problems with sores, but that's not from lack of weight shifts, that's from cushion going flat. I pay much more attention now that I have in the past. This is my third manual chair, my first one being an Invacare F-6S which is a chair with suspension but it also weighed a ton. I didn't realize that until I tried a Colours Eclipse which had the way a good 10 pounds less along with spinergy wheels with the Foam covered push rims. I can get some really good speed up with those but they tore the hell out of my arms so with no foam wore out, I switched to some sticky black push rims that worked just as well. I just recently got my Q7 and after weighing it, it weighed 11 pounds less than my eclipse. It's very adjustable and still very light. I know some of you don't like Quickie, but let's leave that aside right now and just talk about our chairs.

    Here is a picture of me in it when I first got it:




    And here it is without me in it:


    Now maybe we can all be polite about each other's chairs and show them off to each other so newcomers to get a look at what's possible.
    C-5/6, 7-9-2000
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

    #2
    Great idea for a thread and good post Rybread.

    Comment


      #3
      Sarah uses a Quickie also. Hers is orange! Sarah is a C6/C7 fuctioning at a C7/T1 level. She has decent use of her hands but is struggling with some things that others feel she could be doing on her own. One day at a time....right? It has been 2 1/2 years since her accident and she is not very independent as well. For me....I am more concerned about her overall health than her independence at this moment. Independence will continue to come in time if it meant to be, right?

      When OSU Rehab starting with us to get her the first chair....it was a power chair. When someone with the same level of injury told her that they never use their power chair, Sarah made up her mind to do the same. The only time we use it now is to wash her hair - it has a lift and tilt on it so we can do this in the sink. But other than that....it gathers dust in the garage. As for the Quickie, we do not and did not know any different. She has no complaints other than she has gained some weight over time and is currently waiting on some parts so that it can be widen a bit.

      But I will share what amazes me the most.....AB folks (PT and a few docs) believe that she could transfer from the chair into a car some day and then take it apart and lift it across her. That is HILARIOUS! Yes it is somewhat light, but it is not a one hander by any means. (It takes my husband and I both hards to take it apart and to put it into the car. Trust me, there is no way that she would be able to do it - and that is not being negative. That is just the reality of the situation. But heck...once we get her out of the car and into the chair....she is pretty independent. All in all....she likes her orange chair.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Sarah's Mom View Post
        Sarah uses a Quickie also. Hers is orange! Sarah is a C6/C7 fuctioning at a C7/T1 level. She has decent use of her hands but is struggling with some things that others feel she could be doing on her own. One day at a time....right? It has been 2 1/2 years since her accident and she is not very independent as well. For me....I am more concerned about her overall health than her independence at this moment. Independence will continue to come in time if it meant to be, right?

        When OSU Rehab starting with us to get her the first chair....it was a power chair. When someone with the same level of injury told her that they never use their power chair, Sarah made up her mind to do the same. The only time we use it now is to wash her hair - it has a lift and tilt on it so we can do this in the sink. But other than that....it gathers dust in the garage. As for the Quickie, we do not and did not know any different. She has no complaints other than she has gained some weight over time and is currently waiting on some parts so that it can be widen a bit.

        But I will share what amazes me the most.....AB folks (PT and a few docs) believe that she could transfer from the chair into a car some day and then take it apart and lift it across her. That is HILARIOUS! Yes it is somewhat light, but it is not a one hander by any means. (It takes my husband and I both hards to take it apart and to put it into the car. Trust me, there is no way that she would be able to do it - and that is not being negative. That is just the reality of the situation. But heck...once we get her out of the car and into the chair....she is pretty independent. All in all....she likes her orange chair.
        As a para I almost didn't weigh in on this but what the heck. You would be amazed that if you get a truly ultra light chair what a difference it makes. My first chair was an Aero-Z, I did have a carbon fiber roho jetstream back but nothing to make it particularly light. I could get it in my car but I ended up getting bursitis on my elbow I think primary from picking the chair up and putting it in the car. So then I went full bore and got a ZRA Series 2, carbon fiber everything, basically their ultralight package. I still have a solid seat back, another RoHo Jeststream. With the wheels and cushion off my 6 year old can pick it up. Independence is everything to a person with SCI, maybe there is a chair you can build that would be light enough for her to get in to a car by herself.

        Comment


          #5
          When I was first injured, I had a manual chair and it was a tank, E & J, and was way to wide for me. A 4" foam cushion was a joke. I got where I could walk on crutches and said the heck with that chair as it kept my hands blistered, dirty and skin tears constantly. Move up 37 years and my orthopaedic surgeon insisted I put down the crutches and use a chair so her ordered a power chair. (I had gotten to the point when I fell, I would break a bone. ie: left tibia, right foot, left femur and left kneecap.) I can now go anywhere, any distance, up hill or down hill, up-down 3" curbs and it doesn't matter. I got a ramped van and took a course on hand control driving and passed the state test. If my wife doesn't want to go where I am going, fine, she stays at home.

          At first I resisted going to a chair. Now I regret not going to a power chair sooner as it has opened up a whole new part of life. I can park anywhere, go to any large restaurant, go to a theater or anywhere else I used to avoid when I was on crutches. Life is better.

          Good luck to all.
          Millard
          ''Life's tough... it's even tougher if you're stupid!'' -- John Wayne

          Comment


            #6
            T8burst - You are so right! Independence is the most important thing! I am sure in time, she will look into the best chair for her - but you know insurance is....only pay for a chair every so many years. And to add....when she was first injured, I (we) was ignorant to everything that was going on - just wanted her to live at that time. Did not absorb that this would not go away in a week. That took some time to sink in - let alone to realize that there we some many things that we going to change for Sarah especially and the rest of our family as well.

            So when it came time to order her power and manual chair, we did not know better and went with what the PT suggested and who she suggested. Now, after being on CCC, you all have taught me a lot!

            Millard - I do wish that she would use her power chair more. She would not be so apprehensive about going outside alone. I love that chair. It is an awesome peice of equipment and would give her so much more freedom but she has the belief that she does not need it. Right now...I do support her feelings. But, I agree with what you said....in time, she will use it more just like you do. Her world will open up so much more.

            Comment


              #7
              I am definitely not one of those people who has anything negative to say about Quickie. While I almost always am in a power chair, my manual chair is a Quickie 2HP that has served me very well. I am "Rubenesque" (OK, fat) so my chair is 20" wide with a 17 inch depth. It is not the lightest chair being made today, but it has proved sturdy and has been on several overseas trips where you always pray nothing will go wrong. I have 6 inch casters on it because it is nearly impossible for me to push hard enough to get out of a deep crack in the pavement, and the larger casters are less likely to fall into one. I also like the neon pink color!

              Good thread Ryan, thanks for starting it!

              Comment


                #8
                I'm a para but, I wanted to comment on the whole power chair thing. I have been a chair user for 17, almost 18 years. Over the past 2 years, I have started to have a ton of shoulder pain and I recently found out I have 2 torn rotator cuffs and a cyst on my right shoulder. My OT suggested a power chair and I was PISSED that he would make such an obsured suggestion. A while later, my pain progressed enough that I realized he was right. I've had my chair for about a month now and I'm so glad I have it. Part of me wishes it hadn't taken my shoulders being a problem to realize I needed one. I think it's wrong to assume if you can use a manual chair, you should.

                WG

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Sarah's Mom View Post
                  .... (PT and a few docs) believe that she could transfer from the chair into a car some day and then take it apart and lift it across her. That is HILARIOUS! .... Trust me, there is no way that she would be able to do it - and that is not being negative.
                  not trying to be negative myself, but this is crazy talk. I know C5's with zero hand function and no tricep muscles that do this 10 times a day.

                  I sincerely hope she is one of the quads that is challenged by an assumption that something is "impossible". NEVER SAY NEVER.


                  as far as quads in a manual chair goes, there are LOTS. Need motivation to be one? Check out your local quad rugby team! If there isn't one dig up the movie Murderball. The stuff C5s/C6s can do 100% independently will astound you. I'm a C7 and they made me feel like a little bitch when I started.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'm a C6/7 with no hand function. When I first got injured 7/18/90 my doctors said, if I was lucky I might be able to drive a Van. Well, thanks to them I ran out and bought a van, had it for 4 months, then sold it for a car. At the time, I thought If I could transfer from my chair to the van seat with a sliding board, why can't I just transfer to car.... wasn't easy at first. Think the first time took me an hour by myself.... Nothing is impossible.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I know eventually I'll end up in a power chair. I think we all will. I also know that if I stayed in a power chair from when I got hurt, I wouldn't have nearly the function I do now. That "Use It or Lose It" expression I think is what keeps me going. Plus, I enjoy pushing. It gives me a reason to go out and do stuff. If I was just in a power chair, what would be the point of going out other than to shop or something like that. With the manual chair, I motivated to go out and do stuff and push around as much as I can to keep myself in shape. I was in a power chair a few years ago for just about a year and I gained a ton of weight since I was just sitting there. I had no motivation to go out and do anything and really felt uncomfortable in my environment. And as of today, I got weighed today compared to five years ago when I was in that power chair, I've lost 100 pounds. I've gone from 240 pounds to 140 pounds mostly because now I keep myself in shape with the manual chair.
                      C-5/6, 7-9-2000
                      Scottsdale, AZ

                      Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Ryan, I am glad you are still able to use a manual chair and that it motivates you to go out and do things, but when the shoulders wear out (yours or anyone else's) the reverse comes into play. Going out represents nothing beyond discomfort and limited options. I got to the point where if I couldn't be right by the door I couldn't go to whatever because I could no longer push. At that point a powerchair becomes a liberator, giving back freedom that would otherwise be lost forever. Those of us who use powerchairs go out for the same reason anyone does......to be with friends, to go to the theatre, concerts, whatever. It simply is no longer such a burden to do so.

                        OK, returning to quads in manual chairs. Didn't mean to derail your excellent thread, but felt I had to let you know the other side viewpoint!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          C7 with half decent hand function. 100% independent until a lightbulb needs changed. Damn!!!! The first chair was a quickie ti, e&j reactor, and now this (since '07):

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by rybread View Post
                            That "Use It or Lose It" expression I think is what keeps me going.
                            EXCELLENT!!!!! I'm with you, until the shoulders go out, like Eileen says, then I will consider my options.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by rybread View Post
                              I see questions being asked by quads all the time on what other quads use as far as the chair, push rims and whatever else you can think of. I was thinking we can start a central location on who pushes manual chair's, what level, what kind of chair, what kind of push rims, tires, etc. Maybe note how independent you are in the chair and what other options you've used in the past to get to where you are now. I'll go first.
                              I am a C-5 injury with some C6 function but not enough to be independent like some people here are. I push a Quickie Q7 wheelchair. It's a 16 x 16 with 19 inch front seat height and a 15 inch rear seat height. The 4 inches of dump give me a little more stability and it brings my hands a little closer to the wheels to give me more power to push. I use pretty much standard black coated push rims on spinergy wheels. I think they might be a little bit more sticky than the standard ones, but I'm not sure. My seatback height is 18 inches but I think I only use roughly 16 inches of it because I lean forward a little bit. To stop and turn, I use the insides of my wrists. I have a special seatback with some adjustable straps to give me a little more stability once again. My chair has armrests and clothing guards, though I seldom use armrests unless I'm all alone and doing nothing that way I have some place to set my arms. My tires are high-pressure tires although I'm considering getting flat free inserts instead. I'm kind of tired of having to get someone to air up my tires once or twice a week. They have high-pressure valves on them which makes it a little bit difficult to air them up. I do my weight shifts by leaning over side to side and leaning forward. I know you all know that I've had problems with sores, but that's not from lack of weight shifts, that's from cushion going flat. I pay much more attention now that I have in the past. This is my third manual chair, my first one being an Invacare F-6S which is a chair with suspension but it also weighed a ton. I didn't realize that until I tried a Colours Eclipse which had the way a good 10 pounds less along with spinergy wheels with the Foam covered push rims. I can get some really good speed up with those but they tore the hell out of my arms so with no foam wore out, I switched to some sticky black push rims that worked just as well. I just recently got my Q7 and after weighing it, it weighed 11 pounds less than my eclipse. It's very adjustable and still very light. I know some of you don't like Quickie, but let's leave that aside right now and just talk about our chairs.

                              Here is a picture of me in it when I first got it:
                              I'm a C-6 quad with a fairly similar chair, this is me with my daughter.




                              What i wonder about you is why don't you wear any quad pushing cuffs like i have on? The Dycem on the palms sticks well the the rubber on the wheelchair rims which makes pushing sooooooooooo much easier. One time my gloves went bad before buying a few new pairs and then i saw first hand just how much i missed the gloves by trying to push with bare hands. It was much more difficult to push without my gloves, especially up hills or on thick carpet.

                              Plus, i use the gloves to help me write, brush my teeth, open some doors, use various kitchen utensils, and a myriad of other things. I can't imagine life without them. These are the ones i use.

                              Comment

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