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help...choosing first custom chair?

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    #31
    Thanks for joining in, Lin.
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

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      #32
      No problem, most of the time when I was reading the thread you had already answered and covered everyhing lol. I just got the timing right this time
      Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

      I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

      Comment


        #33
        Big breakthrough: I"m in their system and talking with the Pt they consult to Fri morning. YEAAAH! One step closer to greater freedom... Problem: Ins doesn't cover until a 5K deductible is hit, and then we have a 45% copay. My parents could get me a new chair, and are willing, but the thing is, we don't want to waste any money we could save by going through Spinlife or Sportaid. Is it wrong, to get the vendor to measure you and help you decide on a chair and then order online and not through them? I mean, we'd tell them what we mean to do and pay them for their time and help, but we don't want to pay more than we have to for a new chair. I'm not going for anything over a K5....the K5 has everything I need and is more than expensive, of course. It almost feels like I'm asking for too much as it is, a K5 and being a part-time user, able to walk some days others not, but I already have a K3 (next step down or so says the vendor) and I'm extremely uncomfortable in it and it's hard to use. Almost as bad as not having a chair, period. So, like...IDK. We *can* get me a K5, new, but it's sort of a matter of deciding whether it's necessary...course the alternative when I think of it, keep struggling with a K3, is awful. So...IDK!!! It's frustrating, yknow?
        Tourette's Syndrome - motor tics of the legs, feet and back, which can make it difficult or impossible to walk

        Comment


          #34
          Originally posted by voxina View Post
          Big breakthrough: I"m in their system and talking with the Pt they consult to Fri morning. YEAAAH! One step closer to greater freedom... Problem: Ins doesn't cover until a 5K deductible is hit, and then we have a 45% copay. My parents could get me a new chair, and are willing, but the thing is, we don't want to waste any money we could save by going through Spinlife or Sportaid. Is it wrong, to get the vendor to measure you and help you decide on a chair and then order online and not through them? I mean, we'd tell them what we mean to do and pay them for their time and help, but we don't want to pay more than we have to for a new chair. I'm not going for anything over a K5....the K5 has everything I need and is more than expensive, of course. It almost feels like I'm asking for too much as it is, a K5 and being a part-time user, able to walk some days others not, but I already have a K3 (next step down or so says the vendor) and I'm extremely uncomfortable in it and it's hard to use. Almost as bad as not having a chair, period. So, like...IDK. We *can* get me a K5, new, but it's sort of a matter of deciding whether it's necessary...course the alternative when I think of it, keep struggling with a K3, is awful. So...IDK!!! It's frustrating, yknow?
          Use cash as a negotiating tool & ask them to price-match an online dealer. Worst they can say is no.

          You can get a top-of-the-line K5 for well under $5k. Get codes out of your head though. K9, K5, K3, whatever... they don't dictate what will work best for you.

          I'd take insurance out of the equation.

          Comment


            #35
            Do whatever it takes to get a chair that fits you can afford. The DME's don't give a heck about anyone, only cash.
            C 5/6 Comp.
            No Tri's or hand function.

            Far better it is to try mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure. Than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat.

            Teddy Roosevelt

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              #36
              Thanks again guys! I'll try that, I'll see if I can get them to match Spinlife. ERr....another question. I would ideally like an Aero Z chair but I'm looking at other stuff too. What's your opinions on the Aero Z ti vs. Top End's Crossfire? They're both aluminum of course but I kind of like Crossfire's finer tubing, but Aero Z I get a better feeling about, just something in how it looks sturdier. Also, do ultralight chairs tend to break down more than standard chairs? I've just seen plenty of folks on here talking bout how their casters float, flutter, get caught, etc. Any maintanaince heads up I should be aware of before transitioning from a standard-ish?
              Tourette's Syndrome - motor tics of the legs, feet and back, which can make it difficult or impossible to walk

              Comment


                #37
                Originally posted by voxina View Post
                Big breakthrough: I"m in their system and talking with the Pt they consult to Fri morning. YEAAAH! One step closer to greater freedom.
                Congrats!!

                Is it wrong, to get the vendor to measure you and help you decide on a chair and then order online and not through them? I mean, we'd tell them what we mean to do and pay them for their time and help, but we don't want to pay more than we have to for a new chair.
                As long as you tell them upfront, and they agree, it's fine. Be sure to ask them if they will provide service on a chair purchased that way. They may not - and definitely not warranty service (if any).

                I'm not going for anything over a K5....the K5 has everything I need and is more than expensive, of course. It almost feels like I'm asking for too much as it is, a K5 and being a part-time user, able to walk some days others not, but I already have a K3 (next step down or so says the vendor) and I'm extremely uncomfortable in it and it's hard to use. Almost as bad as not having a chair, period.
                A K5 is appropriate because your condition, although not continuous, is permanent. K4 and below are for folks who aren't likely to need one again.

                Congrats again
                Chas
                TiLite TR3
                Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
                I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

                "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
                <
                UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

                Comment


                  #38
                  Originally posted by voxina View Post
                  ERr....another question. I would ideally like an Aero Z chair but I'm looking at other stuff too. What's your opinions on the Aero Z ti vs. Top End's Crossfire? They're both aluminum of course but I kind of like Crossfire's finer tubing, but Aero Z I get a better feeling about, just something in how it looks sturdier.
                  Invacare makes a good product. I've never owned one, but some CCC members speak well of the Crossfire.

                  From what I see on Invacare's website (confirm with your DME), the adjustable Crossfire is available only in 7000 series aluminum. I mention that only because Sunrise/Quickie has had some serious but rare durability issues with that material, but that could be totally irrelevant because it's a different company entirely. I've read no such durability issues about the Crossfire.

                  Personally I like TiLite's method/hardware for RSH adjustment better than Crossfire, but (like I said) I've never owned a Crossfire, nor had my hands on one.


                  Also, do ultralight chairs tend to break down more than standard chairs? I've just seen plenty of folks on here talking bout how their casters float, flutter, get caught, etc. Any maintanaince heads up I should be aware of before transitioning from a standard-ish?
                  All wheelchairs require some maintenance (e.g., bearing cleaning and greasing, pneumatic tire inflation, spoke tuning, etc). Only a fully welded chair approaches maintenance free status. With any other chair, you'll need to pay periodic attention to fastener tightness, lock adjustments, general cleaning, etc. They're like a bicycle; ignore them or mistreat them, and they will become unadjusted or break down. Learn how to maintain your chair.

                  That said, IMO ultralights will hold up better than standards when both are properly maintained and treated. But . . . adjustable Z frames (AeroZ and Crossfire) are more prone to periodic floating casters (frame unsquareness) than box-frames.

                  Simplistically stated, caster flutter problems are independent of the type of chair. The faster you go, the more likely flutter will occur; ultralight users tend to go faster than standard users. Flutter is a whole discussion in itself. I have no flutter issues; I used to, but I worked to resolve them.
                  Chas
                  TiLite TR3
                  Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
                  I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

                  "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
                  <
                  UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

                  Comment


                    #39
                    I talked with my DME again...wow. They're full service, do specs, post market adjustments, fittings, the works. They can't do the discount but it sounds like it will be worth the retail price. Getting things done right.
                    Tourette's Syndrome - motor tics of the legs, feet and back, which can make it difficult or impossible to walk

                    Comment


                      #40
                      Originally posted by voxina View Post
                      I talked with my DME again...wow. They're full service, do specs, post market adjustments, fittings, the works. They can't do the discount but it sounds like it will be worth the retail price. Getting things done right.
                      That's what I expected them to say - it's their typical spiel. For your first chair, if they are competent, it's sort of worth it. But many DMEs are incompetent although they claim otherwise.

                      Given that your DMEs outsources the fitting to a therapist, I do have some hope for them (and you). Many,many horror stories exist about users getting stuck with a poor fitting chair without recourse until purchasing their next chair.

                      Your best safety net is to become as educated about chair fitting as you can, and watch over the DMEs&therapist like a hawk - "trust but verify". (Of course if you dictate a specific feature/measurement, you own it - only make sure you understand and agree with every decision they're making. Filling out your own copy of the chair's order form will help you understand.)

                      Also, if you decide on a TiLite, tell the DMEs that unless you personally (or your folks) sign off on TiLite's CAD drawing before production begins, you will not necessarily accept delivery of the chair. And be prepared to follow through. (You may want another appointment with the therapist who fit you to review the CAD together.)

                      When the chair does arrive (no matter which manufacturer) do NOT sign for it until you know you're happy with it. Manufacturers do not deal with users; they deal only with DMEs. Once you sign, you own it regardless of what the DMEs has done. (They've even been known to override what you signed off on.)

                      (Note: Buying an ultralight wheelchair is far more complex than buying a car. Heck, the price of my first brand new car [in 1975] was less than my first ultralight [in 2009].)
                      Last edited by chasmengr; 22 Aug 2012, 2:31 PM.
                      Chas
                      TiLite TR3
                      Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
                      I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

                      "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
                      <
                      UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

                      Comment


                        #41
                        voxina - where are you located?

                        I agree w/ Chas' sentiments.

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                          #42
                          Clarification: they do the measurements themselves. Big red flag?
                          Tourette's Syndrome - motor tics of the legs, feet and back, which can make it difficult or impossible to walk

                          Comment


                            #43
                            Originally posted by voxina View Post
                            Clarification: they do the measurements themselves. Big red flag?
                            YES!! unless they have an experienced ultralight wheelchair user on staff doing the measurements, I'd be very concerned.
                            Chas
                            TiLite TR3
                            Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
                            I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

                            "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
                            <
                            UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

                            Comment


                              #44
                              Does a wheelchair seating clinic exist in your area? Rehab hospitals frequently have such clinics; call around. If so make an appointment there, and take those results to the DMEs.

                              DMEs are notorious for providing improperly fit chairs. My wild guess is fewer than 10% of DMEs nationwide will fit you properly. Yet most think they do a fine job. They are in the business to move chairs; fitting a chair properly is akin to fitting a prosthesis; a salesperson cannot do it.
                              Chas
                              TiLite TR3
                              Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
                              I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

                              "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
                              <
                              UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

                              Comment


                                #45
                                http://ncmobility.com/

                                That's their website. More I started looking at their site vs a good sounding one I found, the more I'm getting edgy. I may call back and tell them I'm gonna hold off...I'd said I'd go friday to talk about chairs, etc.

                                Good-sounding one that talks about being certified: http://www.stallsmedical.com/how-we-work.asp

                                I'm thinking I might go to Stalls instead of NC Mobility....what do you guys think?
                                Tourette's Syndrome - motor tics of the legs, feet and back, which can make it difficult or impossible to walk

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