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about to take the plunge for my first chair. :)

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    about to take the plunge for my first chair. :)

    Hey all!

    I asked about seating clinics last time and you guys we're so helpful. I'm really grateful for this forum... I lurk here almost every day! You all have taken all the nervousness and self consciousness of getting wheels out of my mind and now I am so glad I can go outside my home and feel like a normal human being. Thank you so much!

    I'm taking the plunge for my chair. Everything has been measured and ready and just waiting on the pre-auth from insurance. Here are my specs thus far... sorry that I am copying from my order form as they aren't sent in to Tilite yet.

    Tilite TR3
    Seat width: 18''
    Seat depth: 18''
    Front seat height: 18''
    Rear sear height: 16.5''
    Footrests: 15.5'' Angle adjustable
    Folding titanium seat back with round rigidizer bar and locks when folded
    Titanium back release bar
    Integrated fold-down push handles
    Seat back height: tall, 18.5-21'', set at 18.5 (Is this too tall??)
    89° seat back angle
    Center of gravity: 2.5''
    Rear seat width on standard front end: 18''
    Footrest width: 14''
    Rear wheel spacing: .75''
    Camber: 4°
    Front angle: 85°
    Colors: Acid green metallic with ultraviolet anondize package
    Front wheels: 5x1.5'' LiteSpeed Billet with soft roll (black)
    Front forks: slipstream single sided forks
    Rear wheels: 24'' Spinergy SPOX in black with schwalbe marathons
    Axles: stainless quick release
    Q-grip long tab handrims
    Pull to lock breaks with extension handles (there's a story behind this choice, I broke my thumb and tore my thumb ligament when the push to lock breaks buggered up my hands as I was demoing the ZRa last fall... no push to locks ever again, thanks!)
    Back upholstery: AIR breathable Velcro adjustable
    Seat upholstery: tension adjustable bolt on
    Seat cushion: Comfort Company M2 3''
    Riding removable aluminum side guards
    Swing away tubular 9 - 12'' armrests
    Extra large calf strap

    The COG is set too low (high?) at 2.5'' to get the fancy rear round frame, but then again, my rear is already pretty round!

    I demoed a ZRa and had that one dialed in until the demo time was up and it was great! Now I'm in a huge and heavy Breezy Ultra from the DME until I can get my final chair. I am so excited, guys. I can't wait to actually feel normal and leave the house without being scared.

    Does everything look pretty normal and comfy? I hope the 2.5 dump is enough to feel like I'm in the chair rather than on it. Lastly, is the COG set ok? I can't figure out if the higher the number, say 3.25'' COG means its more chance to fall backwards or forwards. I think I just don't understand COG at all, to be honest.

    Anyway, thanks guys!
    Meningitis in 2000 and again in 2002. Three failed lumbar punctures. A dural tear and spinal leak last several months. Two blood patches. Neurologically damaged, dysautonomic, narcoleptic, anemic, immunodeficient, asthmatic, depressed, and still alive.

    #2
    I think it's a very bad idea to go for a TR3 as a first chair. You're very likely to be disappointed and you will not be able to adjust enough things to make the chair useful to you.
    My TR3

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Big View Post
      I think it's a very bad idea to go for a TR3 as a first chair. You're very likely to be disappointed and you will not be able to adjust enough things to make the chair useful to you.
      x2. I've been in my first chair, an AeroZ, for 2.5 years now. The adjustability has allowed me to try different caster sizes, different rear-wheel sizes, different RSH's, and even severalprototype plywood ergo seats. I'm amazed at how much difference a half inch can make, and how long it can take to really tune in a chair. (I just switched to 25" (559) wheels last week, and the casters fluttered easily at their 24" angle. I tweaked them to vertical, and no more flutter.)
      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


        #4
        Originally posted by Prak View Post
        Pull to lock breaks with extension handles (there's a story behind this choice, I broke my thumb and tore my thumb ligament when the push to lock breaks buggered up my hands as I was demoing the ZRa last fall... no push to locks ever again, thanks!)
        Why not get the composite scissor locks? They're much nicer.

        and the higher the number the further forward the COG is, the further forward the more tippy to the rear/lighter front end.
        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


          #5
          I'm with Lin on the Scissor locks. They fold right out of the way so you can't catch your thumb while pushing. I think a more adjustable chair would be a good idea. I went with a Kuschall K4 which has plenty of adjustment and I don't think there are many things I havn't changed.

          The color scheme sounds good, be sure to post pics whatever you decide on
          T11 Asia A after near-fatal bike crash.. Just happy to still be here

          No, I didn't loose my mind... It got scared and ran away!!

          Comment


            #6
            I agree with the tribe of wise elders. Think of your first chair as you laboratory where you can tinker and experiment on your way to nailing the formula that works best for you. You will be deprived of that discovery if you roll the dice and go for non-adjustable chair and then your SOL until more insurance funds become available, if they become available.

            The ZRA is a very fine chair. You will thank all of us for talking you into it.
            stephen@bike-on.com

            Comment


              #7
              First of all, congratualations of getting a new chair. I'm excited for you, and hope it brings you more freedom and feeling more secure.

              How long did you demo the ZRA and how many modifications were you able to make? The reason I ask is that we have been busy for 6 months making modifications to a second hand adjustable 2GX chair that we got to learn from and will later use as a secondary chair.

              From what we have experienced after 3 years in a depot chair, is that it takes time to get used to every change and then time to evaluate if a new change was good or bad. For example, we are in the same situation with not really understanding COG very well. We have changed the rear seat height, front seat height and the COG a few times, and each change affects the others. We have also changed caster and fork size. Granted, our situation was a bit extreme because the chair was way too low, but still, I'm glad we could make a lot of adjustments and tweaks (and it's still not 100%).

              Maybe it is just me, but I would be afraid of a chair that I could not at least adjust for COG and rear seat height if it was not right. I don't know the TR3 enough to know exactly what you can adjust, but you may want to keep that in mind. I think that may be why more seasoned people are cautioning you towards a more adjustable chair for your first chair.

              About the Seat back height, it's going to be hard for others to say not knowing your body measurements and situation. I know my 6 ft. 1-2" husband's seat surface to scapula height is about 17.5" and with a 3.5" cushion we are going with the Medium 14.5”- 19” set at 17". We are going that high so the push handles are high enough for me as an assistant, but would probably go even lower if I did not have back problems. Again, this may be why others are cautioning about a TR3.

              Originally posted by Prak View Post
              I demoed a ZRa and had that one dialed in until the demo time was up and it was great! Now I'm in a huge and heavy Breezy Ultra from the DME until I can get my final chair. I am so excited, guys. I can't wait to actually feel normal and leave the house without being scared.

              Does everything look pretty normal and comfy? I hope the 2.5 dump is enough to feel like I'm in the chair rather than on it. Lastly, is the COG set ok? I can't figure out if the higher the number, say 3.25'' COG means its more chance to fall backwards or forwards. I think I just don't understand COG at all, to be honest.
              Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

              Comment


                #8
                Another quick note....

                I am sure after reading all of these cautions about going with a non-adjustable chair you might feel a bit frustrated. I know I felt that way after I thought I had everything just right, and then experienced people let me know the pitfalls. We only just put in our order last week, and although some of the set backs after getting input here was sometimes very tough "back to the drawing board" moments, I do think that all of the input was very helpful. People here have been great, but you may need to provide more information about your situation for them to be able to really help. Also, definitely get a CAD drawing that you, not the DME sign-off on.
                Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

                Comment


                  #9
                  We have the extension handles with push-to-lock brakes. They are not comfortable -- very flat, and one of them has already cracked after 6 months. I don't know if the TR3 is the same, but on the 2GX it is a sort of vinyl covering. Here is photo before the crack:
                  (click for bigger photo)
                  We are very happy to be getting the Out-Front brake handles that are rounded and more ergonomic.

                  Originally posted by Prak View Post
                  Pull to lock breaks with extension handles (there's a story behind this choice, I broke my thumb and tore my thumb ligament when the push to lock breaks buggered up my hands as I was demoing the ZRa last fall... no push to locks ever again, thanks!)
                  Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I first came on this forum looking for advice about a new chair. Over time, with much input and suggestions from the experts here, I changed my mind about a ZRA and went with an Icon. It's worth taking a look at, and is certainly the most adjustable chair on the market today.
                    Played with bombs- No SCI, Brain Damage enough that I require a chair and a caregiver.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I'd be happy to set you up with a demo Icon to try out - PM me at jeff@iconwheelchairs.com if you want to see if we can make arrangements.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        No such thing as a normal chair

                        Originally posted by Prak View Post
                        ... Does everything look pretty normal and comfy? I hope the 2.5 dump is enough to feel like I'm in the chair rather than on it. Lastly, is the COG set ok? I can't figure out if the higher the number, say 3.25'' COG means its more chance to fall backwards or forwards. I think I just don't understand COG at all, to be honest. ...
                        You’re not ‘there’ yet. A good search within the forum and will clear up your COG confusion – like the box-frame TR3’s center of mass (COM) apparently falls a little more forward than a cantilevered ZRA, likely weights the front casters more, makes the push harder, which you probably don’t want.

                        And it’s hard to help you nail down a chair at this unstudied stage with no idea of – at least – your height, weight, properly-measured leg dimensions and injury level.

                        So in addition to COG, no answers but several questions:
                        •Combination of 18x18 seat, 15.5” to footrest, 14” footrest width and undesignated front end raises physical/frame questions.
                        •FSH 18” minus RSH 16.5” = 1.5” dump, not 2.5”. Do you know what you need?
                        •Slipstream forks and 5x1.5 LiteSpeed casters but no titanium fork stems?
                        •4º rear wheel camber combined w/ .75” spacing?
                        •Genuine need for armrests where many users find they just get in the way?

                        At least you played with a ZRA that taught you some stuff ... but like said, maybe not enough to dive straight into a TR3.

                        Disclaimer: I went straight to a ZR from a hospital chair after months of self-study right on this forum. Got real lucky as the fit is perfect – but knowing the little I know now compared to what I hardly knew then, caution would have me sitting in a ZRA wanting a ZR! You want to roll the dice?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by nofuss View Post
                          •Genuine need for armrests where many users find they just get in the way?
                          I think anyone who gets a chair through insurance should get armrests, period. Its much easier to remove them later than try to acquire them later. Same with anti tippers for new users. It doesn't make any sense to advise to not get them unless the person is self pay and trying to trim costs.

                          That said... This user is not SCI and has some similar needs as me due to sharing the condition dysautonomia (dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system). I use my arm rests to stand and stabilize myself while waiting for dizziness to pass, so I would further recommend to start off with arm rests and then remove them if its determined they aren't needed.
                          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


                            #14
                            Sorry for the delay...!

                            You guys have really great points. I will definitely talk with my doctor and DME about everything. Forgive the huge post, I just want to address everyone's points.

                            I have a bizarre medical history. I had a three failed lumbar punctures, a several month long dural tear and spinal leak from it, and then two blood patches that finally fixed the headaches ten years ago. Since then, not sure if from the severe neurological damage of having meningitis twice and then spinal trauma and dysautonomia or something more devious and undiagnosed, my health has declined into bedrest, fainting, and a whole host of medical problems.

                            They went with the TR3 because I can ambulate, if for short periods of time. I have been waiting for a chair since September, so I am in this for the long haul. I had the ZRa from September until just recently so things were adjusted during that time and it worked out just great. I will definitely talk with my team about the potential for a more adjustable chair too. The ZRa I had was a dream. I definitely think its also a fantastic option.

                            Lin, I had scissor locks on a loaner chair and with my weakness or maybe they weren't adjusted properly, I just couldn't lock my own chair. If they actually don't have that issue, I am more than open to getting something better! I ended up breaking my hand on the push to locks to locks on the ZRa and tore a ligament in my thumb when they decided it was time to brake and I didn't. You are right about the armrests. I am a very wobbly person. I topple without much warning and have a hard time with perceiving my body in space. I think since insurance will definitely cover them, it'll be good to see if they help. (PS, has the chair helped you with the dysautonomia? I feel like I have so much more energy to do things now that it isn't spent on figuring out how to get from point A to point B)

                            SuprSi, I hope the color scheme looks good! I feel like that's been my one thing that makes me really happy. When I was younger, I used to have funky hair so I figured even though I'm 24, its OK to have a fun color chair.

                            Elarson, as for my measurements, I'm female, standing I think I'm 5'8''-ish and weigh around 220-230. Thus the need for the big 18x18. Alas. We went with a tall back since my back constantly hurts from the lumbar puncture site, but I wonder what constitutes "too tall." I'll also have a 3.5 inch cushion underneath me, so that'll bring it down to 15'' ...I think. I'm obviously absolute crap at math. The advice here about adjustability is definitely not frustrating, its so helpful. I've waited this long, so I can wait longer if it means I'll get a little better. Lastly, I'll switch out to not getting the extension handles. I think I won't really need them looking back. I'm so glad you are getting new ones. Those look pretty.. unappealing. I can't wait to get a CAD drawing once everything starts to settle. I feel like that'll be the day I get really excited and can sign off on exactly what I need.

                            The ICON looks like a great chair and I'm completely flattered that you're offering to let me demo it. I'll definitely bring that up with my team too. (Man, its really something when you have to have a health 'team' to be normal) Also, can I just say the ICON is a really beautiful looking chair? You guys have a great eye.

                            Nofuss, you bring up great points too. I finally understand COG now. Thank heavens. I am also terrible at math, so forgive me on the dump equation. I'll go check my leg measurements too just to make sure. With the cushion I'm getting, its also supposed to increase the dump a bit, so I will ask the DME about the dump and wheel spacing. The DME I'm working with is actually a pretty phenomenal guy. He sat with me for a solid two hours explaining options and measurements and read over my seating evaluation with the OTs. He's a measure twice, cut once kind of guy. These questions will be great to ask him. Also, I think I am getting titanium fork stems. I'll double check when I get the chance.

                            I'm also in Atlanta, so I'll be scheduling a meeting at the Shepard Center to resolve a lot of my damage and can ask them about this sort of business.

                            I've been lurking on here for a while, so I feel really comfortable asking you questions. Forgive me if I don't seem totally great at figuring out wheelchairs. It started out really confusing and now I seem to be on my way to understanding. You guys are just so helping. Dealing with playing pass-the-patient for ten years makes you really appreciate people who actually help.
                            Meningitis in 2000 and again in 2002. Three failed lumbar punctures. A dural tear and spinal leak last several months. Two blood patches. Neurologically damaged, dysautonomic, narcoleptic, anemic, immunodeficient, asthmatic, depressed, and still alive.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I think the scissor locks may have been poorly adjusted. I have mine adjusted quite loose and with limited hand strength and joint issues I'm able to easily set mine. They started out much too tight as the DME adjusted though, and I had a lot of difficulty setting them and it caused pain in my fingers and hands. Now they're super easy for me to engage, and my chair is still locked tightly. Also, there are different types of scissor locks. I use the "new" composite scissor locks, which may not be the same as the kind you've tried. Here are mine:



                              The chair has definitely helped my dysautonomia! It was prescribed for my genetic disorder EDS (which also is the cause of my progressive dysautonomia.) So I honestly hadn't put any thought into it before getting the chair, and so the help has been incredible. HUGE difference in my energy levels, I quickly realized one of my biggest energy zaps was the constant standing/sitting/standing/sitting. I can't stand for long due to my joints, but the postural changes of course set off the dysauto. So when I first got my chair I would stand to transfer for example, or stand when I needed to grab something high. Now I avoid that unless absolutely necessary. I just swing my butt over to transfer so my head doesn't get raised, and if I can I ask someone to grab what I can't reach. As a result I have loads more energy! And when I do need to stand I can use the chair to stabilize myself instead of my service dog, which I'm sure she appreciates the lightened work load

                              I have a Jay3 mid thoracic height back. I have a lot of back issues with scoliosis, muscle spasms, and joint problems. The back stops right at the bottom of my shoulderblades so its super supportive but doesn't get in the way of my shoulder blades moving when I'm pushing the chair. The Jay3 allows a lot of customization in the exact angle of the back as well as foam wedges inside that are placed exactly where I need them and can be easily moved around while I'm out and about.
                              Last edited by ~Lin; 31 Jan 2013, 1:57 AM.
                              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

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