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Old timey w/c - losing my patience.

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    Old timey w/c - losing my patience.

    My husband (of 15 years) was paralyzed 40 years ago as a young child. We have two elementary school aged kids and two in college.

    Please tell me to back off totally if I should...

    He still uses a very old style wheel chair. It's almost 40 lbs, foldable. They have to special order parts and rebuild it. He is very stuck on this chair. He has had the same type for 30+ years! Soon they won't even make them!

    He has increasing arthritis in his shoulders. He can't drive 95% of cars because they have to be 2 doors where he can do the front seat transfer/fold/pull/scoot/etc. it's hard cause our kids don't fit in the back of his car well and hate to ride with him.

    But I see people in newer light weight/ridged chairs. They can drive anything they can transfer into. They go faster (much faster). It's got to be easier on the joints.

    I have been gently nagging him for a couple years to at least test drive one of these new ones. He refuses. He says they are too light, they can't be safe. (Btw, the foot peddles he insists on actually broke his leg). But it's time for him to buy a new car and...well my kids are saying things like "I don't want daddy to come, he is too slow" or "I hate daddy's car, my feet fall asleep" or "we are always late for school when dad drives cause he takes so long to get in the car". I have a lower back injury and it hurts me when I have to put it in the trunk.

    How do I get him to try a newer and better chair? Or should I try? I'm starting to get really annoyed, honestly. His chair limits our life as a family. But...this is his wheelchair and I have no idea what that feels like.

    Help?
    - Moody

    #2
    Personally I never want a 4 door car ever... just because I scratched the hell out of the last one I had transferring my chair in and out (and I have a 20#ish titanium wheelchair).

    That being said, I can't possibly imagine having the same wheelchair for 30 years, I've gone through three (counting the loaner chair I got out of rehab) and I've always wanted a new chair except for perhaps a week or two when the new chair smell still has it's hooks in me... so I guess I'm no help there.

    I don't know what foot pedals are, but perhaps this is something he uses to get around????



    As for this "But it's time for him to buy a new car and...well my kids are saying things like "I don't want daddy to come, he is too slow" or "I hate daddy's car, my feet fall asleep" or "we are always late for school when dad drives cause he takes so long to get in the car". I have a lower back injury and it hurts me when I have to put it in the trunk."

    I say you should suck it up and tell your kids at least they aren't riding the bus (and perhaps tell your husband to leave earlier so your kids aren't late for school, younguns gotta learn). But seriously, it sounds like you have a car as well, you should buy yourself a car that is easier for you when the whole family is out and you need to load the chair in the trunk (the little ones will be old enough to do that job in a few years), though you should certainly tell him your concerns about YOU not being able to load the chair (regardless of how he feels about it).

    Your husband sounds like an ornery person who is set in his ways... which makes me feel like I'd probably like him. I plan on being an ornery set-in-my-ways type of person before too long and by god, he's certainly earned it by now after 40 years of this mess.


    But you should probably disregard everything I just said because I definitely have no idea what it is like for you to be married to one of us needy bastards (and by " needy bastards" I mean guys who are ornery and set in their ways), I just hope there's more of you out there who stay willing to put up with those of us of the more hard-headed sex.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by funklab View Post
      Personally I never want a 4 door car ever... just because I scratched the hell out of the last one I had transferring my chair in and out (and I have a 20#ish titanium wheelchair).

      That being said, I can't possibly imagine having the same wheelchair for 30 years, I've gone through three (counting the loaner chair I got out of rehab) and I've always wanted a new chair except for perhaps a week or two when the new chair smell still has it's hooks in me... so I guess I'm no help there.

      I don't know what foot pedals are, but perhaps this is something he uses to get around????



      As for this "But it's time for him to buy a new car and...well my kids are saying things like "I don't want daddy to come, he is too slow" or "I hate daddy's car, my feet fall asleep" or "we are always late for school when dad drives cause he takes so long to get in the car". I have a lower back injury and it hurts me when I have to put it in the trunk."

      I say you should suck it up and tell your kids at least they aren't riding the bus (and perhaps tell your husband to leave earlier so your kids aren't late for school, younguns gotta learn). But seriously, it sounds like you have a car as well, you should buy yourself a car that is easier for you when the whole family is out and you need to load the chair in the trunk (the little ones will be old enough to do that job in a few years), though you should certainly tell him your concerns about YOU not being able to load the chair (regardless of how he feels about it).

      Your husband sounds like an ornery person who is set in his ways... which makes me feel like I'd probably like him. I plan on being an ornery set-in-my-ways type of person before too long and by god, he's certainly earned it by now after 40 years of this mess.


      But you should probably disregard everything I just said because I definitely have no idea what it is like for you to be married to one of us needy bastards (and by " needy bastards" I mean guys who are ornery and set in their ways), I just hope there's more of you out there who stay willing to put up with those of us of the more hard-headed sex.
      I'll respond more tomorrow when I am less tired, but you gave me a great big chuckle. Ornery and set in his ways. Yep
      - Moody

      Comment


        #4
        Oh instead of a foot bar it's the folding foot rests like on hospital wheelchairs. He has long bone osteoporosis because he was injured so young. Once while folding laundry it just flipped and spun and he had a major leg fracture.

        And my car is fine,,,but why do I always have to drive!?
        - Moody

        Comment


          #5
          . . . could you 'accidentally' run over his unoccupied chair somehow? . . . shhhh . . .
          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


            #6
            One word: Titanium. Stronger and lighter. See if he can get a loaner to try just for kicks. I had the the heavier older Quickie 2 type chairs ... switched five years ago to a cantilevered (no frame underneath) titanium. I will NEVER go back. Been paralyzed three decades. What a difference!
            Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

            T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by chasmengr View Post
              . . . could you 'accidentally' run over his unoccupied chair somehow? . . . shhhh . . .
              I was going to suggest pushing it (unoccupied) into the path of a large truck on the freeway...

              I have seen many clients who cling to their old chair because it is what they know. I suspect this may be an old E&J type chair. Built like a tank, and heavier than hell. Don't know what you can do except keep pushing him. Perhaps tell him you are done loading the chair for him...and follow through with that threat.

              (KLD)
              The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

              Comment


                #8
                I sympathize with you! As a two wheeler family, we have always tried to keep ahead with our equipment. Believe it or not it has contributed to our health and safety now that we're up to 70's and still very active.
                We have almost always had a van with a lift at the double doors on the side - with power doors and 6 way power seats, hand controls for driving. I wonder if you can appeal to your husband in regard to your aching back, but also the fact that in order to maintain his independence he has a number of innovations to consider. These have been invented and pretty much perfected/streamlined in the last 40 years while he had his head in the sand.
                I also wonder about his shoulders holding out as he manipulates his chair into the car. A good out-patient evaluation at a big rehabilitation center might allow him to try some newer equipment.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I started out with one of those 40 lbs E&J's 35 yrs ago, like your husband, I needed a big 2 door car so I could get the thing into the car. But now there are so many more options both rigid and folding that will allow you to get the chair into any car. Personally, I use an Invacare ProSpin X4 with quick release Spinergy wheels and quick release swing in or out foot rests, it is a folding chair and weighs about 28 lbs. The last time I went car shopping, I test drove a mini cooper and I had no trouble getting the chair in or out of the car. Currently I own a Hyundai Elantra and a Pontiac Torrent SUV, and have no trouble getting the wheelchair in or out of either one. If your husband is afraid of making the leap to a Rigid chair, the ProSpin X4 will give your husband the same feel as the old 40lb E&J, but with the quick release wheels and feet rests, getting in and out of a car will become so much more easier.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks so much all. I'm going to do lots of research
                    - Moody

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Get the measurements off his old chair. Get him a new one. When he goes to bed throw the old one out. Put the new one in its place. Tell him you love him.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Or get the measurements off his current chair, keep an eye on ebay for similar sized rigid chairs. When you can get a cheap one in about the right size then get it. Make him try it for 3 days, and after that he can script his own and get one that is his choice and right for him (and use the temp one until then). If he still wants to go back to the old one then explain how you and the kids feel about it. I imagine he'd be mortified if he realised how much his chair choice was impacting his kids. Maybe he would consider trying a different type of chair for their sake.

                        He could always look at the folding chairs which behave like rigid ones when in use. Xenon or Neon are Sunrise / Quickie's versions but most of the manufacturers offer an option.

                        It's got to be his choice in the end, but he deserves to know how you and the kids feel. If you explain that and he still won't consider finding out more about different chairs then it should come down to his decision.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          You guys are so funny. I'm glad people can see my point. He is changing jobs and we are moving in 6 weeks. I might just have to make a loaner appear. I think he should have to use it for two weeks. When I got glasses he insisted I wear the, for two weeks and I really didn't want to. I felt like puking, had headaches, felt like I was bumping into things. But I'm glad I did it
                          - Moody

                          Comment


                            #14
                            In your husband's defence, one issue I could see with a new chair is that he is so used to the old chair that perhaps transferring to a new chair could be tricky. He might have muscle memory of exactly how to do a transfer into his current chair, so he doesn't even have to think about how to do it. I personally have trouble transferring in unfamiliar situations, and I generally prefer using the same devices I'm used to if they work because I don't know what problems something new will have. It wouldn't at all surprise me if a heavy chair is easier to transfer into, as it may be less likely to shift or tip; but the main point is if someone is familiar with something, how it all works together, then they don't have to think or worry about transfers.

                            I see people who've been using chairs a while and they definitely sometimes prefer ancient designs. Never been sure why exactly.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Sounds like your husband is a bit spoiled too. If my wife was in the same predicament as you, she would smash the relic chair over my head. End of story. lol Seriously, your husband has got to get the message that his disability is a family thing. It affects all of you and compromises have to be made for the good of the unit. Your back is a primary concern. Being a 77 year old quad who has been using wheelchairs for more than 60 years I can tell you that aging is not likely to be kind to him. Preservation of your health is critical to his future quality of life. Switching from a 40 pound chair to a 20 pound chair will make a great deal of difference in both your lives. It is critical to preserving his shoulders. I started out with a tank and had to use it for many years because there was not another choice. I was so grateful when better, easier to push chairs came on the market in the 1980s. There was no turning back. I wish I could have an hour with your husband. I would set him straight.
                              Last edited by SCIfor55+yrs.; 24 Apr 2015, 7:59 PM.
                              You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
                              http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

                              See my personal webpage @
                              http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

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