During Isaiah's most recent PT session, Isaiah received his first wheelchair! We took the time to make adjustments as needed and I learned all of the ins and outs of Isaiah's chair.
We've spent the last few days getting Isaiah used to his new mode of transportation.
As soon as the belt and harness are clipped, he is rolling. We just love how quickly he's taken to it. He's actually getting mad when we go to take him out for rest times, but we want to work him up to using it. We don't want to wear his muscles out.
We're working on wheelchair proofing the house and I've pulled up Isaiah's throw rug from his bedroom so he can even roll around in there...
It didn't take him long before he was getting into mischief....
Here is a picture of just his chair. Over the last few days, we have noted a few issues that we'll bring up at our next PT appointment that involves the DME that provided the wheelchair.
I'm sharing this list of issues for fellow OI parents and wheelchair smarties, because I know some of you are thinking "uuuuum, that's not right.". ;-)
-Isaiah is sitting too far back. When the chair came, he was sitting perfectly, with his knees at the front of his seat cushion...but he couldn't reach the back wheels! Hello, glorified stroller. We immediately pushed him back so that he could reach.
-You can't bring the wheels any more forward without them hitting the casters. I plan to ask about smaller wheels, but when looking at the order form, 20" is the smallest I can get of this type of wheel. Any experienced with the Tilite Twist and know of any other solution?
-The harness is too big. The DME is working on bringing a smaller one to our next appointment with him from a different type of device. If it doesn't work, I plan to ask about a chest belt. He needs that type of support right now but hopefully not for too much longer.
-He can't reach the foot plate. At all. Yup, we know. We're brainstorming a solution for that, but it's not completely a worry as it doesn't seem to bother Isaiah.
-There's extra parts on there, adding weight. I know. We haven't gotten brave enough to take things off just yet, but we'll likely be removing the arm rest brackets (since the arm rests are too tall for Isaiah when they are in place), the wheel push rims (since Isaiah can't reach them and just pushes the tires), and a few other odds and ends.
-Isaiah can't reach the brakes. He needs extenders, but since he's so young, he wouldn't be able to control them anyway, so that's an issue for when he's older.
That looks like a lot of complaining to me...
But we love the chair!
-We love that he can reach the wheels and that he does so comfortably.
-We love that there is just one, easily removable push pole so that we can pull it off so there's no obvious way to push him ourselves, giving him the freedom to move on his own.
-The Jay cushion is fantastic. It's so cushy and wonderful for Isaiah. And the belt and harness are padded too!
-It has light up casters, which are just adorable.
And best of all, freedom. Isaiah is free to roll around wherever it's safe...and it is just amazing.
Isaiah has conquered needing oxygen, a 24 hour a day c-pap, a feeding tube, hydrocephalus (conquering in progress, lol), and more, and he's taken on this wheelchair with some major gusto...