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Got dd's wheelchair today - need some expert advice!

(13 Posts)
Hangingbellyofbabylon Wed 10-Jun-09 16:56:24

We picked up dd's first wheelchair today - it's an invacare blade. dd is thrilled and is sat in it right now. It's really easy to steer but really hard to get up and down kerbs. There's some weird anti-tipper things on the back that are meant to help up kerbs but they don't, they stop me tilting it enough and also keep jabbing me in the legs when walking. Can I just take them off do you reckon or are they really important? My back already hurts from lifting it in and out of the car. I'm 26 weeks pregnant and now the lifting is only going to get worse. dd is so so happy but right now I just want it all to go away. Is it ok to feel a bit crap about the first wheelchair? wham, bam, no denial now hey? it's right in your face. Everytime I think I'm ok and have accepted it all, something else comes along to challenge me.

HairyMaclary Wed 10-Jun-09 18:25:33

Have to post and run but yes, we took tipper things straight off, don't know where they are now! yes I felt a bit crap about it too! helped by DS loving it and the independence but it's a bit heart rending! And yes, they are heavy aren't they!
Have been meaning to email, but averaging 6 appts a week here so a bit manic, would still love to meet up sometime though!

glitteryb6 Wed 10-Jun-09 20:28:13

if the chair has small attendant wheels on it you dont really need them but if it has the large wheels for self propulsion you should leave them on so it doesnt tip back

meltedmarsbars Wed 10-Jun-09 21:29:16

Can't help with the tipping thing (dd2 has power chair) but totally understand the mixed feelings about seeing your own child in a wheelchair. You wonder whats next!?! (answer - hoists, slings, winches, don't lets go there).

However, now I've gotten used to it I let her drive herself into consultants' appointments, even if she does run over the registrars feet and take a bit off the doorframe, because I think it changes the doc's perception of her disabilities and abilities.

flappybitsoskin Wed 10-Jun-09 22:02:52

we took them off

Hangingbellyofbabylon Thu 11-Jun-09 09:56:37

Thanks everyone, I had a good weep and wail last night, I think getting the wheelchair is one of those huge milestones, like when we first got the walking frame and first got the AFOs. I'll get there and I'm really pleased that dd loves it and is really happy to go in it. It's weird being so noticeable all of a sudden, dropping off my other dd in the playground this morning we had loads of people coming up to us admiring the chair, nothing negative but it was still strange, sometimes I just want to slink in and not be noticed.

I've taken off the tippers for now but if she starts self-propelling I'll have to put them on again.

meltedmarsbars Thu 11-Jun-09 12:59:45

Its like wearing a big badge, isn't it! You will get used to it eventually, and not feel like everyone's watching you.

Has your dd customised it yet?

sarah293 Thu 11-Jun-09 14:49:05

Message withdrawn

HairyMaclary Thu 11-Jun-09 16:14:43

This is probably not allowed but Ds self propells (not all the time and not for distances) but we have still taken the tippers off. If you try to trip these type of chairs back
it is actually very difficult.

FioFio Thu 11-Jun-09 16:43:53

Message withdrawn

anonandlikeit Thu 11-Jun-09 17:34:27

We have the same w/chair & took the anti tippers off straight away, couldn't even get it out of our front garden with them on!

Its a bit of a big statement, I had a few tears at first & I noticed dh wasn't keen to push but we've got used to it now!

DS2 loves it

Hangingbellyofbabylon Thu 11-Jun-09 18:13:11

thank you, today has been a much better day. Must keep an eye on dd though, was chatting to dd1's teacher after school when suddenly noticed that dd2 was being pushed around the playground at high speed by a gaggle of 5 year olds (including my dd thank goodness). We went strawberry picking after school with my mum and it was quite a walk to the field but I noticed my mum really didn't want to get the wheelchair out and instead insisted on carrying dd the whole distance. Doesn't really help me as I can't carry dd but she demands it after she's been with my mum. Yet when I tried to mention that I was finding the wheelchair quite hide she went into total denial mode, 'it's perfectly fine' stop fussing type thing! blush hmm. I don't think my mum will ever quite get

Blu Fri 12-Jun-09 12:40:42

DS used a Blade all last year.
I turned the anti-tippers the other way up when I was pushing (you press a button and swivel them round), but left them down if DS was self-propelling / at school. He did manage to tip himself over one day, so it is worth it!!

ALSO I made it an absolute rule that no child must push him. And I asked staff to enforce it. It's dangerous: they can't see where they are going over the back of the chair, and DS hated it - it made him feel like a parcel to be shoved around for other people's fun, and it undermined his sense of independence and autonomy.

I gather you can get a gadget to raise the height of the handles - pushing a Blade is really backbreaking work as the handles are so low, and the wheels so 'under your feet'.

Good luck!

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