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Thread: Newbie, so nervous

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by pattherat View Post
    I would say lower the back 4 to 6 inches it's very tall. And change the angle of it to somewhere between 90 and 95 degrees and see how that feels. It looks like it's over 100 degrees now. Move the axle(center of gravity) forward at least 2 if not 3 inches and raise the axle up at least an inch until you finger is at the center of the wheel when your arms are hanging down like in the photo. Then adjust the front caster barrel angle so it's 90 degrees to the floor. The chair will probably feel "tippy" at first but you'll adjust to it. Play with the COG until it feels comfortable..

    I agreed with all, you don`t have much dump, so i don`t think the chair will became very tippy if you forward the COG and lower the backrest.
    540 are 24" wheel, they are ok for you, but they are very behind, you need to move your center of gravity for have them forward and you will push them much better.
    what`s your sci level?

  2. #22
    I'm new to using a chair too- so I completely bow to the experienced users here- they've not lead me wrong yet

    Just wanted to tell you that your story very much mirrors mine. Tons of pain, tons of tests and no results on what's wrong. The only thing I've been left with is mounting medical debt and no answers. The first day I used my chair and was able to move around the house without falling or pain- it was so liberating. The first time I left the house in two years, I cried. I was free.

    It can feel overwhelming at first- but it surprised me how quickly being in a chair became second-nature and thinking about how the chair is set up became innate. To the point that even after just a month, I can tell when a chair isn't 'right' and thanks to the people here on Care Cure I can now figure out how to fix it.

    I'm really new here, but I'd like to welcome you too

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Oli View Post
    .... I want to make a simple list to give him

    So, I want to make sure the seatback ends up at 95 degrees.
    Sounds fine, like a good place to start.

    I want to lower the seatback about 3 inches (not 'too' low or else my hubby will bend over too much when he pushes me up the big hills)
    Again, sounds reasonable. You can play with this by going too low, then you will know you need to go up from there.

    I want to move the casters up a hole so that the front of the chair is lower....

    ...So that I can also lower the back of the chair so that my fingers are at the center of the wheel.
    I am not sure why you are wanting to lower the front; I do think you should lower the rear seat height though.
    I don't know if it was happenstance, but an excellent photo having your arm down like that. A general goal is to have your middle fingers reach to the center of each wheel when hanging your arms down and you are a little ways from doing so.

    Then I might want to move the wheels forward, except I am worried abut tippiness. I am not very skilled yet to deal with that. Maybe that could be a later adjustment when I get the hang of things better?
    Yes, I agree with others that it looks like your center-of-gravity needs to come forward, but you are correct in that you need to get your back height and rear seat height settled first. Once done, you can play with the COG and you will know when you have went too far and feel too tippy.

    I 'think' I understand all that. But, how much dump can I plan on? I actually am not quite sure how much I have right now. I prefer my knees to be up a bit as it is more comfortable so I know I would like a bit of dump but how do I factor that into all the adjustments?
    See above, where getting your fingers to center of wheel. (Set your back angle first.)

    As for your rear wheel size, look on the side if the tire, it should say something like, 22x1 3/8 or 24x1 3/8.
    Last edited by Brianm; 03-08-2011 at 11:52 AM.
    C5-6 Complete - 8/13/1982

  4. #24
    Thank you thank you thank you.

    I feel exactly the same way. Being housebound for any length of time is not fun. Especially because of fear of pain. Then having to come up with your own solution and pay for it out of pocket. Ug

    The first time we took my chair out was to train my Service Dog to walk next to it and get comfortable maneuvering around it. (he did great by the way) We went to Home Dept and went up and down the isles and trained for a whole hour.

    When we got home I was in no pain from the outting. None, zero, nada. I couldn't believe it! I had never been able to walk around Home Depot for even 10 minutes before. I felt a sudden freedom that I had never experienced before. I have been in so much pain my whole life and something as simple as
    this solved it. I now WANT to go out.

    I still feel a little weird suddenly being in a wheelchair and tuning into people who have known me for a while and trying to explain my mysterious pain issue and such.

    I know that most people dont 'want' to be in a wheelchair but I am rolling around with a huge grin on my face because I can now keep up with my husband and actually go faster than him! And I can go out around our downtown and stay there half a day. My Service Dog seems to love the new pace as well. I am zoomin around with a big smile.

    My one last question is about dump. I want some, how much would be reasonable? It is more comfortable with my knees up a little bit higher. I don't want it to be excessive though???


  5. #25
    All of the above recomendations sound spot on, however I would also throw out there that you and/or your husband do the adjustments. It's good to learn how so that you can dial it in exactly how you like/want it yourself without having to rely on some one else. I know it can seem a bit daunting, but it honestly is pretty straightforward on how to do those adjustments.
    Most everything I say is

  6. #26
    Do you have any skin issues on your backside at all? The cushion you have is a good one, but sure s thick, must be 4". Using a thinner cushion will lower you down in the chair more.

    Be aware of how you are wheeling, you don't want to do much strain on your shoulders. We oldsters usually use a clock wise, circular, type motion rather than pushing and then jerking the shoulders and arms straight back. Hope that makes sense.

  7. #27
    Well, hate to say anything bad about my hubby but he is clueless about tools or doing anything crafty or handy. He is more of a office/poet/winemaker/writter...

    I am more the farmer chick taking care of the animals and such.

    So that makes both of us totally clueless about how to use tools and I would hate to mess this chair up. I only go into town once a week (today), which is where the repair place is, so I don't want to miss my chance to get it done right.

    What I 'can' do is watch the guy really closely and then hopefully learn how to make any tweaks after today. It is the seatback that really has me thrown for a loop! Scary looking bracket there...

    The cushion is oh so comfortable. I don't have skin issues but I do have pain issues and this cushion has been great. I can sit in it for half a day without even thinking about pain and that is amazing to me. So I think I would like to keep it if possible.

    The only thing I really want to know is where my dump should be. Would three inches be good? Doesn't the dump come into play when I am lowering the back of the seat and whether I need to raise up the casters so the front is lower too? Am I making sense?

    You guys are so great I seriously can't thank you enough. You are opening up my life to a whole world of no pain! (or at least a lot less pain)

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Oli View Post

    The only thing I really want to know is where my dump should be. Would three inches be good? Doesn't the dump come into play when I am lowering the back of the seat and whether I need to raise up the casters so the front is lower too? Am I making sense?
    I addressed this a bit in my previous post.

    The amount of dump can be a preference from person, but 3" of dump is certainly fine, I currently have 3.5".

    Yes, dump is changed buy changing the front and/or rear seat heights.

    As I said above, I am not sure why you would need to change the front seat height, but the rear seat height is adjustable on the ZRA and you do not need to do both front and rear, you can just adjust one if desired.

    To further clarify, in direct response to your question, if you lowered the front seat height and the rear seat height both 0.5", the dump wouldn't change at all, you would simply lower the chair into the wheels. If you leave the front alone and lower the back 0.5", you will have changed the dump by 0.5". I hope I have clarified seem to grasp this stuff quickly.

    While lower the back will give you more stability in the chair, it will also lower you into the rear wheels giving you great leverage in your pushing.
    Last edited by Brianm; 03-08-2011 at 12:51 PM.
    C5-6 Complete - 8/13/1982

  9. #29

    I see you posted some more pictures of your chair in another thread. In light of this and the fact you are going for adjustments today, I would like to make suggestions.

    As you have concerns of doing adjustments at home, do as you suggested and watch the technician closely today so you can do adjustments at home with your husband, they will not be as difficult as you think once you get your hands dirty.

    We have covered lowering the backrest, changing the angle to be a bit straighter and questioned dump. In looking at your pictures, I would have the technician lower the back seat-to-floor height at least 1", if not 1.5". Also, your COG is all the way back, and while it has been discussed to wait on changing that, I would move it forward at least an inch as I see you will be changing this eventually so you might as well do some now while you have the chance, plus you can see it done. Note, make sure your brakes are readjusted after these changes.
    C5-6 Complete - 8/13/1982

  10. #30
    Senior Member CurvySAT05's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Southern California
    If you want to add dump (or bucket) to your chair, you want to lower the rear seat height leaving the front seat height the same. If you like the dump you are at now but want to get lower into the wheels you would lower both the front and rear seat heights to get to towards the center of the hub.
    I would have the repair man make the needed adjustments and then get in the chair and try to push. If you are still having difficulty ask him to move your COG forward today. With the ZRa you can move it forward in small increments, so somewhere along the adjustment you will feel comfortable. Increasing your COG will make the chair more tippy, but if you do it small amounts at a time you will get used to it and then you can move it forward again until the chair is easy to push and easy to pop a wheelie, but you are stable enough not to do a tumble in it.
    Good luck!
    SCI as a result of spinal surgery
    TiLite Aero Z!!!

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