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Thread: Inclines and curbs, and foot propulsion?

  1. #1
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Inclines and curbs, and foot propulsion?

    I've got one more week until I get my Q7. This is my first rigid wheelchair, I will be a part-time user. Currently I have an old institution chair that I've been pushed in or had my dogs pull me in.

    I'm really nervous about how to handle inclines and curbs. Having the use of my legs makes things much easier though I'm thinking. Worst case scenerio with something, I could even get out of the chair and push it. But won't that throw people for a loop, since ABs think disability and wheelchair use is all or none.

    I read the "going up and down curbs" thread and really like amyk's set up with razorblade wheels on her anti tippers. I'm going to see if my roommate can alter my anti tippers in that way, and I can use her method to go up and down curbs.

    I'm wondering about inclines though. I have chronic fatigue from my disability, so in addition to how to handle an incline is what uses up the least amount of energy. I was thinking I could foot propel the chair backwards? Since I don't have my chair yet I'm not sure how difficult that will be as far as distance between my foot plate and the floor plus the foot plate getting in the way. I really don't want to start somersaulting head first tangled in my chair down an incline!

    The easiest way may be getting out and using the chair as a walker. But it also will depend on how steep the incline is, and how many I'm running in to... Getting in and out of the chair will zap my energy and cause pain as well. So maybe self propel when I can, foot propel when its too hard to push, and get out and use the chair as a walker if its really steep.

    Another method for me will be my service dog pulling. But so far I've only ever had her pull me carting style out in front of the chair. So I still need to train and solve some problems with having her pull me from next to the chair. Once thats all worked out, her pulling will probably be my method of choice for inclines!
    Last edited by ~Lin; 01-01-2012 at 11:47 PM.
    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.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by ~Lin View Post
    Having the use of my legs makes things much easier though I'm thinking.
    I agree!

    Quote Originally Posted by ~Lin View Post
    Worst case scenerio with something, I could even get out of the chair and push it. But won't that throw people for a loop, since ABs think disability and wheelchair use is all or none.
    I can stand and walk some - enough to lift my chair over a curb, and enough to load my fully assembled chair into my van. I always stand when shopping to reach things.

    Who cares what AB's think about it? I sure don't. I think I'm helping others learn more about wheelchair users. My wheelchair is a tool I use to be more mobile - like an AB construction worker uses steel-toed boots to stay less smashed.

    Everyone is different. My energy varies a lot. I behave differently depending on how much I have and how much I need to conserve. It takes time to learn how to best use new tools. It'll come.
    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>

  3. #3
    I use my wheelchair at school, and routinely used to park it and switch to a regular desk when I got to my classes. At first I felt self-conscious about it, but I realized that nobody was giving it even a second thought besides me. And I routinely leave it parked outside restrooms, and have never gotten a negative response - occasionally a slightly curious one, but not negative. I think most people are familiar enough with the idea of senior citizens using wheels part time now that it doesn't strike them as strange, really.

    And Chas has an excellent point - for the ones who don't understand it, we're providing an education.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    oh I didn't mean I cared what people thought, I should have put a smiley there because I think it will be funny to throw people for a loop that way. Wheel up to stairs, then get out and pull the chair up the stairs behind me...

    when it comes to strangers I don't care what they think and tune it out. I'm only self conscious around people that I know or care about what they think. For example I'm probably going to send chair photos in individual messages to facebook friends when I get my chair and not post them to my page. I have some as excited to see my new chair as I am, but I also have connections from working (teaching riding lessons and I used to train horses) and people I went to high school with on my friends list. I prefer to keep my health private.

    since the topic came up, I will say I am nervous about what some friends will think. It was weird with some friends and family when I got a service dog. Especially weird for my oldest friend, since we were 14. I think those people see me as I was 10 years ago, especially since I keep quiet about ny health unless speaking to my closest friends or someone else who is disabled.
    Last edited by ~Lin; 01-02-2012 at 12:02 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.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ~Lin View Post
    Wheel up to stairs, then get out and pull the chair up the stairs behind me
    LOL! That's what I plan to do when my manual arrives.

    I think it's human to care what others, especially those close to us, think. So far, I haven't encountered a lot of weirdness from friends since I switched to full time use. My husband was briefly (and irrationally) convinced that I was dying, but the visit with my rheumatologist last week seems to have reassured him on that point. That was about as weird as it got. On the other hand, I've never been one to keep stuff private, either - and my personality has stayed the same whether I was in the chair or out of it, which I'm sure has influenced how they experienced the change as well. For example, I posted the comments the rheumy made (she said I shouldn't bear weight on my legs anymore) for anyone who was interested, so obviously it's not a sensitive area for me. That probably makes it easier for them. Not that I'm saying you should be like me...you are who you are. I'm just saying that (some of) the weirdness may stem more from the change in your personality than being entirely due to the chair itself. People don't know how to act around someone who is in a wheelchair, so they sort of take their cues on it from you, but that only works if you're putting out a clear message. Does that make sense? So if you act like it's business as usual, that's how they take it, but if you are quieter they don't know whether to take it as a terrible tragedy
    they should tiptoe around or what and don't know how you're going to react to things anymore, so they sort of back off to avoid offending.

    At least, that's what I've seen with my friends. Yours could be entirely different for all I know.
    Last edited by PhoenixFiresky; 01-02-2012 at 01:40 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Bump... I'm looking for any suggestions on inclines, not just on my foot propulsion idea. Since I've never been out and about in a chair this is all new and I don't even know where to start. With my current chair I've been pushed in it and had the dogs pull me recreationally for fun and exercise. So I've only really used a scooter when on my own, and that was just to get specific stuff done like shopping. I'm hoping the chair will reopen the world for me, to get out more often to more places and for longer periods of time!

    I've read about things you can put on the chair to prevent the wheels from going backwards during an incline. Opinions? I don't know the cost for that sort of thing though.

    This is the curb method I want to copy. Of everything I've read or watched on youtube it sounds like the best for me. I'll get the supplies to do it as soon as I can afford them.
    Quote Originally Posted by amyk
    My antitippers are at the highest hole setting. i had to trim the extension tube on each side do as to be able to use that setting. *i also have 3" razorblade wheels on the antitippers too. if i want to go up a step, i flip back on the antitipper wheels and roll forward until my front castors are on the step, then either push very hard, pull on something, or get a shove. to go down, i turn around backwards and back over the step until my antitippers touch down on the ground on the low side. then i roll backwards until my front castors are clear, then flip back down and spin around. at most it takes a few seconds extra.
    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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    I've been watching youtube videos and reading but I haven't come across tips on how to do inclines with the least amount of energy. It's all been about how to not flip your chair on inclines, or slow yourself down so you don't go flying. Closest thing to a tip was zig zagging, but because of the distance being greately increased it would probably be an energy zapper.

    I don't think medicaid would cover wheelchair skills for me. I'm already in PT for one specific issue, and have to start soon at a different center for an issue that is specialized. So if medicaid would cover it I'd still have to wait quite a while before I could start. I'm sick of waiting! I'm sick of my life being on hold! I want to start getting out immediately when I receive my chair.

    unfortunately it won't be until next week now. It's late from the manufacturer, was supposed to have arrived already but hasn't. The dme called and was told they will try to get it delivered on monday. Then a couple days for them to put it together and make sure nothing is missing before scheduling my final fitting.
    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.

  8. #8
    I really think you are overthinking this. I mean really, you can get off and walk! I don't have any issue at all with curbs and inclines and I don't have that option.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ~Lin View Post
    I've been watching youtube videos and reading but I haven't come across tips on how to do inclines with the least amount of energy. It's all been about how to not flip your chair on inclines, or slow yourself down so you don't go flying. Closest thing to a tip was zig zagging, but because of the distance being greately increased it would probably be an energy zapper.

    I don't think medicaid would cover wheelchair skills for me. I'm already in PT for one specific issue, and have to start soon at a different center for an issue that is specialized. So if medicaid would cover it I'd still have to wait quite a while before I could start. I'm sick of waiting! I'm sick of my life being on hold! I want to start getting out immediately when I receive my chair.

    unfortunately it won't be until next week now. It's late from the manufacturer, was supposed to have arrived already but hasn't. The dme called and was told they will try to get it delivered on monday. Then a couple days for them to put it together and make sure nothing is missing before scheduling my final fitting.
    Hi Lin,

    If what you're worried about is flipping backwards going down a steep hill, don't. stress to much. If you have anti-tippers on going down the inclines, you may kind of skid on your wheelie bars, but you won't tip over.

    Also, you have to be realistic, you will not be able to get your chair and just start tearing up and down inclines and curbs, it is going to take time for you to get used to the chair. I know you're tired of waiting, but, it's going to take time.

    WG

  10. #10
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t8burst View Post
    I really think you are overthinking this. I mean really, you can get off and walk! I don't have any issue at all with curbs and inclines and I don't have that option.
    Going off posts I've read from you, you are much more fit and athletic than I!

    Right now walking I can't do inclines or steps though. Since the whole purpose of the chair is to enable me to do more, I might be able to just get out and push the chair once I'm not walking. Might not. And I want to avoid needing to be pushed, my pride doesn't handle it well!

    WG: no, I'm not worried about that it's the youtube videos that concentrate on that. Which is the problem with trying to find a solution via youtube videos! Sorry I have trouble getting across what I'm trying to say a lot of the time.

    I know everything won't be immediate. I have like no muscles after being essentially housebound for a year now. So I won't have any stamina and my disability makes it difficult for me to build muscle. But I need a change, you know? I probably am hanging too many hopes on this chair. But I need a psychological boost to keep me going, get me fighting again.
    Last edited by ~Lin; 01-06-2012 at 10:10 PM.
    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.

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