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Thread: Why are we getting sent home with a power chair??

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by JacksonsGirl View Post
    Hi, me again My husband is C6/7 incomplete with good use of arms (c8-T1 level) , but no motor function from torso down. We were told today that we were getting sent home in a power chair, which I found strange , since he is only about 5 days into rehab, and can already wheel himself around a bit in the manual chair. I predict that by the end of rehab he will be pretty good at it, so Why the power chair?
    I will talk to them about it , but I'm just wondering if we have any say in this when the time comes - did some of you have the power chair pushed on you when you didn't really need it? Is this standard practice?
    When I first left my initial rehab, I was using 2 T-Top canes. When I went to the Ga. Rehabilitation Center, the first thing my physical therapist did was take away the canes and got me some forearm crutches. I (thought I) could easily push a chair, but back in 1967, there were very few power chairs. I used crutches for the next 38 years. During this time I fell and broke my left femur, my left tibia & fibula, my right foot twice and my left kneecap. My orthopaedic surgeon insisted I get a power chair (2004) and it has been great ever since. I can go to many more places that I could never go before...concerts, movies & malls. (I have good hand dexterity and can snap my fingers on my right hand.) I still work with weights on my upper body and using the power chair has opened up a whole new life for me. (By the way, I am 45 years post injury.) Using a power chair does not make you lazy or weak...being lazy makes you that way.

    Good luck and I wish the best for you and your husband. Just listen to and work with your doctor.
    ''Life's tough... it's even tougher if you're stupid!'' -- John Wayne

  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Orlando, FL
    Quote Originally Posted by micah_d View Post
    i never cease to be amazed by how people limit themselves because they won't use a power chair.
    It's funny you should say that because I feel exactly the same way, only opposite.
    i never cease to be amazed by how people limit themselves because they use a power chair.

    A good friend of mine, a C6 quad, wants to drive a car but he's never pushed himself to do that. He limits himself that way, and he's okay with it.

    To the point of the post, do what's good for you. Are you the type that likes to be push yourself to the limit? If so, I'd suggest not using the power chair.

    Good luck.
    Rollin' since '89. Complete C8

  3. #13
    Senior Member Wills77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Harrisburg PA
    I don't know why they would push a power chair onto him. I'm a c6 and I never even sat in a power chair. When I left the rehab I had 1lb of grip in my right hand and 5 in my left but my DME had a idea to wrap surgical tubing around my hand rims so that I can push with just my palms.
    c6 inc since 2-19-11
    ex pro-am motocross racer
    tilite aero z s2

  4. #14
    i am a c5 incomplele with little wrist in left and none in right. 35 years ago i graduated from rehab 101. they sent a PT to my home to evaluate my living conditions. there was nothing but cow pastures and orange groves around my house. plus i was avid outdoor guy. it was kinda agreed upon that a PC was best option.

    fast forward 35 years - roads now have paved sidewalk (if i can push 200-250 yards thru rough dirt road) to push a manual on. and i feel like i have missed something being in the PC. don't get me wrong, not giving my bounderplus away but am busting *ss trying to get in shape to push MC. so i'm in the market for a MC 16w x 16-8d. rigid frame with 16" back. don't care about winning beauty contest. somthing to push and work out some anger issues. something like this

    tried using the serial to find specs but could not get anything. thought i had a deal for simular chair but guess deal fell thru. anyone have and old rigid cheap email me. donnie

  5. #15
    Where is your son in rehab? Is this a Model SCI System Center or a CARF accredited Spinal Cord System of Care? How much SCI rehab do they do annually?


  6. #16
    Senior Member wtf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    silver state
    Can you get both and switch out when you need to. Use the powerchair when going out to places where the terrain is rough or has a lot of ramps/slopes. If I lived in a city where there were a lot of slopes, I'd use a powerchair all the time. Keep the manual chair for pushing around the house and neighborhood. If your husband finds he prefers pushing a manuel, then he should, I do think it will get him stronger and keeps him active.

  7. #17
    if insurance is covering it, take it. are they giving him a manual as well? i was measured, fitted, given choice of colors, for both at inpatient rehab. went home with a loaner till both chairs were made and delivered to my home.
    even if he pushes fine around the rehab, outdoors is different. just to have for long distance. better u have it and not use/need it, then to find you need it, cant get it covered at that point and have to come up with 5k.
    - Rolling Thru Life -

  8. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Chesapeake, VA
    These days, most insurance will only cover one chair. better to have them pay for the most expensive one.

    We pushed hard for Ryan to be able to use a manual chair. The nerves controlling a very necessary muscle group simply do not fire. He has OK finger control (can use a keyboard, feed himself, wash, etc.), At the same time, he cannot scratch his own head without bringing his head down to meet his hand. It is not very evident when he eats unless you are aware but it is there. He can stand from his power chair and working on walking with support. Balance and coordination are an issue from his TBI but with work it can get better than it is now. Bottom line, he has focused his energies on what he can improve on, not what kind of chair he uses.

    An incomplete injury is a total unknown as to what your husband will get back and what he will not. An experienced therapist (as found inthe type of rehab you want to be in) can tell you what has potential and what, unfortunately, may not. Unless he has other injuries that make that assessment difficult (ortho issues can be limiting), you should know withing a week or so which muscle groups still fire and which do not. They and only then can you make an informed decision on which way to go for his chair.

    Not to complicate matters further but have you explored the option of a power assist chair? It is kind of a hybrid.--eak
    Elizabeth A. Kephart, PHR
    mom/caregiver to Ryan-age 21
    Incomplete C-2 with TBI since 3/09

  9. #19
    Senior Member patd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Boise, Idaho, USA
    I'm c 6/7 inc (9 yrs post) and also have never been in a power chair.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by patd View Post
    I'm c 6/7 inc (9 yrs post) and also have never been in a power chair.
    Hi Pat,

    When I was 9 years post, I had never sat in a power chair. Heck, for 37 post injury I never sat in a power chair and very little in a manual chair. I gave away my manual chairs in 1971 and never used a chair again until 2004 when, by doctors orders, I started using a power chair. I wish I had used a power many, many years ago.

    Good luck.
    ''Life's tough... it's even tougher if you're stupid!'' -- John Wayne

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