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Thread: New Chair Opinions

  1. #1

    New Chair Opinions

    I am a 4'11 93 (I was 4'8" and 87 lbs 2 years ago) female with Spina bifida. I went through a late growth spurt this last year in my early 20's (3 inches in height and only gained 5 lbs). My hips are now a little curvier and I just feel very cramped length wise so its time for a new chair. Had a good PT and DME when I started this process in June. Insurance change August 1st forced me to redo all the evals and trials and go with a different vendor. Old one was out of network. I felt like the old DME knew cushions and backs really well and I got to try alot but I am not 100% confident in his frame measurements. The new DME sucks. Old DME I felt like he listened and was going to help me fight insurance to get what I needed. This new DME at my PT Eval that I had to redo kept saying "you arent going to get that through insurance". Old DME just said yes the upgrades I wanted insurance might at least help a little but not completely if the PT writes it in her eval it was at least an attitude of lets try instead of no. Just wondering if I could get some opinions on measurements if anything looks really off. Since I wasnt 100% sure with the Old DME and dont trust the new one at all to get me what I really need. New DME said LMN for titanium isnt gonna happen. Also trying to tell me I have to pay for carbon fiber sideguards when I have proof I cracked/bent aluminum ones and sit on the fenders for transfers in and out of my tub AT HOME. He literally told PT dont bother writing anything for my doctor to sign off on. Old one said lets try for it. Ironically Old DME was national chain. New one is a local place I had to go with due to insurance constraints. I have had bad experiences with all the DME possibilites in my area in the past measuring me for huge chairs but that was 12 years ago so hopefully those ATP's have moved on. (A 12 yr old in a 15" wide chair..come on!) But I know better now to have a voice and a say in this process rather than to just go with their expertise. Last couple chairs I bought online out of pocket cause the DME's are bad around here but I have to go the insurance route this time. Just not feeling confident in measuring my new size. My function and size was status quo for so long and now nothing will be the same cause my backrest and cushion are bothering my bottom and back too so I also have to change those. Attached is my excel sheet of comments and measurements. Help?!? Comments? Opinions?
    Last edited by mwheelz2; 08-31-2018 at 11:12 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Southeast, USA
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    533
    Its hard to give advice on measurements like seat to floor heights, frame length, footplate height, etc. online as opposed to being in person since everyone's body type is different. A few suggestions I would make would be to go with 2 degrees of camber. I don't know why any more than that would be beneficial for an everyday chair and it just makes it wider which seems like what you're trying to avoid. I'm also not sure how strong fendered carbon side guards are, as far as being able to sit on them. Maybe someone else can comment on that, I'm surprised you bent aluminum ones. A 10" seat to footrest height seems short to me too, not sure how long your legs are though. I would also look into the Schwalbe right run plus tires as they roll much better than marathons, are lighter, and still have some grip/tread on the sides. I haven't had any issues with grip. They also take 145 psi if you thought 100 wasn't going to be enough with the sentinels. Lastly, I doubt changing your front frame angle will affect swelling (someone else may know more about this), but going to 80 degrees will make your chair and turning radius longer.

  3. #3
    I love my carbon fiber fender I paid for on my current chair and they work and havent bent. So I want to stick with them. But they are just the pull out ones without the adjustablity and I am constantly needing to change my dump due to my needs so the radius doesnt work and hits the wheel. So I would not like to reuse them on my new chair. Camber is one of the few measurements I know I like 4. Just considering 6 in case I feel with the wider seat width that the top of the wheel is out too wide. Back of knee to my heel is 14". Seat to footrest on current chair is 12" I am currently on a 2" cushion and most of the new cushions that interest me are taller so I can see why I need to go a little shorter but that just seemed extreme. How are the Right Runs on snow? They looked similar to my current Primo V-trak court tires which suck in snow but it looks like the right runs have an extra black grip strip?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Southeast, USA
    Posts
    533
    Just out of curiosity, why do you like 4 degrees of camber? I don't know that many cushions are 4" tall in the front, but even if you set it at 10" you should still be able to adjust it if you're off a little bit. Never used right runs in snow, I would assume they would suck as well. They are fine on concrete, carpet, hard grass, etc.

  5. #5
    I had either 0 or 2 on an old chair of mine. I felt much more strain and a jolt on my elbows when I pushed. I got a new camber tube and went to 4 and its been much better.

  6. #6
    First off you must justify everything for ADL (activities for daily living). Remember the insurance companies pretty much work off medicare standards. If you want taper on your chair, that's because it has to fit in your bathroom to brush your teeth. It you want ti and carbon fiber its because it diffecult to push your chair across the carpet in your house.
    They don't care about mud, snow, if you need to go to the grocery store or buy clothes. (sarcasm now) Obviously cripples don't go anywhere or do anything.
    Make sure you can get under the kitchen table and between the table legs with the new chair.
    I have a set of Sentinals and put 130 psi in them.
    If you can lay out by ADL's how you want your chair and the DME says no. Fire him/her. Screw them, there are a lot of people out there that don't know squat about chairs.
    Take two books and put them against your hips where u want the side guards. Have someone measure the distance between the books.
    Get a couple sticks and at least make a cross that shows width and length of the chair. Take it around your house and see how it fits.
    The 6 degree camber is going to move you away from things you need to reach and tranfer to. Make sure it will work.
    Have you looked into a ROHO Quatro for seating. Its so much better than any previous ROHO.
    You are making a lot of changes in the new chair, this will be tough to get right. I thing I would find a ebay,etc chair (frame) that's as close as possible and adjustable to try stuff before you buy something.

  7. #7
    I am very aware insurance only cares about in the house use and am talking this way with the DME. The PT documented my shoulder pain while pushing my chair so I am getting the smart drive. I found article written by other doctors research about the vibration dampening abilities of titanium chairs and shoulder pain. I had a titanium chair before this one and how the chair frame felt was just so completely different and better on my shoulders. I’m very aware of the lack of funding for titanium chairs these days but I just want to at least try and see what they say with a lot of proper documentation. I am probably willing to pay out of pocket for that upgrade but if I can help it I would like to get some help. This vendor is even fighting me on a Tilite aluminum chair saying they don’t have much luck with getting them approved but quickie and Ki no problem. The PT is all for trying and writing whatever documentation I need. The vendor is saying to not even try. My chair just flat out is too small and unsupportive for my needs now which is causing a lot of pain. But I am just very hesitant to go too big also. I currently have an aero z that I have been tweaking a ton but it’s not even close. The aero z I paid out of pocket for so i was not limited to a specific DME. I just have bad people in my area that one literally had to call in his Tilite rep to measure me cause I was just not the standard adult size he was used to.

    Unfortunately vendor wise I’m stuck. I have 3 options in my area. Old vendor that now does not work with new insurance but knew how to justify things. The sucky vendor I’m currently dealing with or the other sucky vendor that measured me at 12 yrs old in an adult size chair that was huge.

    Sentinels with 130 tell me more! I’m confused only reading they go up to 100.

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