Recently, Bob's neurologist ordered a "wheelchair evaluation". The idea was to find a way to make Bob's wheelchair more comfortable now that he has developed these neck and shoulder issues. I had sort of thought we'd be looking at something to add onto his wheelchair, like a head rest or a different kind of back support but...
The wheechair guy came over yesterday, along with Bob's OT, and together they decided the best option would be to order an entirely different wheelchair for Bob. It's called a "tilt in space" manual wheelchair that can be reclined all the way back to ease the pressure off his neck and shoulders and it looks like this:
Now I can see the benefits a wheelchair like this may have, especially for Bob's neck issues, and it might very well be more comfortable than his current chair but the more I look at this thing, the more depressed I get.
Because really, doesn't that look like a wheelchair for a severely handicapped person?
I know, I know, Bob is severely disabled. But truthfully, I do not like to think of him that way.
And it feels like such a big step backward for Bob, who is still working hard at his walking and standing practice.
This chair also has a few drawbacks. One is that you cannot break it down to throw it in the car if I needed or wanted to take Bob somewhere quickly. So we would be rather stuck always taking the wheelchair transport service which requires a 24 hour notice. And lose our independence.
And because of the small wheels, Bob could not propel it himself (which he is getting better at with his current chair). So I would be stuck always pushing him around.
And it's rather ugly.
The OT and the wheelchair rep really pressured me into making a decision and I told them to go ahead and start the process for the insurance approval.
But now, I'm having second thoughts. I don't know if getting this new chair is the right thing to do... When I try to talk to Bob about it, aphasia is getting the way as usual and I'm not sure what his opinion on the matter is. I guess I have the weekend to think this through.
I would certainly appreciate anyone's thoughts on this.