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Saturday, July 26, 2014


We just completed a very busy week, with two therapy re-evaluations (he passed!), one doctor's appointment, two regular therapy appointments, a meeting with lawyers to sign trust documents, and, last but not least, on Friday, Bob had a wheelchair evaluation for a motorized wheelchair!

This is the first time Bob has ever been in a powerchair. So, it was pretty exciting.

 I had to argue with Bob's neurologist to get this wheelchair eval, as the neuro doctor didn't think Bob was "capable" of operating a motorized wheelchair and wasn't going to sign an order. Jeepers. I mean, give the guy a break and let him, at least, try it before you decide he's "not capable" of handling it... grrr

I must admit, I had a bit of trepidation whether or not Bob could handle it, too. But my concern was mainly about his vision difficulties, i.e. would he be running into walls?

So the Rehab Specialist brought a demo powerchair with two sets of controls, one on the left arm for Bob to try and one on the back of the chair (called an "attendant control") for me to try out, in case Bob couldn't handle it.

 Well, Bob surprised us all, by taking off in the thing and, much to the therapists chagrin, speeding away down the hallway! Causing both therapists to chase after him! Ha! Then, when they asked him to turn left, back to the main therapy room, Bob zoomed away again and ended up in the kitchen!

I could tell, Bob was loving it.

Though he was hugging the wall a little too close.

After Bob tried it out, they had me take up the attendant control. When I tried my hand at it, I immediately about ran him into a wall! Ga! I felt like such an idiot, but the attendant control works like a joystick and you're operating it from behind the wheelchair without a clear view where you are headed, especially for someone who is short like me--- also the control was hyper-sensitive, I mean, one light touch and the thing just bolted off. Bob's regular PT then asked if he could try it, and I was relieved that he had the same difficulty I had, so I didn't feel so stupid, after all. The Rehab Specialist said the control could be "powered down" and "programmed" differently (yes, the thing has a built-in computer).

But, basically, Bob proved us all wrong and actually controlled the thing better than me or the PT!

And can you believe this? This powerchair costs about $25,000. And that's before adding options... Which will make our 20% co-pay around the $5,000 mark. Jeepers. We would have never been able to afford it, before this settlement.

This powerchair also reclines, tilts back, and the robotic footrests raise and lower all with a touch of a button...

And right now, the PT and Rehab Specialists are filing the paperwork with the insurance company. Fingers crossed!


Sandra said...

Yay! I am so happy for you both! This will make both of your lives easier. Not to mention, giving Bob more control and options. (Just imagine him going grocery shopping now!) I was looking at the last picture of Bob reclining in the chair and thinking that this chair would make washing his hair so much easier. I am so glad that things are finally looking up for you!

Grace Carpenter said...

I am sp happy about the chair. Zzzooom!

Susan n Dahn said...

Good for Bob!! But watch the speed

J.L. Murphey said...

I know first hand the greatness of power chairs. I would advise putting chairs in your new house and remind Bob about hand position when going through doorways. It saves the walls and his hand. My DH got his hand caught between the chair and doorway. Big ouchie!

It will take a couple of weeks of constant use before he can manage the thing without bumping into things.

Go Bob! Zooooooom!

Jenn said...

YES!!!! YES!!! Independence for Bob! :)

Anonymous said...

That is such fantastic news. I'm excited for both him and you. Just one more thing to make life just a bit easier for you.

And I thought my wife's power chair at $7500 was expensive. I sure hope the insurance company doesn't fight it.

Continued hugs & prayers. Dan