Sunday, July 19, 2009

Friday July 17th

I woke up feeling great as I have now for the last couple of days. My mom showed up and began helping me get ready so that I could get to hand group on time. Today was Maurice's last day for he will be leaving on Saturday. Maurice has again been a wonderful roommate as Joey was. He has had a lot of great insight and suggestions for he has twenty years of experience in a wheelchair. Him and I over the last two weeks really bonded, learning so much about each other. It is going to be hard to see him go as well. We got me up and going in my chair and I headed to hand group. In hand group we had another fun Friday and played Uno. In hand group today was Anthony, Matt, Paula and myself. Matt won the first game and there wasn't quite enough time to finish the second.

After hand group I had an hour break so I went into the gym so that I could pump some iron on my favorite piece of exercise equipment, the rickshaw. After six sets of fifteen at seventy pounds, for I upped it another five pounds, it was time for exercise group.

Leading the group was Margaret, another one of our wonderful OT's here on the seventh floor. Margaret's approach to exercising our arms was a much slower but very effective workout. Again, for our group really enjoys playing with the beach ball we began bouncing it around trying to keep it up for as long as we could for the second half of the session. The group hit an all time high of 46 touches before the beach ball hit the ground. For a bunch of people in wheelchairs, with limited arm and hand motion, I would say that is pretty darn good.

After exercise group, we ate some lunch, I took a leak and fooled around until two o'clock when I had PT with Carey. When I did my fitting for my wheelchair, which I will actually not receive for two or three months, I was able to test drive a set of Quickie Power Assist Wheels. While I was test driving the Quickie wheels, my distributor and wheelchair representative from RIC, both kept telling me how much better another brand, E-motion, was and that will actually be what they should order me. Because the power wheels are such an expensive purchase, I let them know that I would really like to try the E-motion wheels before I made a decision on which to get. So, today was the day that the manufacturer's rep from E-motion brought by a demo-wheelchair for me to test for the weekend. Carey promised the rep that I would be formally trained on how to use the wheels before they were handed over for the weekend. So, her and I went upstairs to get briefed on how they work and what to do to activate all the functions. After the briefing, we brought the chair back downstairs and I jumped out of mine and into the demo. We then headed outside to see how this baby worked. First, I took on some grass and wheeled all over. Then, we found a ramp across the street and I practiced going up and down. After all this test driving I came to the conclusion that I actually really liked the Quickie Power Assist Wheels better than these fancy dancy E-motion brand Power Assist Wheels. I liked the Quickie's better for the following reasons: 1. They have an extra battery that you can keep on a charger and then swap out when your batteries die, opposed to the E-motion where the batteries are in the frame of the wheel and once you die you either have to sit and plug in or hop out of your chair and just wait. 2. The E-motion comes with an enormous remote control which they expect you to either hang around your neck, hold between your legs, or strap onto the chair. This remote is the way in which you switch the wheels speed from high to low, which they call indoor and outdoor speed. The problem is, the low speed seems a little too slow while you are indoors and the high speed is a little jumpy and out of control for tight spots outdoors. And, why would I want to have to stop, hit a button, and switch speeds whenever I want to go a little faster? So, the Quickie wheels basically have more of a automatic transition between low and high, which is activated based on the amount of pressure you apply to the wheels and a nicely mounted on and off switch on the side of the chair. So, with this conclusion of wanting to purchase the Quickie's over the E-motion's it creates the need to choose a different wheelchair for the one I had chosen is not compatible with the Quickie wheels. From what I have been told, Quickie and Invacare are the two best brands in the wheelchair game. So, it really isn't an issue and there are lots of great Quickie chairs as well.

For my last night with Maurice we decided to eat dinner in bed and sit back with our ladies and watch the new movie Hangover in the room. One of the front desk ladies had a pretty good bootleg that we borrowed. We watched the movie, relaxed in bed and began our nightly routine. After the girls left, Maurice and I began some great conversation, like we do most nights. Unlike other nights, we ended up talking until 3 in the morning going back and forth telling stories about our lives. We then finally realized how late it was and said our last goodnight and headed to bed.

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