15 October 2010


Having finally decided to get a head array control installed on my power chair, and given Mike the Wheelchair Guy the go-ahead to get the parts, I was starting to think it had been kind of a long time since I'd heard anything. (I'm bad like that. I take forever to decide what I want, but once I make up my mind, I want it yesterday!) I even put a note on my calendar to call and pester them. Then, on Wednesday, they called to say they had the stuff and wanted to see if Mike could take my chair off to the shop for a while on Thursday, that would be yesterday, to install everything.

You bet, I says.

So that's what happened. He picked up my chair, took it away for a couple of hours, and brought it back with a head array control. I was too tired yesterday afternoon to mess with it much, beyond noticing that I need a speed that's slower than Slow. Unlike the proportional speed control you get with a joystick, the switches in the head array are either on or off. To get moving, the chair starts off with a surge of speed that's a little faster than it's set to go. Even at the slowest speed setting, that's a little too exciting for negotiating tight spaces. Easy fix, but I'll need to get Mike to do it. They don't let me mess with the software, which is probably just as well.

Thus far, I'd say that I do not love it. Navigating menus to control various functions is something I have to think about. I still need to use a couple of micro switches, and can't figure out where to put them. The steering on this buggy is pretty darned touchy. But I can see that all these things will get better with tweaking and practice. And it sure beats having Scarecrow drag me around.

And then there's the Patient Lift. Mike brought that yesterday, too. Yeah, I know we need it. We've been all over that. If something happened to Scarecrow, I couldn't go to the bathroom until he was better. I get it. But it's huge. Huge. When we remodeled the house to make it accessible, we neglected to add a wing for storage of durable medical equipment. There's the power chair. And the charger. And the shower chair. And the passenger seat from the van that we took out so I don't have to sit in the back. When you're not using it, all this stuff has to go someplace. And now this ginormous patient lift. Which is really big. Did I mention that?

Maybe we can leave it in the middle of the living room, and string it up with twinkly lights.


  1. Yes, I think decorating all our lovely accessories is a great idea. I got so tired of looking at many of mine that I sent them off to the guest room. Now, I just have to remember to remove them should we ever have a guest!

  2. This just scares the heck out of me. I live in a tiny house. I mean less than 1000 square feet tiny. The door to the bathroom is 17 1/2" wide. This is why I use a forearm crutch in the house instead of the walker. What am I going to do when I MUST graduate full time to a w/c or scooter? Let alone need a patient lift?

    Add to that, I have no money to remodel and a husband with depression.

    Aarrgghh! But enough about my fear.

    Technology is great, and you will learn this new gadget and have it tweaked to perfection before you know it. Now all you have to do is go for a stroll in your nice park across the street alone.

    Or not.

  3. Ok use the durable medical equipment and seat to make a obstacle race course. The Scarecrow can hold a green flag. When waved you must hit the head array control and haul butt around the course. Once a lap is completed Scarecrow is to wave a white and black checkered flag. You then can stop - well unless a yellow flag was necessary.

    So I have an warped imagination?

    Is not decorating the whippets job?


  4. My first envisioning of the head array and cup holder (do you have that yet?) was Medusa meets Doc Ock. Although after looking up images of power chair head arrays, the image tamed substantially. Hope the learning curve is relatively short.

    Hmm, that's a lot of DME. Isn't Tuffy moving out soon?

  5. I feel you. (Is that still a hip saying? It sounds so dirty...did I say hip? Why did kids stick with "cool" but drop hip? Drop hip...digging ditch here...) And like Wenster's fear, my living space will only get smaller as I need more stuff and mt partner has HER stuff--arrgh. I am not sure what that lift is you mention, but I want one! I need to be able to transfer on my own to main home-boy chair and the loo. Why must they be one size fits all? We need a smaller model than a 400lb man. Ugh. Our poor brains should be dreaming at night of Angeliba Joile (ok, Brad Pitt, whoever) NOT these durable med thingies. Your chair, I bet, is going to become your good buddy soon. People will marvel at your mastering of it. And I agree with Bib: whippets should remodel, they seem to enjoy it.