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Melissa in Australia

Wheelchairs are hard work

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Twin 1 just had a Tibialis Anterior Tendon Transfer on the weekend . He is non weight bearing and in a wheelchair for a minimum of 6 weeks. I never realised how much work wheelchairs are. How awkward they are, how much extra time to allow for even a simple task and how skillful you need to be to take a child in a wheelchair to the toilet.and boy oh boy how destructive to a house they are. 

 

It is not like having a child in a pram - not at all.

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My son was in a wheelchair for six weeks at age three after breaking his leg. We lived in MN at the time and it was winter because he broke it sledding. I can totally relate to how difficult it was to maneuver and how heavy and awkward it was to deal with getting in our tiny hatchback. He was also non-weight bearing, and very quickly he figured out that he could get down on the floor and scoot all over our apartment without putting any weight on his leg. This made everything much easier, as we only had to use the wheelchair when we went out. While I was glad to see the wheelchair go, he actually cried when the rental company came to retrieve it. He loved doing 360s in it and going up and down the hallways in our apartment complex.

I hope your son heals quickly.

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I am sure it is even harder because you do not have a well fitted, lighter weight chair for him.  Kids in wheelchairs full time often have nicer chairs that are lighter, easier to push, etc.

You are right though, being in a chairales most things take so much longer.  You notice how non wheelchair friendly many places are, how difficult bathrooms are to navigate, etc.

I work with students who are in wheelchairs full time.  I have learned to push 2 at a time and occasionally I can manage 3 at a time but only with the youngest kids.

 

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Eh, then there is the weird complication stage where your kid uses a very supportive stroller as a wheelchair so they can put off being fitted for a chair as long as possible. *whistles innocently*.  When they start getting heavy and can’t stand or sit or bear weight for transfers, prams do indeed feel a lot more like wheelchairs and the suck factor increases.

 

We just bought this tag for when we are out and about, and need to work on paperwork for our car.  Sigh.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/206458527/handi-tag-stroller-wheelchair?ref=shop_home_active_1

 

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My daughter was in a wheelchair for a while after one of her surgeries. It was no fun. It gave us an education on accessibility and rights for the disabled! I noticed how often people took the parking spaces- she'd had a disabled tag for a while at that point, but was ambulatory. With the wheelchair added in, we needed the handicapped spaces more and we couldn't use just any handicapped space. We saw how rude some people could be. We saw how kind some people could be as well. We also realized that some of our favorite places were not easily accessible at all- I had to take DD to the restroom in our of our favorite restaurants and it was almost impossible! It's no longer my favorite restaurant. They should make places put a sign on their door saying "We are not accessible" if they have no wheelchair accessible restrooms. I can understand that sometimes it is too hard or expensive to renovate, but people should be aware before they find themselves in a difficult position.

 

Melissa, I hope your DS gets back on his feet soon and his procedure was successful.

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9 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

and boy oh boy how destructive to a house they are. 

 

Youngest uses one part time.  She has destroyed our home.  Well I'll give her credit for half and dad credit for the other half when he had to use one for just six weeks!  

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I used one for a bit when during a time when I had several health things going on that left me very weak.  I didn't have the strength to be the one getting them in and out of a car - but I barely had the strength to wheel myself very far on a flat surface, and only very slowly.   takes a lot of upper body strength.

 

I also found how rude people could be.  while in a waiting area I got out of the wheelchair to sit on a (more comfortable) real sofa.  I had a woman come up to me and started out whining about how tired her feet were and it hurt to walk.  (and I should care why?) it felt like she was implying I didn't actually need to be in a wheelchair and should be walking on my own.

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