The Future Has Wheels – Part 2…

Well, I’ve spent the afternoon and most of the evening in my chair, and my pain has been greatly improved. In addition, the dramatic worsening that happens every night between 21.00 and 21.30 simply didn’t happen (though it’s setting in now, at almost midnight). For the second day in succession I’ve got by on two shots of Oramorph. Yesterday that was a major battle, today it wasn’t.

Obviously two days means little in concrete terms, but it’s looking promising.

At the moment, I’m trying to figure out a way to get my manual chair in the bedroom so that, in the morning I can transfer from bed to chair, hopefully bypassing the savage outbreak of pain that comes with every new day. As there are already two powerchairs and a Class 3 scooter in there, I doubt there’s room. Room can certainly be made, with a lot of work but, right now, it’s pretty tight..

Still, progress has been made, the pain demons are in retreat (hopefully!), and more might be achieved tomorrow.

Fingers crossed…

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4 thoughts on “The Future Has Wheels – Part 2…

    • The nurses – cheerful as ever! – say I’ll never be pain-free, but I’ll settle for tolerable. If I don’t wake up screaming in the night, I’ll take that as a win.

      One word of advice I’d offer to anyone thinking of taking to wheels – well, several actually. Don’t do what I did and keep putting it off, just do it! And, buy the best chair you possibly can – the problem being that the difference in cost between one built to fit you, personally and an off-the-shelf model, can be well over £1,000.** The difference in day-long comfort, though, is incalculable.

      But if you can’t afford that – and I was lucky in that respect – buy a good cushion. I have a Jay’s Soft Combi, £65 and worth every penny.

      **My chair is a Quickie Life, a lightweight folder with a fixed (as opposed to swing-away), front.
      http://www.sunrisemedical.co.uk/products/quickie/lightweight-wheelchairs/life.aspx?locale=en_GB
      Base price £1095, total cost for mine £1,500 but a couple more mouse-clicks could have taken it over £4,000 and way out of reach so be sure you actually need those accessories before adding them to the bill. For example, mine has optional copper-coloured caster forks and rear axle plates (officially described as orange, but after a while they darken a little and become more coppery), added £72 to the bill. Looks cool with the black frame and, in consequence, I feel good about using the chair, so worth the money. Mine has standard colour wheels and handrims, though, as I felt £142 for the black option was excessive (especially as handrims get scraped).

      One important point whether your chair is your own and high-tech, an NHS loaner, or somewhere in between – keep your tyres as hard as possible to reduce rolling resistance. I use a cyclists’ track pump at home, and always carry a CO2 inflator if I go out. CO2 leaks through the walls of inner tubes so use it only for emergencies.

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