Living Life In A Wheelchair

Loss Of Pain Control
[ Thursday December 22nd 2016 at 7:55 pm ]

I've experienced a complete loss of pain control in both of my knee joints. The pain is severe as my hip joints were prior to them being replaced.

Tonight's trouble is something which has been going on for the past 6 weeks. I haven't complained about it yet because I was hoping it was just temporary. It is obvious this is more serious.

I drive myself to and from the gym for my physiotherapy using my power wheelchair. The bumps and jostling I experience has been very hard in my knee joints. It is the angle of my knees that is the issue. When I am jostled it triggers friction in my knees from the fraying cartilage.

I've actually been planning a solution to this. I've decided to modify my power wheelchair so I am able to raise and lower the foot rest using an actuator. This is a type of motor. It is similar in nature to a piston. I've bid on one in an eBay auction which closes tonight at 12:22 a.m. This is the type of approach an Occupational Therapist would take to managing the symptoms.

The eBay listing I've selected is from a business in an Asian country. With limited funds to spend on this the best approach is importing the actuator myself. It is significantly less expensive than buying one from a company who has imported it into Canada. The overhead savings include the order desk clerk, a central warehouse and shipping to the point of sale in a local store. Not all purposes are worth performing online. But certainly this is.

When I was going through the listings for various actuators I found mounting brackets. The remaining hardware I will need is a hinge to pivot the foot rest on my wheelchair and some bolts. This is a straight forward project and should improve my quality of life. I am very grateful for my knowledge and understanding of electricity and mechanics.

Wheelchair manufacturers offer elevated foot rest as an option. It is prohibitively expensive. This is typically over $1,000 Canadian. Some wheelchair manufacturers will discount this by 50% when it is medically warranted. I am able to buy the hardware and do this myself for about $70. I'll be voiding the warranty on my power wheelchair by making this modification. I've acquired the knowledge for it's routine maintenance over the past year. This isn't a concern to me. Candidly speaking my opinion of the warranties typically offered is that it is unlikely a customer would make a claim. The parts likely to wear out have only a nominal warranty.