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Electric Wheelchair or Electric Cart?


Ernie
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Hi everyone,

I was told by different specialist that I will not improve and that I am at my "best" presently. I cannot leave the house alone because I faint too often so I need a caregiver with me when I go to my appointments.

I have been a prisonner of my house for the past 4 years and I am fed up with it. I don't have the strength to push a wheelchair and to put it and out of the car.

I am thinking of buying an electrical wheelchair or an electrical cart. Do any of you have any experience with one? What options should I have on it?

My doctors did not want to sign the documents before because they said I would worsen by not walking. I don't think that I will worsen because I am couch potato. If I had a wheelchair I could at least have some kind of a life.

What do you think?

Ernie

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Guest tearose

Hi Ernie, I am so sorry things are this rough for you.

I would think if you could do a search on the internet that may help you.

I think the electric wheelchair is wider and it can collapse. I think the electric cart is narrower and Im not sure you can lift it as easy into a car. It is bottom heavy. Do you want me to do a search for you? I'm getting a little tired tonight now, but I could do it tomorrow.

Let me know, okay?

take care, tearose

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Guest tearose

Don't worry, I wouldn't ask if I couldn't manage it!

It will give me something constructive to do when I am awake during the night and early morning!

Glad to help you out!

I'll report back later, you chill out Ernie!

tearose

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Ernie,

We are in the process of checking out the "electric scooter" for my dad. So far we have been told his insurance will cover it if his doctor will sign off saying his life will be an improvement with this device. Supposedly it is quite transferable, but that I am not sure of. Right now he has a wheelchair but it is an old model and very awkward to even try and put it in the truck for his office visits. We thought of having his doctor coming to the house, but that is his only out right now and don't want to take that away from him. I had an 1-800 number, I will find it if you think that is something you think you may be interested in looking into.

Sue

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Guest tearose

Hi Ernie, here are two sites to check out.

I found good service and good comments on the pridemobility models.

It seems that there are many choices! You have to decide if you are willing to need a van or do you want something that can go into a trunk/boot of a car?

Here are the links for reading...

http://www.pridemobility.com/

http://www.familymobility.com/cgi-bin/shop...ref=wheelchairs

as I learn more I'll let you know, tearose

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You may want to try going to a large supermarket or home repair store and trying one of their motor carts and see how you like it. For me I found the carts too jarring and it made me really potsy. I think a chair might have work better for me.

Oh and any "doctor" who tells me that this is the "best" I can expect ... should expect that I'll find a "better" doctor.

I feel much better about going out with an assistant now that Monk became a hit TV show. Don't get me wrong -- I am not implying we are crazy -- but having an assistent became very fashionable.

Do whatever it takes to do whatever it is that you want to do!

(I better write that one down, I'm likely to forget it again tomorrow.)

EM

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I've used the scooters in super stores before and they are helpful if I am feeling too bad to walk and that is the only way I can be out and doing something. The downside is being young, even younger looking and dealing with people who don't get why you are using it. I say get whatever you need so you can go out to stores, be around people and have a life outside of the house. Especially when you are fainting so quickly.

I am going through a rough time right now, and its not just POTS. I will be going to Hopkins soon. It is a huge effort to get up and get out each day, but being able to sit and have somebody with me makes it possible. Any doctor who doesn't think you need a chair to get around is wrong in my book. By getting out, you are bound to gradually increase strength, even if you are sitting. When you are feeling better you can walk and move around some, but have the chair to use if you have trouble.

I'm sorry you have to get one, but it sounds as if it will certainly enrich your life. I was just thinking you could even get out to museums etc with this! I do not last more than a few mins in those standing, but I was just thinking I should just request a chair so I can go see stuff. I can always walk when I am able but have that to "fall back on". Best wishes!

EarthMother-what network is Monk on? I've missed something!! I am huge on having an assistant/somebody to help you out. If I am unable to get out, I make lists and have family that will go get stuff for me.

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I happen to have many wonderfully helpful assistances, my hubby, 2 great kids and a Mom who helps when she can.

I do my best to keep walking, but then are times when I am so happy to go to a store with carts, I don't care what people say. Once in a while, I want a wheelchair to, but just haven't approched the docs yet.

best of luck,

blackwolf

PS. check with stores and see if they have "gently used" modles, they often have their warrenties also. When my aunt needed one she got a used one inn good shape for nearly half the price still with a warrenty.

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Hi Ernie,

I have an electrical cart. I use it to do little shopping (like going to the baker or butcher). It sometimes makes me very dizzy because of the movements it makes. But I very much like it because on my "good" days I can go out and get some fresh air. Mine isn't suiatble to put in a car, but I don't care because I can't drive anymore. If you can, you possibly can get a cart which can be folded and put in your car. I prefer a cart above an electric wheelchair because I have something to put my things in (don't know the word, sorry). I can't take my cart into EVERY store (that's different from a wheelchair), but if not I ask people to help me. Just be nice and they do it!!!!! Hope this helped you making a decision. I hope you can get one for free!!!

Corina

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Ernie, The bottom line is thais will improve your quality of life. Its not as if you could or wouls use it 24/7. Perhaps this is waht you should tell you doc.I will do what I have to do, but my quality of life is the most important thing, and to enjoy the world(your town!!!) This is what is necessary.

You are a mighty warrior and I know ths will work. Miriam

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I'm kind of where blackwolf is. I think I'd do better, at least on my bad days (HA like there are great days) but just haven't talked to the doc yet. I am going to mention something to my P.T. and see what he thinks. Even a cane at this point would be better than nothing. And if your doctor thinks this is your best, he/she should have no problem getting your insurance to cover for you. I look at those little scooter store things and the word that comes to mind is "heaven" :) Oh to not have to walk through the store and leave to go sit in the car and wait for hubby while he finishes. For some reason when we go to the store, the scooters are always all in use. I have not been familiar with either, but if I had to choose, I would pick the tiniest one that got me where I wanted to go. morgan

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Thanks Tearose, Sue, EarthMother, Corina, Miriam and Morgan for your kind help.

You made me realise that I am doing my best to have a normal life but my capacities are just so limited that I really need some external help. My friends have been telling me for the past 2 years to get an electrical wheelchair but since the doctors were saying that I would loose my capacity to walk I did not insist. Looking back at the past 4 years, I realise that I can?t stand for more than 2-5 minutes so where can I go outside the house? I still can?t vacuum and wash the floor, I can?t cook meals, I have to buy prepared food. I can take a sitting shower in the evening.

My husband has been doing all the errands for the past 4 years but our supermarket just bought a scooter a couple of months ago and I have been using it. Since then I can go grocery shopping with my husband. This is how I came to realise that I could have a life if I owed one.

On my good days I can leave the house for 2-3 hours but I need to be able to lie flat whenever I have an adrenaline rush. So I need my "vehicle" to have a reclining seat which a footrest that lift. On my bad days I have to stay in bed. I can only leave the house 1 day out of 2.

I noticed that my arms tire fast when I drive the scooter so maybe if I had a wheelchair where my arm is resting on a arm rest I would not tire as fast.

There is also the advantage of being able to use the wheelchair in my house to help me with the cooking.

My best friend brings me to all my doctors appointments but we don't have the same taste for hobbies. I would like to visit museums and art galleries but I cannot find anyone to accompany me. I called the volunteer office and they only accompany to doctors? appointments.

I want an electrical wheelchair or scooter to give me some independence. I would like to be able to take the handicap bus, go downtown and do some shopping etc.

I have been waiting to get a diagnose for my muscle weakness but no doctor yet has tested me and they all say it is part of POTS. So I think that whether it is part of POTS or another disorder, I am still limited.

I have been to about 8 specialists in Canada and none of them have any idea on how to treat me. All my medication list has been made by Dr Grubb and Dr Godlstein. I am really glad I have those 2 doctors otherwise I would have to live in a nursing home! And the Quebec government does not want to pay for foreign medical health because they say we have good doctors here. I wonder where they are! I asked them to find me one and they never answered my letter.

Ernie

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Hi Blackwolf and Blackbirdsings. Thanks for your posting. I don't know why I skipped your name because I read your answers and appreciate them as much as the others. Sorry.

I would enjoy visiting with your Corina!

Ernie

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Ernie, about going where you want to. Do you have a church that you belong to, can anyone of them take you? Here in Sioux Falls, we have a part of the city transit(buses) that is called "parptransit" that takes people with special needs to where they need to. They come right to your door, pick you up(they have wheelchair access) and drops you off. Only down side you must call 24 hours in advance to make the pickups. We also have an independant group that runs a "paratransit taxi" that are on call 24/7, and can pick up and drop off at your convience. Both are very reasonalbe and very helpful.

I like just getting out and about-even to the park. It makes so much of a difference. And I use a cane 24/7, sometimes even in the house.

Black-still in the hole-wolf

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Hi Ernie, I'm glad some of what I said helped :-) I remember you asking about the muscle problems before. I find that concerning and have not heard of that being a part of POTS before. I would keep pushing to find out what is going on, if possible. Especially since they have not tested you for anything. Lately as I have been doing worse my muscles have gotten extremely tight which is not normal for me. I do not know what is causing mine, but with funky bloodwork I think it is being low on different things-not sure.

I hope you can get your cart and be able to go out and have fun :-) I was just thinking that since I have had such a bad day today, and I know tomorrow might not be that great, that if we go to the store I would have to sit in the car. Otherwise stay for a few minutes and go back to the car. I saw somebody else say that happens to them. I am going to ask to use the cart if I have trouble-there is no shame in doing this I have decided. It is far nicer to do that, than faint in a huge store.

Keep us updated on getting your cart!

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I use a cane also; but if I go to a store I use one of their electric carts. So that means I just don't get out much. My doctor, too, says I need to walk as much as possible - I don't think he has wrapped his mind around the fact that I'm doing good to transport myself all the way to the bathroom most days. And that's also interesting since he gave me a handicapped parking permit that states that I need an "assistive device"! Go figure!

If you are going to buy one yourself many places that carry the electric chairs and scooters have factory reconditioned ones available.

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Hi,

Thanks Briarose and Tearose for the links. I looked at it and I called to get the information. I am actually getting excited about getting one. I am starting to imagine all the places all could go all alone.

We have a paratransit here Blackwolf. You are right. Just going out will improve my mood. I have to make sure when I buy my wheelchair that it will be the standard size to fit on the bus. I have never used it yet even though I got the card. I heard that the service is not that great and that it takes half a day to go somewhere but hey, I have lots of free time!

Blackbirdsings: I went to see a neuro muscular specialist this week who told me that I don't have a muscle disorder and that the problem I have is that my muscles can't release. He did not do any testing other than the superficial ones they do in their office. I told him that my muscles jams when I contract for 2 minutes and he did not test it. I did not fit the criteria for known muscle disorders so he sent me back to my PCP. Thanks for encouraging me to pursue the muscle problem. Sometimes I get discouraged because it takes a lot of energy and perseverance to find a doctor willing to test me. I am glad I went to NIH for the syncope part. Now, if I could find a similar doctor who could find the reason for my muscle problems I would be very happy!

Hi Dawn, I don't know if doctors realise that when they tell us we have to walk as much as possible we get stuck with either being a couch potato or fainting in public? They are not the ones having to go through ambulance trips and ER visits. Fainting at home is home thing but we cannot control how the crowd will react when we are in public.

Ernie

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