Thursday, July 25, 2013

New Wheelchair

I am officially apart of the Permobil family.

Yesterday, Mike Apple with Apple Independence Mobility delivered my brand new Permobil M300 in POP STAR PINK!!  I have been working with Apple Independence Mobility for about 6 years now.  I must say that I LOVE them all!!  And I think I have meet just about everybody that works there.  It is a wonderful family owed business and they really care about their customers.  

I am very excited about this chair and what it means for my comfort and overall health.

My old power chair had a seat elevator that allowed me enough height to preform my standing transfers, but no other special features.

My NEW power chair has a seat elevator that extends 10 inches (this is a couple inches higher than the old chair).  It also has tilt and recline features.  This will allow me to reposition throughout the day.  The hope is that these features will help me to NOT get any pressure sores or have any pain due to pressure.    The feature that I may be most excited about is the foot rest lift.  Since my pregnancy, my feet have been swelling really bad.  The foot rest lift will allow me to elevate my feet during the day.  This should help tremendously with my circulation.

I am super ecstatic about my new chair; however, anything new is always a huge adjustment for me.  The slightest difference can greatly affect my mobility, and not in a positive way.

When I got my Invcare power chair 3 years ago, I almost took my big toe off.  No joke.  I thought it was super cool that I didn't have to have my foot plate down to ride around.  My feet could just dangle and not really drag the ground.  Out in my driveway, I found out very quickly why that was a bad ideal.  I made a sharp turn and my big toe got caught under the front wheel. I'm really not sure how I didn't flop out of the chair into the driveway.  I did come back with a bloody toe.  Below is a picture of the scar to remind me why a foot plate is so important and should be used.

I kept this story in the back of my mind yesterday because I knew the odds of another accident where pretty high. What I didn't realize is that it would happen only 20 minutes after Mike Apple left my house.  Mike lowered the armrest so that the joystick would fit underneath my desk in the office.  After Mike left, Annabelle want to test the new chair out with me, so I tilted and reclined so she could lay back.  She loved it!!

Annabelle and Faye (my friend that helps with Annabelle) decided to go out on the back porch so I could get a little work done.  I went back to the office and parked under the desk.  After I let go of the joystick is when I knew something wasn't right.  There was not enough space for the joystick to go back to the up right position and stop the chair from moving.  Instead, the joystick was pressing forward and the the right.  In the split second before my body was completely crushed into the desk, I place my left hand and arm on the desk to try and push back with it.  I was unable to push myself away from the desk.  Instead, the chair continued to move forward and to the right pinning me all the more.  I thought my thumb was going to rip off.  (Good thing I am double jointed.)  I screamed and yelled at the top of my lungs, in part from pain but mostly out of fear.  There was no way I could turn the chair off or get the joystick unstuck.  I was panicking.  Faye and Annabelle never came, I am convinced they are both deaf.  Lol.  After about three minutes, I was able to twist the joystick back towards me to free myself.
Three minutes isn't a very long time but when you are stuck and in pain, it feels like an eternity.
This is kind of what it looked like yesterday.
(I promise my desk doesn't alway look this bad, I had a busy week last week!)
My arm was completely mashed against the desk and the back of the wheelchair. 
My thumb was under the desk.

I went out to get Faye and Annabelle.  Faye fixed a bag of ice for my arm and thumb.  We realized that when I did the tilt and recline for Annabelle that I didn't get the chair completely back in the upright position before going back to my office.  Hopefully this is my one and only accident with my new chair.
Yesterday right after I freed myself.
My bruise today.
My thumb is red and super sore on the inside of the joint. 

If you get a new power chair, PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL!!!  Everything is different and you need to take the time to adjust.  Learn from my story.  :-)


  1. Oh man! Ouch! Glad you were able to free yourself and something worse didn't happen!

  2. I tensed up just reading this. I am glad you are okay!

  3. I have done that my chair too! So scary! You are a trooper! A new chair is always a major adjustment for me! Glad you understand. Sorry about your thumb!

  4. Honestly, new motorized wheel chairs can be so dangerous. TJ actually lifted her desk off the floor one day because she went into tilt and didn't realize she was so close to her desk. She too has hit her feet on door ways so many times. It takes time, but in a month of so it will just come so natural. Love the new chair and LOVE the color also!

  5. Thanks everyone!! New chairs can be fabulous but also very dangerous!! Beware!