Saturday, February 14, 2009

Convenient over Cool, One in an Infinite Number of Adventures in Cripville

The new power chair, Ol' Number 8, fits on the lift that elevates me into our Ford van -- at least now after 2 inches have been trimmed off the foot rests.

The beast is heavier also, which lead to the discovery that the lift wouldn't lift it -- a problem that was solved when the artist restoring my wife's 1959 Ranchero discovered there was a specific pressure setting for the hydraulics. Adjust pressure. No. 8 is carried upward 40-inches or so.

This on a lift I've owned for 15 years and which should have been regularly filled with diesel fuel (hydraulic fluid) during the winter. I should've read the manual front to back, in that all that has been done in maintenance is re-filling the reservoir with No. 5 automatic transmission fluid, as specified.

Back to the chair -- which has no pockets. I need pockets. I carry a pair of pliers, a screwdriver, and a 5-inch folding knife. In fact, Ol' Number 8 has only single pillar supporting the armrests, and thus gives every appearance of being built so that the pilot might hang a plastic shopping bag from it.

Which brings me to the point: I stumbled across a Google ad that keyed on the ugly words "wheelchair bound," but when I went to the site to protest, I could not find the term. It apparently was a keyword inserted by a web-guru intent on covering every base. Sellers rarely insult customers.

But I found this gadget -- this hanging basket, among the products listed to offer wheelchair users means of carrying necessaries. It's interesting that the price for this little drapery in the form of a hanging pocket is entirely reasonable. I have found otherwise -- reacher sticks in medical supply stores cost three times those found in discount stores. That's why my present backpack (which is unreachable for me to store my necessaries in and instead is used by my family as a convenient tote) is a Wally Word special that cost fifteen bucks.

As noted, until I strike the lottery, I prefer convenient over cool.

1 comment:

FridaWrites said...

This reminds me that it's time to have my lift serviced.

The scooter basket has its advantages, though I don't like it for aesthetic reasons.

My armrests sound similar to yours, and like you, I can't reach back to get items from a backpack.

I have found some wheelchair accessories online before, but haven't purchased any yet--I need a cupholder for coffee since that's out for me if I'm on the move.

Right now I use a small cell phone wallet that holds cell phone, id/money/credit card, a few pills, and most importantly, a lipstick. It clips onto my handlebar and I feel more secure with it than a purse in my basket (even a small one will hurt me if I'm out a while). My old tiny wallet slides out when I'm sitting down that long.