Seating clinic

Our luck with getting Namine a new wheelchair may be turning around.

We have been trying to get this rolling for a long time. We’re really tired of how difficult it’s been. We’re wheely excited to finally have some cooperation.

I apologize for nothing. If you don’t like puns, too bad, because this post was just perfect for them. Anyway, to the topic at hand.

For over a year now, we’ve been trying to get Namine a new wheelchair. She outgrew her current one over two years ago, and we really can’t modify it any further. It’s already been elongated, and to do so again would pose two problems.

First, making the wheelchair longer changes its center of gravity. (Remember physics? Turns out that’s a thing outside of high school science class.) Change its center mass too much, and it will tip over more easily. We can’t have that.

Second, any modification to the wheelchair costs money. Even if my work-provided insurance and Namine’s state insurance cover the entire cost of the changes, someone is still paying. Too many changes — even if they’re merely repairs — and it may invalidate Namine’s ability (maybe a better word would be qualification) to get a new wheelchair when she really needs it.

Like I mentioned before, we’ve been trying to get Namine a new wheelchair for over a year, and it’s just been one thing after another, like a comedy of errors except totally not funny.

First, the healthcare provider that used to maintain her wheelchair informed us that they didn’t accept my insurance. We had to switch to a different provider that did accept my insurance, but they wouldn’t listen to us.

Case in point: the tread on Namine’s wheels is pretty much nonexistent, so Jessica paid their office a visit. The employee decided that what she really needed were bike tires, when in fact that would make things worse (not to mention increase the maintenance required). Jessica spent 45 minutes arguing with this know-it-all before deciding enough is enough and leaving. We never did get Namine’s new wheels.

Today we met with some new people at Children’s Hospital, and they were much more helpful. They measured Namine and her current wheelchair, and even had a replacement in mind: the TiLite Twist.

Jessica and I aren’t 100% decided on the Twist, but it’s looking pretty good. It has better balance than Namine’s current wheelchair, being less likely to tip forward. (That’s even more of a risk now that the wheelchair has been elongated.) The front caster wheels will be wider, allowing for better navigation through terrain, like grass and possibly even gravel. (Namine can power her way through grass pretty well, but it would be nicer if she didn’t have to fight her wheelchair quite so much to do it.)

All in all, the road to get Namine a new wheelchair looks much smoother than prior to this meeting. Of course, once we decide on a replacement, it will still take some time to get it — but we’re on the right track.

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