• M. York

Wheelchair Buying and Occupational Therapists

Y'all know what an occupational therapist is? I didn't before I was a cripple. Essentially, they either help you live a more functional life by teaching you tools to do so or they help you get in contact with people to help you or they get you the tools you need. So they assess where your home might need bars for more handicap accessibility, measure you for a new wheelchair and help with funding, get you in contact with a nutritionist that specializes in people with issues swallowing, and many other things.

Anyway, a few years ago I needed a new wheelchair because the one we got initially was a $300 Staples special offer. It was an emergency thing, not a good fit for me. So we got in contact with our town's occupational therapist, he assessed our home (renting and couldn't make changes and failed on all points for accessibility), and he measured me for a new wheelchair. But, he wouldn't let me have 90 degree foot rests.

You know there are those plates on the front of wheelchairs that, well, your feet rest on? The majority of those I've seen for younger people are 90 degree. This guy wanted me to have 70 degree foot rests, which would leave my legs sticking out like I was jousting with my legs. Ain't happening. He had the nerve to say our town has good sidewalks. The sidewalks are garbage and 70s would get stuck constantly on them. After arguing and my husband offering him the ultimatum that he could use my wheelchair to wheel himself to the store and back, we decided we weren't going to use him.

So we waited until tax return season and outright bought the chair with 90s without his help. It was expensive, but not bad. This wheelchair has served me pretty well, but it's gotten its butt kicked by travel and I just need a new one. The kind that would be best for me to get, though, will cost at least a couple thousand dollars, more than we can just dish out.

Cue calling the occupational therapist.

Different person. I'm hopeful this will bear out well, but we'll find out next Monday. I may be on the way to help getting a new wheelchair!

Hope y'all's week is going well!

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