Friday, February 11, 2011

The Wheelchair

After talking about it for almost a year, Jack finally has his wheelchair. His therapists starting approaching us about it when he turned 2 and I just wasn't ready to go there yet - I mean, he was only 2 for pete's sake!! But eventually we had to face it head on and realize that our precious little boy will probably not walk and will need to have a wheelchair. So here we are many months later with the wheelchair. We are still getting use to it - that sucker weighs a ton which makes getting it in and out of my van a challenge. I am working on ordering ramps for my van so that I don't give myself a hernia every time I need to get the chair out of my car.

I hate this chair. Everyone says it'll be so much easier for you. Well, it's not. It's a pain in my butt to get it in and out of my car and I especially hate the looks we get in public. It's like a huge, flashing neon sign that says - my kid is different than yours. hate it. (and I'm not even a fan of the word "hate") But on the same token I am very grateful for this chair. Jack is too big for a stroller and strollers don't give him the proper support he needs like the chair does plus eventually he can learn to maneuver it himself which will be awesome for him. The chair cost more than my first car did and insurance denied almost half of the cost and a friend of Brian's boss paid what the insurance company wouldn't. He is an angel and that helped make the experience of getting this chair a little more positive for me. It was like God's way of assuring me we were doing to right thing.

This is a story that I haven't told anyone except Brian because I just can't get it out without crying so I'll share it on the blog :)
The chair we bought has two bases, one manual base that I push and a motorized base that he can learn to maneuver with a joystick. His therapist works with him once a week on using the motorized base with the joystick. She takes him into the hallway where there are lots of plastic plants and trees and chairs that he can ram with his chair. I usually don't hang around during his therapy sessions because he won't do anything but look at me and whine but for whatever reason I hung around this day. Everything's going as normal, he's ramming the walls and kept going straight into the trees so we would correct him and he continued to drive straight over to the trees so we finally just let him go to see what he would do and he was wanting to see the trees. He drove over to where they were, stopped perfectly in front of them and touched the leaves and looked at the branches. And I started weeping - he was exploring. In his 2 1/2 years he's never been able to do that - he just sits where ever we park him. So I guess there is another reason that the chair is a good thing. I know in my head that this wheelchair is good for him, I just haven't convinced my heart yet. He does look cute in it though :-)

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