Is a wheelchair a good idea?

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Is a wheelchair a good idea?

Postby MairiHarper » Mon May 06, 2013 7:27 pm

Hi all, I wonder if I could ask about views on wheelchairs? I've got a lot of pain in my legs at the moment and wonder if an electric wheelchair would be a good way of getting around? Wondered if anyone had used one and if so, was it helpful? I'm slightly worried that this is a one way street and that getting a chair would speed up the decline?
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Re: Is a wheelchair a good idea?

Postby caz666 » Mon May 06, 2013 7:39 pm

I don't use an electric wheelchair, but do use a scooter. It is a hard decision, as on one hand it was great the first time I used it, got to places I hadn't been to for years and wondered why I hadn't done it sooner. On the other hand you do find that you decline further. The best way is to use the wheelchair/scooter to get about outside to places you wouldn't normally be able to get to, and do a bit of walking when you can. You will find that constantly sitting you will get stiff, so you will need to get up and stretch your legs from time to time. As with anything with fibro its a balancing act. Like pacing yourself. Hope this is helpful.
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Re: Is a wheelchair a good idea?

Postby gary15871 » Mon May 06, 2013 7:51 pm

I myself use a wheelchair I opted for a manual one so as too keep my arms moving
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Re: Is a wheelchair a good idea?

Postby whoami » Tue May 07, 2013 1:53 am

Using any type of aid is a very personal choice. You really have to look at the way you are and determine how necessary one is.

Can you walk very far without the use of one.....are your legs still going to bother you even with a chair.....what exactly is causing the pain, the actual walking or generalized pain.

Most Dr's. and therapists would recommend holding off as long as you can because your ability to then become dependent on the device would become quite favorable.

Discuss your thoughts and concerns with your Dr. Keep us posted on your decision please.
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Re: Is a wheelchair a good idea?

Postby latmaz » Tue May 07, 2013 8:22 am

i decided to try a scooter and like caz if i go out with it i use it for the distances but get up and walk around a bit in between eg last week we went to aduley end i used it all round the gardens etc but walked round the dairy and kitchens. i even hired one when we went to the states last year and we wouldnt have seen a quarter of what we did if we hadnt had it

it was a hard decision to move to an aid and i resisted it for many years but once i realised how much more i could do with its support i wondered why i hadnt tried earlier. personally i coudlnt manage with a manual wheelchair as i hated someone else being in control of my whereabouts and as i cant use my arms to push myself i went for the scooter.

just be sure u dont become completely reliant on it before u have to. they can help u do so much more tho!!!!

good luck with your decison
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Re: Is a wheelchair a good idea?

Postby painprincess1 » Tue May 07, 2013 9:43 am

well thats a hard one isnt it. i mean i wish i had one then again i think if i got in one would i ever use my legs again. would my legs get weaker and id put even more weight on. but im not u and only u no how much pain your in love.id say go with your gut , if u think u really need one go for it.if it means u can go out more do it.no one here is going to judge u sweetie .
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Re: Is a wheelchair a good idea?

Postby Iceskatemum » Tue May 07, 2013 11:42 am

Electric wheel chairs are very expensive and possibly not the best thing for the task you want it to tackle. I would advise going to one of the mobility aid shops for an assessment and or talk to your OT as after thier assessment they may even be able to get you one on the NHS.

As for the whole questions about should you use one as other have highlighted only you can decide but bear in mind about muscle wastage ,, increase in lack of fitness etc. which can all then affect how your FM affects you

I don't have a wheel chair but there are times I know that I would need to use "something" to help me get around and not be too much of a burden on teh others with me ie big malls out & about etc. For this I have joined shop mobility and use thier wheelchairs or scooters as necessary .

In airports I get assistance and am planning on hiring a mobility scooter if I get to visit London over the summer as I know I couldn't manage the sights etc on just my 2 pins

Good luck in reaching your decision and hope that what ever you decide you still have many hours pleasure, out & about with family and friends
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Re: Is a wheelchair a good idea?

Postby Ruthyboo » Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:45 am

I have just bought a fold up scooter. I hired one at the Eden Project and I enjoyed a whole day there without being a party pooper (like I usually am on a day out)
That's what prompted me to get one.
I haven't used it with public transport yet but we are going to London tomorrow and I was wondering if anyone has used one on the tube.

So worried that I'm going to spoil the trip. If I don't take it I'll be exhausted and if I do how will we manage the tube ?
I can't believe how long this has taken me to type (ouch!)


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Re: Is a wheelchair a good idea?

Postby whoami » Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:56 pm

My hubby's dad had MS and his sister has Spina Bifida. We have obviously been exposed to wheelchairs quite a bit.
Some things to consider......

Get properly assessed first

Buy one from a mobility aid shop, they will fit you properly and sell you the right chair for your circumstances. They also repair your chair and in some cases at no cost.

Take the person with you who will be lifting the chair in and out of the vehicle. There are some very light chairs with small batteries or some quite the opposite.

Ask the people at the shop about various options you may have with regards to assistance for cost. Many charities offer assistance if needed.

If you can borrow/rent a chair from the shop for a couple of weeks it would be great. You could assess yourself in regards to how much you would use a chair, where you would use it or if you actually would use it at all. Electric chairs can be very expensive no matter who pays for them.

As suggested, if at all possible try to use a manual chair. You do lose muscle very quickly. Also you will have to be conscious of your weight in an electric chair. When sister in law went from a manual to electric chair she gained almost a hundred lbs. With having no use of her tiny legs that is all upper body weight. It is such a struggle now to even transfer from her chair.

If you decide on a chair, keep doing your homework before you purchase.
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Re: Is a wheelchair a good idea?

Postby Ruthyboo » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:56 am

Two days in London. Took my scooter, which was a Godsend but don't rely on the Tube staff to help. They simply were not interested in helping. Thank God for my daughter, who hoiked my scooter up and down the escalators with not one offer of assistance. At least I didn't party poop and kept going for both days. However, I have been in bed for two days since I got home.


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Re: Is a wheelchair a good idea?

Postby whoami » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:20 am

Ruthyboo.....the fact that you have been in bed for a couple of days was worth it though wasn't it?

I am glad you had a wonderful time away. Shame on those tube staff who did not offer help with your scooter. I would have thought that customer service was part of their job.

It sounds like you have a wonderful daughter.
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Re: Is a wheelchair a good idea?

Postby millymoodoo » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:09 am

Hi all

I have read this post with much interest. Last year I purchased a large scooter for round the village and a small scooter for the car but because of the delicate state my spine is in I have not done myself any favours. I have discs out in all three areas of my spine and with leaning slightly over to reach the handles it has bulged the discs further. My mistake was buying on the internet and not trying one out 1st and as a result I cant use them anymore and OT wheelchair services are coming to see me next Monday to measure me and supply me with an electric wheelchair. I also have severe osteoporosis following a bone scan a few weeks ago, so that hasn't helped and though I tried a self propel wheelchair 1st I couldn't move the chair at all and because of my frequent falls they have agreed to supply me with a chair on the NHS.

It is a hard lesson to learn especially as they are not suitable for me. I have sold my small scooter thankfully for half the price paid I know I am lucky to have got that. I will advertise my big scooter in the new year and just get what I can (its even under warrenty) but if you buy new and its not right its such a waste of money so please, please get advice. You could even go to the mobility shop find the right scooter then buy the same thing online as it is so much cheaper.

Good luck in doing the right thing for you
Milly :blowkiss:
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Re: Is a wheelchair a good idea?

Postby helen.whittaker.125 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:29 pm

The thing I worry about is I've watched friends who start relying on a chair..... Especially an electric one suddenly (almost over night) they loose the ability to do everything, even sitting with friends suddenly becomes exhausting, is it really such a good thing for fibro sufferes or would regular breaks on a day out be more beneficial?


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Re: Is a wheelchair a good idea?

Postby denys » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:18 pm

Depends where your pain is, I have a wheelchair and only consider using it if I'm going somewhere where it is absolutely necessary. If people suddenly stop trying then they certainly are not doing themselves any favours at all as they will develop muscle weakness and therefore cause themselves more pain, vicious circle.

Milly I hope your chair brings you some relief, I know my back aches if I use my scooter for too long :yikes: :yikes: :yikes:
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Re: Is a wheelchair a good idea?

Postby bandj » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:00 pm

I read this post eith interest ad I usually walk with crutches but, at one stage, I was so bad that I used a manual chair which helped my back and legs but didn't help my shoulders and arms. So ive used an electric chair. I'm now trying to build my strength and stamina so am not using the chair so much. However, I will use the chair as and when I need it.

its a very personal choice. You could go to the motability open days as you can look at, and try, scooters and wheelchairs and, of course, the reps are very knowledgeable and it may help you decide.
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