A large package with a graphic of a powered wheelchair on it sits on a doorstep; a man is looking at it from the window of the house

My First Wheelchair Seating Clinic

In previous articles, I’ve written about perception. How we are perceived is a big part of ourselves.

When I went off to college, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to walk a college campus. The college I attended was in Pennsylvania, and snow and ice were common events throughout the winter. Navigating a large campus in those conditions with my disability (SMA) would not have been easy or safe.

Choosing a scooter over a wheelchair

Using an electric wheelchair at that point in time was not something I wanted to deal with. Choosing a scooter became the lesser of two evils for me. At this point in time, I wasn’t completely comfortable with my disability. That’s why I considered the scooter the lesser of the two evils. However, it ended up being a tremendous asset. The added freedom and independence the scooter gave me outweighed the perception that I was afraid of dealing with.

PaceSaver scooters have been my brand of choice. Most people who are disabled probably can agree with me here, change is hard. When we use some piece of equipment it becomes a part of us. I have found it hard to use different brands of scooters over the years. Luckily for me, PaceSaver hasn’t really changed their scooter over the 28 years that I’ve been using them. Why try and fix something that isn’t broken, right?

Transitioning to a wheelchair

The time has come to transition into an electric wheelchair. This is a decision that I’ve made on my own which I always say is important. It’s not something I’m being forced into but it’s a decision that I know will make my life easier and more importantly provide me more comfort throughout my day. The fact that I’m actually excited to get this new electric wheelchair makes me feel more confident in my decision.

Waiting for my wheelchair seating appointment

I live outside of Philadelphia which made me think it would be rather easy to find a wheelchair seating clinic. To my surprise it was rather difficult to land one of these appointments. A few places were booked for almost 6 months, which I found really hard to believe.  After calling over a half dozen places, I was able to find an appointment at a clinic that was only 20 minutes from my home within 3 months of calling.

Deciding on features for my wheelchair

Since this was my first electric wheelchair I went to some of my social media groups and started asking people what brand of wheelchair they use. I wanted to know what were some of the pros and cons. After some deliberation I chose the Permobil. The pro that stuck out to me was their customer support. Everyone I spoke with was unanimous in saying that Permobil provides a quick response when your chair needs to be serviced. Obviously since our power chair is literally our independence this was an important factor for me.

Now I am in the waiting period. Everything has been ordered. Currently I am waiting for my insurance to approve it. Once that happens my chair will be custom built at Permobil’s factory in Nashville Tennessee. They are telling me that from the time the wheelchair is ordered until delivery is about 4 months. I’m looking forward to that day.

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