Thursday, December 31, 2015


I love working with Polymer Clay and watching tutorials about using it. On one of my favourite channels, "Polymer Clay Tutor" I learned about a really cool new product/invention called Sugru. What does Polymer clay have to do with Walking Way Overrated you ask? Well, this is my blog and it is one of my favourite things to create with. Aside from that, I discovered today when I went to purchase some of this amazing putty like stuff that the product helped this beautiful young lady use her joystick on her power chair.
Joy Stick?
A joy stick is not just a gaming device, it is what we use to control and drive our power wheelchairs. And joy sticks can just fall off. Years ago mine fell off far from home, on a street. I am not able to reach the ground so I left assuming it would be long lost. My husband surprised me days later, when he went and retrieved it, it wasn't lost. To be romantic :o), he put it on a special wire to make it look like some kind of a special ring. He knew how much it meant to me to get it back, because I had assumed that I would never see it again! It has been falling off again! Lo and behold, I saw this video today as I was on the Sugru website buying their product to check it out. What were the odds I would see a video about how Sugru was used to help someone like me! Take a look!

What Is Sugru and Other Sugru Uses

Here is the link to the SUgru Website as well as the original video from the polymer clay tutor, where I learned about this cool fix it putty!
Polymer Clay Tutor and Sugru Hack

What Is Sugru and How Can It Be Used Videos

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Not Again! Craig's Quickie Xtender Wheels- Update what? Number 5?

Well, it has been about a month or so since Craig received his third replacement pair of Quickie Xtender power assist wheels. We assumed it was all figured out and would never happen again, that the clicking issue in the wheels was attributed to the fact that, the wheels had been installed incorrectly. Meaning, they worked and all that, but the dealer accidentally or unknowingly, left the camber on Craig's rear wheels. Check out this link to see what "Camber is."

Wish I could report that all is silent on the home front, but NOPE, I can't. Craig noticed a more subtle intermittent clicking, at first not wanting to even have to deal with it. He fiddled with his spokes for the first time ever and that was when he noticed it had something to do with lose spokes. Because, when he just pushed on one of them a little bit, the clicking would temporarily stop. Not wanting to do anything that isn't going to mess up the warranty. He did call the vendor/dealer and they told him that they don't deal with spokes, that he should bring the wheels to the bicycle shop. We investigated how to tighten spokes, (Click Here For that Post)

As the ever concerned wife, loose spokes making clicking sounds didn't make any sense to me. But, when I looked at his spokes, it was clear some of them seem ever so slightly bent, where they intersect with other spokes. And there is no denying that when Craig just pushes on a loose spoke, they clicking does stop - temporarily. As days pass, the clicking now sounds just like the original clicking sound! Just not as constant

I am putting this question out there to Quickie/Sunrise or anyone who may know from experience. Is it possible that there is something wrong with this particular newer model of Xtender wheels to cause clicking in 3 pairs of wheels? His tester pair that he used last year, worked perfectly. Apparently the latest model changed when the bracket mountings for the actual wheelchair, was modified/updated to have a universal bracket, to accommodate all brands of wheelchairs. His is a Quickie....please someone at Quickie, phone or write us to help us to know what is happening, so it can be rectified for good.

Bicycle Shop?
 It didn't make sense to me, when the dealer told Craig to go to the bike shop because the dealer doesn't do spoke stuff anymore. Since his brand new wheels are under
warranty, he shouldn't have to pay anything toward brand new wheels that are having spoke issues. And we are always told by the company who provides the chair to the vendor/dealer, that only they can handle warranty issues. Now, if they brought his to chair to a cycle shop, under their warranty care, then that would be up to them and whatever the manufacture says is acceptable. But it makes no sense to me anyway, for him to do it on his own at his own expense.

The manager at our vendor told Craig it was okay if he wanted to tighten the spokes himself. But Craig can't, he tried and noticed there actually is a specific spoke that is wobbly and he doesn't want to mess up any warranties. We let the Quickie folks know and as always will share this blog post incase the information can help Quickie Techs figure it out to fix it . 

Something else that has caused me to wonder, not so much my husband because he believes he is under the maximum weight level. In recent months, we were reading the Xtender manual and discovered that there is a weight limit for the client of 250 pounds. This was not something my husband was told at his seating clinic for these wheels. The vendor/seller and physic/o.t., the folks that preside over the seating clinic, never weighed him nor did they ask about his weight. Not to mention, he has no idea how much he weighs, and they never asked. Sure hope this all gets figured out. And if it is the weight issue causing clicking? Well, since he had no idea about the restriction, then the seating clinic officials are responsible for selling him a product that wasn't suitable for him and much either reimburse him or find a suitable replacement. Oh, I sure hope it is the spoke thing...none of this makes sense to me. 

Frustrating and Disappointing
It is so frustrating having to keep bugging these guys and the vendor so many times, you worry that they will think you  are out of your mind, or in need of attention, have nothing better to do than have clicking wheel problems. Of course, we want nothing more than to just move forward and not have to worry about clicking sounds and if his wheels are going to stop working all together. 
And yes, now, the clicking is back to the same type of sound!! So hopefully, we have it figured out, that it is spoke related and someone can do something about it soon. We know the vendor is frustrated too and are tired of having to deal with this, with us. Trust us, we don't like having to deal with this but know it is under warranty and expect it to be working well for at least a few years, we'll settle for six months :o)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Mary Jane Ponten - In God's Perfect Time! | Joni and Friends

Meet this inspiring 80 year old woman. Born with Cerebral Palsy, has lived an incredible and inspiring life. She was married, has children and has a heart of ministry. Click the caption below to the video link about her or click here.
Be inspired.
Mary Jane Ponten - In God's Perfect Time! | Joni and Friends

Monday, December 14, 2015

Wheelchair Maintenance: Spoke Tightening

Not sure how I figured this out back in the late 1970s but I did. Spoke tightening. Yes, wheelchair wheels/tires require maintenance. Just like bicycle tires need spoke tightening and even replacing at times. Maybe that is where I got the idea to check out my spokes and tighten them. It was long before the internet. I just plunked my fanny on the front steps and somewhere learned to check and tighten my spokes.

On that note, recently, my husband was believing his new wheels have some loose spokes. Out of concern, when I saw what he was about to do with a pair of humongous vice grips, I stopped him and said let's look up the subject. After all, his wheels are brand new. The clicking hasn't returned and we want to leave it that way. Much to my disappointment though, he did say that there is a different sound coming from his new wheels and when he fiddles with some of the spokes, it goes away. Frankly, I don't hear it, nor does it make sense. Between you and me, I think the months of clicking are imprinted on his brain!

Glad he put down the jurassic park like, dino teeth tool and watched this helpful, well done video with me. We learned that tightening spokes properly, is akin to tuning a guitar. Something I remember my Dad doing often with his. We never knew about strumming the spokes to listen for specific pinging tones, and tightening until they are "true." Here, I just use to torque my little whatever tool, until they seemed taught.  

This video was useful and a good resource to have and share.
Needless to say, Craig put his ginormous vice grip pliers away and stopped what he was about to do...attack his spokes until we have a proper tool.
Watch The Helpful Video Here

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Congratulations Vujcic Family!
Ever meet Nick Vujcic? Well, we haven't either but, in this virtual age, it feels like we get to meet people we normally wouldn't. So here, meet Nick...
Here are three of previous posts I did a while ago so you can learn more about why millions find him so darn inspiring:  Just click on the titles to go there: "Life Without Limits," "I've Got Questions?" and "No Limbs, No Limits"
One amazing fellow. A lot has happened since my last post about him. He got married and since, they have been blessed with two sons! Wanted to share these links and pics...
Be encouraged. 
As I lay about afraid of some current health issues, watching Nick helps me to remember, not give in to fears of the "what ifs?" But to trust God completely and always know, I am not alone. 
Neither are you!!'


Here Is Baby Number Two!'

Monday, December 7, 2015

Final Update On Craig's Quickie Xtender Wheels...

Update: April 23, 2016
A lot has happened since this blog was posted. One of them being, the camber issue, it appears to have not been the cause of the clicking at all. In wheel set #3, all was installed well and right and clicking began the same day. Craig discovered a broken spoke. It was repaired. But then since, 3 spokes broke  and upon closer inspection, the spokes clearly have been installed improperly. In fact then the dealer tried to replace the new spokes Sunrise sent, they just kept breaking as well. We have consulted with others who know about spokes and clearly, they should not have been set the way they are. He was given a temporary replacement on April 15, 2016 if a new demo pair of Xtender wheels and it is obvious, improvements to the spoke installation and the spokes themselves have been made. I will be posting a detailed article with comparison photos, on all of that by April 24, 2016. 
And for the first time in 3 pairs, the demo has had no clicking for a whole week, clearly, because of the improvements. stay posted for the details on all that. Click here to see the beginning of the reason for the clicking, discovery. 

If you have been following WWO, you know that Craig received his wonder Quickie Xtender power assist wheels about 8 months ago and even though they work great, they have had a constant clicking sound. Sunrise/Quickie did replace them, but sadly, within the same, click, click... again. Desperate to solve the problem, we did make videos and blog entries about it recording the sound, hoping it might help the powers that be, to see and hear and then maybe find a resolution. It might have worked, because about three weeks ago or so, Sunrise asked the dealer, Shoppers to take Craig's chair and remove the "camber" from his wheels. (See the previous article about Coolness and Camber),
Lesson Learned
They did, the wheels were straightened to the upright position. Excited for a whole twenty minutes or so, the clicking was gone. Then came the familiar sound again. That was when, we realized that his wheels shouldn't have been installed with a camber (a tilt to the wheels), it was most likely too late, the damage may have already been done. So the new wheels wouldn't suffice.
It was an honest installation mistake, and a lesson learned by all of us. Now we know, and can help anyone else who may have the same clicking issue. Or how to avoid it.
Craig's original wheels had a slight camber to them and it only made sense that the technician installed the Xtender wheels to be the same way. Mind you, it meant an adjustment during bracket installation, big enough that meant Craig lost one inch of height to his seat to floor height and therefore had his front wheels switched from eight inch pneumatics to six inch rubberized casters. From what we now understand, turned out Quickie changed the mounting bracket design to accommodate all wheelchair models and brands. This was the difference from the original demo model that Craig tried a year earlier. Originally, he didn't lose any height and based on video I took, the demo was put on camber free. It all makes sense now!
Thank You For Great Customer Service Sunrise Medical/Quickie
The long and the short of it is, Sunrise/Quickie, in no time at all, sent the second, then lastly, the third replacement set of Xtender wheels in no time. Shoppers installed the third pair on Friday, December 4th, keeping the camber out, and voila! Perfect. We wanted to wait at least the whole weekend before sharing how the wheels did. Well, they are doing great! No clicking, nothing,  just the usual sounds of the device - just as it should be!
We know it has been a big mystery for us, the dealer and manufacturer, trying to resolve the clicking and want to say that based on all that has happened and how it was handled, we still fully recommend Sunrise Medical/ Quickie Xtender. It took a bit, but once the ball got rolling, everyone was very kind and helpful. I was able to contact Quickie through their Twitter link (I assume a non-technician person) and they always did their best to make me feel "taken care of." The never ignored our please for help and did what they could to answer questions promptly. It made the whole experience a positive one. As you can imagine when thousands of dollars are spent on an important device and something goes wrong, it really matters to deal with a company that does their best to make sure their product works or if something isn't right, to find a solution. We don't know why the dealer didn't know to remove the camber when installing, perhaps there was a miscommunication. It doesn't matter to us, we know we all learned a lesson about Xtender wheels and my husband has new, working - non-clicking wheels! All is fixed and quiet!!!
Like I said before my husband and I have always been Quickie fans and will continue to be.
Craig Should Become the Xtender Ambassador
In fact, my husband (regardless of the clicking thing) has recommended the Xtender power assist wheels to more than a few fellow wheelchair users and two guys so far have bought a pair because they loved what my husband showed them. Personally, I think he should be the Quickie Xtender Ambassador! If only he could get a commission :o)  

Friday, December 4, 2015

Coolness and Camber...

I Learned A New Word! 
Well, the mystery of the clicking wheels may be resolved. Check
past articles, Update #3, Update #2 if you don't know what I am yapping about. The powers that be, Sunrise Medical/Quickie Xtender, have concluded that it is best to replace the last pair of  wheels. It was decided after last week, when Shoppers, under 
Sunrise's direction, removed the camber from Craig's Xtender
Grade 4, My first lilac
'not so cool" wheelchair!
wheels. "Camber?" I said, "What is that? Needless to say, I learned a new word, considering I had my first wheelchair over 40 years ago, I should have known it all along.

Taken from Sunrise Medical
A Word About Coolness
It's about time, I learned that there is a name for what I once thought was the cool guy's wheelchair.  Cool guys wheelchair? Yes, the cool guys and girls, had wheelchairs that had low rise backs and super slanty wheels like the picture I am using from Sunrise Medical, below. If you have  followed WWO, you'll know that I have been using a wheelchair since I was young. See above, my very first one was made from the heaviest clunky metal, coated in shiny silver chrome, with a pretty lilac colour vinyl upholstery.  To a wee girl, that was super pretty. Coolness was an unknown word then. I only used it when I went to school and when distance was too much.
Time For Cool
As my body grew, it was time for a new wheelchair. I was about thirteen years old and no longer was I all about prettiness, but, it was all about being cool. After watching these really muscular guys play wheelchair basketball, what did I covet most? Why a sports wheelchair of course! We had one of those "cool" athletic guys, work at the residence where I lived at the time,  as one of our child care workers. I wanted to be just like him. Well the female version, that is.  
His name was Guy Paquette. He was paralyzed from the waist down, had super frizzy curly hair, long eye lashes, wore fasionable french cut t-shirts (that showed off his biceps!). He only worked at the "home," the year I was in grade seven. 
Guy would do wheelies (The coolest thing a person can do when you use a wheelchair!) without holding his wheels! Really, he did! He'd balance his rear wheels, raising his front wheels off of the ground and just comfortably, cross his arms across his chest. No problem, no tipping over, just sheer coolness. And of course, that was when, I learned how to do wheelies too! Coolness was all I cared about when I was in grade seven. Mind you, my ego was taken down a huge notch, after another one of my favourite,  child care workers, Della, warned me about  how I could hurt myself doing them. Shrugging her off, not wanting her to deflate my coolness, I ignored her heartfelt warning. Suddenly, I heard a thud! There I lay, face up, staring at the ceiling. (Okay, not so cool. Della, was right.) At least no blood!
Murder Ball...
In or out of his chair, Guy, would never stop being cool to me. In fact one time we had the honour of having him play wheelchair rugby with our team. Again, all of my "Guy" memories were during my grade seven year. We actually called it"murder ball," and I played sort of competitively. It was a sport for those, like me, who couldn't throw the ball up into a basket ball net. So here he was, the coolest man I knew at the time. His wheels all slanty, or flared out at the bottom. Which I recently learned is called "CAMBER." Contributing to that cool look, was a really low back to their chair. 
For example, my "nerdy" or standard wheelchair, and my husband's, have a
See almost no back and lots of Camber!!
back that comes up to about the mid shoulder blade area. Dudes like Guy, had backs as low as maybe with to ten inches high. See the athletes to the left? It makes it possible for them to do fancy twists and turns and provide more manuevarbility for throwing the basket balls up into the basket.

Anyhoo, there he was, Guy playing with us! He was showing us why it was called murder ball. He was going so fast, he actually grabbed someone's chair, flinging himself to the floor (I assumed by accident or showing off :o) and then effortlessly, he just flung himself back into his chair. No injuries, no wincing, nothing...just so darn cool.

I always wanted my wheels to be all slanty, or now I know, "cambered" (hope I am using the word correctly), and to have that really low back. Not practical for someone like me. Oh yah, and the other way to have a cool
wheelchair was to not have your anti-tipping wheels on the back of your chair. They prevent your chair from flipping backwards. You know, like I did the day I first tried  my first wheelies and went thunk! Nope, they didn't have anti-tipping casters then. Now they do, and if they are on, you can never do wheelies. Mind you my genius, handsome nephew, did when he would come over and practice the art form in my old manual wheelchair. He was able to keep the front wheels up off the ground and move around, with the anti-tipping wheels on. That I had never seen before. My husband has always been teased by me, because as long as I have known him, he has those safety wheels on. I call them "sissy" wheels just to tease him. 

The Clicking Solution! Craig has never been concerned about being cool. I am glad for that, because safety is a good thing. The one "cool" thing he had up until a few weeks ago, was a slight slant to his wheels. Now I know the word for it. And now we know, slanted wheels don't work with Quickie Xtender wheels. In fact, so far, we believe it is most likely the cause of all the clicking issues. Especially, since it happened as soon as the second replacement pair went on.  Turns out Quickie Xtender wheels are to be installed WITHOUT camber. What matters most is we know, and Sunrise is going to replace his wheels a third time. No point in being upset that we could have avoided all the stress worrying about what was/is wrong with his new wheels. We know now, the new pair will be installed upright, with NO camber.

No camber means, the only cool part to Craig's wheelchair is now gone! Awe, heck, he'll always be cool to me, no matter what. I just like bugging  him. Actually, removing the camber means he can fit through door ways better. It really widens your bottom end! Let's hope and pray, that the camber/tilt thingy is the answer. We'll let you know.

A Step Closer to Cool?
Well,  back to my last day of grade seven. It was a bittersweet one. I cried in my class room, as my most favourite teacher ever, Mr. Lorne Taylor, asked me what was wrong. I didn't know. He suggested I had the out of school blues. Not being taught by him anymore, was the bitterest part. The sweet part? Guy promised if I passed grade seven he would buy me the same kind of cool t-shirt that he wore, a v-neck and capped sleeves. Because I always went home to my family every second weekend and holidays, that last day Della, remember her? Whisked me off to the local mall, with the money Guy gave me to buy a shirt just like his. There I was thirteen, entering summer break to spend it with my parents and sister, looking as cool as possible.
Heart Break
That summer as I waited in our van at my parent's home. I heard on the radio that Guy Paquette was found dead in his motel room. I burst out sobbing until I had no tears left. 
That was when I was 13, a whole 36 years ago and the impression he made on me still remains. 

Research Articles About Camber and Wheelchair Use

Thursday, November 19, 2015

From My HeArtfully Creating Blog/Vlog: A Balmy Adventure

When I am not trying to work on wheelchair repairs and all the communication that can go with that, I am creating, blogging and making videos for those articles. Just wanted to share my newest

Me, when I painted after I thought I couldn't anymore!
article on my creativity blog called HeArtfully Creating. As an artist, it is what I have always known. To not create, leaves me feel out of sorts. I know I talked about this before, but even when you live with a muscle wasting disorder/disability like I have or any other type that suddenly or slowly result in you physical abilities changing. It doesn't mean you can not do what you love to do. I know for me, there are definitely things I would love to do that I just have to accept that I can't. Doesn't mean, I have to lay around staring at a screen all day, there is always some how, some way to do something you love. So I focus on what I can
Cruising on my own legs, sort of.
do. If you aren't familiar with the disability I was born with, it is called Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 3.

I won't go into detail here, but I am now almost 50 years old, yay! It is an exciting
Grade 4, I used a wheelchair as needed.
milestone that I look forward to. These days, my hands are  the only part of my body, aside from my mind, and mouth (darn, say my family 
members, ha ha) are the remaining abilities I have. Which means, with my husband's assistance, I am able to work on creating, such as in this instance, my own Lip Balm and solid perfume. 

Yes,  I know a DIY doesn't necessarily fit into the purpose of the
Emily being my "arms" to assist me.
Walking. Way Overrated blog intent, I wanted to explain why sharing this part of me does fit in here. I want to encourage others who may believe that because their arms, legs, hands, body in general, don't function or cooperate, it doesn't mean you can't do what you love. If you love creating in any way shape or form, there always is a way you can. Daily, I depend on others to be my "arms
Without others, going to and get out of bed would not be possible.
and legs," without them, I wouldn't be sitting up in my chair writing this blog, creating what I create. 

You would be amazed at the many times, I believe God has provided me either direct into my mind, or through the advice of others, ways to problem solve how I would be able to do something I thought I couldn't do anymore. So pray, ask for help, always. Life for me, wouldn't exist as glorious as it is, a part from Christ. I did it without Him, and never would have survived if I continued living that way. You got nothing to lose!
Be encouraged with this creative, fun diversion.
I did it, I tried...reusing EOS containers but for me...well, take look...

HeArtfully Creating: A Balmy Adventure: Alright, I did it. I did make the DIY lip balm and since the base is the same, as a bonus, I also made some solid perfumes. It all starte...

Monday, November 16, 2015

Shared Experiences

Experiences Many Persons Who Use Wheelchairs Have.  
Click the title to check out this interesting list of commonly shared experiences amongst those of us who happen to use wheels for legs. My husband and I both have had similar experiences and more. 

The one regarding parking in accessible spots, well for us, twice, we were yelled at with extreme prejudice and ignorance. And both drivers were the ones parked beside our lift vehicle, not actually in a wheelchair accessible parking spot. In fact, we were parked in one. Instead of not being able to park, we were blocked from being able to get back into our van! It was crazy and unbelievable to experience such behaviour! 

Do you have any interesting experiences, good or bad due to the fact that you use wheels? We'd love to hear from you. Just write it below. 

Anita :o)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Bergie Creation: Creative Inspiration Contest / Give Away

Check out My First Contest Giveaway!!
Hi. Just wanted to share what I am doing in other parts of my life

besides this blog. I also make handmade jewelry, run an online shop on Etsy, 3 other blogs and a You Tube Channel. So thought it would be good to share the link to my first ever jewelry give away contest event!
Details here: A Bergie Creation: Creative Inspiration Contest / Give Away: Ever Contest Give Away!!!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Craig's Xtender Wheels Clicking Update #3- Already!

The Quickie Xtender Wheel Saga continues or should I say mystery? He still loves them no matter what.  But, we have had that ongoing problem. Our friendly dealer picked up Craig's Wheelchair this morning as planned. And returned it back within a couple hours. Craig gets to nap when his "legs" are being worked on because he doesn't have a back up wheelchair. He doesn't seem to mind.
When one of the best technician's we have, returned with the Xtender wheels on, he said he was told by the company that provides them, to adjust a belt type thingy  (my paraphrase) within the mechanism in the hub. He did and Craig hopped in and tested the tweaked wheels and guess what? There was no clicking!! Don't say woo hoo just yet. The bummer part, within 15 minutes or so...well, check out the video below.

There is additional information in this video with the intent that it will help the powers that care about this have as much information as possible to figure out the issue. We just hope Sunrise/Quickie can resolve the problem. I really am wondering if it has something to do with the age of Craig's chair and the model update. The pair he tried out didn't end up being the same exact model as the pair he got.
Any thoughts, ideas, questions or feedback, please leave it below. We are thankful they still work of course. But this new clicking has changed and is loud, then not at all...never a good thing for a new fancy mechanism. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Craig's Xtender Wheels- Update #2

Thought we'd be patient and wait for a resolution to the issues Craig has been having with his Xtender wheels by Quickie and Yamaha, from Sunrise medical, purchased at Shoppers Home Health Care. If you know me, patience is a foreign word. If you are not sure what I am yapping about, just check out the related blogs by clicking here when all was great, debuting his brand new power assist wheels and
click here for the update, when his new wheels had to be replaced and then the new ones ended up doing the same thing :o(

Picking up where the last update left off, the vendor did call that same day saying they would be contacting Quickie/Sunrise and we would wait to see what they will do. And Quickie, that same day, also said, they'd contact our vendor/dealer. So we have been waiting.
I decided to contact Quickie through social media and Sunrise through email, hoping to get some help on what they would do. Thankfully, Shoppers responded promptly telling us they would contact Sunrise/Quickie and Quickie told me they would be contact Shoppers.
Yay, No More Waiting!
The waiting began. Like I said, not an easy thing for me. But Craig, no problemo. Now a month clicked by and we hadn't heard anything so, I decided to stop bugging my husband to call them.  I was desperately hoping the local dealer would phone Craig, assuming that it was up to them since he had left the call in their hands.  I get kind of untrusting thoughts sometimes wondering if people will follow through with what they say they will do and when they don't...Yah, it bothers me a lot to be that way and I can get kind of annoyingly paranoid and skeptical. I love it when I am proven wrong and yet, I don't even want to be that way in the first place. But, that's me and God is always helping me change.  It's a learned way of reacting and a choice I make as an adult, to choose to be so darn pessimistic and untrusting. I want to be more like my dear husband who helps anchor my wonky thoughts, helping me to not worry so much about trust.

It took everything in me, so I definitely had to ask for God's help to back off and let him deal with it and that whoever is meant to, would take care of Craig's chair and get it all resolved.

Needless to say as I wrote this blog,  I assumed based on past months prior, we wouldn't be able to reach our local vendor, they are really busy and therefore, had been hard to reach. That'a why I contacted Quickie a month ago, hoping to get them to do something about their product and tell the dealer what to do about it. Craig loves and recommends these wheels so much, it broke my heart for him to have this ongoing issue, even with new wheels. I know how great the wheels are, helping his rotator cuff problems. It is awesome to see him joyfully cruise uphill and be able to push a heavy grocery cart. After all, the dealer doesn't manufacture the items.

A BIG humbling moment and lesson learned, on my part, happened this afternoon. The Good Lord, (Thank You Lord!) prompted my heart as I wrote this blog, to stop and try to phone the dealer, thinking maybe I'd be able to reach someone Then I wouldn't have to worry about the whole thing. Craig was out, even though he mentioned going to the dealer personally, I thought he didn't have time to stop there or else I wouldn't have called.  Glad I did...

I dialled, and when I heard a familiar person answer, I felt relieved, I explained to her why I was calling and about waiting.  She was helpful and made sure I could get through to the appropriate person. Yay, my speculations were wrong. Shame on me. Not only did I get the person I wanted to talk to, it turned out my husband showed up at the building not long before I called and talked to the same person I was. The manager like before, was nice and cheerful and said the two of  them had arranged an appointment to put on Craig's old wheels to see if the clicking happens without the power assist wheels. So I was grateful that we didn't have a problem reaching someone and we were going ahead to do something about it. Of course, we never expect a busy company to be able to jump and respond right away, but we do expect communication. Just knowing someone has your issue under control, puts your mind at ease.
What Could Be Wrong?

When we contacted Quickie a month ago, they told us  that the first returned  pair of Xtender wheels had been sent to Yamaha, to try to figure out what was happening.

Because the wheels keep clicking, yet keep working, we thought maybe that's why we haven't heard what Quickie/Sunrise or Yamaha was going to do about it. Only God knows why they haven't told our dealer anything.

Thankfully the dealer is picking up the chair to switch out Craig's wheels to his old ones to see if it still clicks. Out guess is, they won't still click because it sounds like it is something happening in the gears or whatever mechanism is inside the wheel hub. Because the new replacement pair click 95% of the time, like the last pair, whether off or on, we do believe they need to inspect the modifications done to Craig's chair when the wheels were installed.
Modifications Mean Trouble, Maybe?
Craig's Quickie wheelchair is five years old and he was told that the wheels would be compatible with his Quickie chair. He was not told anything would have to be adjusted to make them work. He was not told that he would actually require a new model of wheelchair, nothing like that. If perhaps, Sunrise tells us that the model of Xtender wheels Craig bought requires a new Quickie wheelchair, we assume someone at some level will accept responsibility and make sure he gets what was paid for, We assume information like that would have been the responsibility of the dealer. But only if the dealer knew about it,

When Craig's wheels were being installed, the brackets, he received a call from one of our favourite technicians. He was concerned because the Xtender wheels had been updated to a new model. It was different from the ones he originally tried out a year earlier. They went on perfectly then. The technician mentioned he just discovered as he was trying to install the brackets, that their newest model update changed and now meant the wheels could not be put on like the demonstration ones had been. He suggested that he might have to alter his chair but that would mean Craig's chair would be one inch closer to the ground, (the seat pan portion.)  Craig was not told anything about that when he was in his seating assessment getting the correct paper work to obtain partial funding for the much needed wheels.

Unsure of what to say to the technician, we had mixed communication and thought the changes wouldn't happen until confirmed by Craig, that it would be okay. Understandably, the technician hung up and figured out how to install these new model brackets. Like I said, they told us that they were not the same as the model  he tested. He was under the impression that he was buying the same wheel model, that he tried out. The salesperson never said anything contrary to that, the day he was assessed with the Occupational therapist.

The day they were installed, the model change, was just as much of a surprise to the technician, as it was for Craig.  The technician did his thing, trying to problem solve and made a way for them to be installed. When his chair came back, he did lose at least one inch of height, like the techician had called about and he had to install six inch hard rubber caster wheels on the front. Craig didn't have any choice or options, he just went with the fact that he had his wheels on. The technician told us the new casters were quite expensive. His previous wheels were 8 inch pneumatic tires that provided more cushioning for him. We know it wasn't the technicians fault, he didn't know the model update meant it couldn't just be attached to Craig's 5 year old chair. Why would Quickie update a model of a product and change it so much it means a Quickie wheelchair would need to be altered so much? It doesn't make sense. But it happened.

Knowing that Craig wouldn't say much about the changes to his chair, I want to say it. It concerned me from the moment it happened. I  wish he would have been told about the model change by someone and then given the option to not get them. Because the wheels had been bought and his portion paid for about six weeks earlier, he just wanted to get it done however. He didn't have time to think about what was being done. Again, not the technician's fault, he was just doing what he was asked to do. Whether it is the dealer's responsibility or Quickie/Sunrise, we don't know yet. But, I hope we get some answers. Most of all we hope and pray that they can find what is wrong and fix it.

It is possible that something that happened in the modifications affects how the wheels go on. No, it probably won't click when his regular wheels are on. We'll find out Friday.  Just hope he gets his powered ones back the same day. He is so used to the ease of wheeling these days.
Changes Made, No Choice?!
I know I am not good at being concise with how I feel about this situation, but when it happened,  it really bothered me that he was not informed about the model change and what it would mean to his chair, and according to the dealer, they were unaware as well. Unaware until the install date, when they had to problem solve. Sunrise/Quickie Xtender, should be responsible for making sure a product fits the same, no matter what the model upgrades are and they weren't. He did not get the same wheels, that he tried out, see below the difference made to his front wheels and height.
The trial pair of Xtender Wheels. See, no adjustments to his chair had to be made - same front wheels

His actual first pair, lowered 1 inch, so they had to shrink his front to smaller casters.
Thinking Out Loud...Added Ramblings About What It Could Be...
I wrote all day on this blog and edited out a lot. I do have ADHD and it shows when I write. As I edited, I left out this part which is a repeat of what I said already, kind of....So I am including it to make sure I have all the details for the record.
Was A New Wheelchair Required?
My husband won't say anything much about it, but I feel I need to for him. Since his wheelchair had 
to be altered so much in order to fit the wheels. Could that not be the problem? Is it not possible that he could only use the newest Xtender model, with a new Quickie chair? Is it not possible that the dealer should have known and then let him know that the new model would mean serious alterations to his chair, or that he couldn't use them properly without a new wheelchair model?Shouldn't the company let the dealer know so the dealer salesperson can inform the client? 

If this is the case and reason for the clicking in another pair of brand new Xtender wheels. Who is responsible to do the right thing,? Either refund the wheels, replace the wheels with the model he actually tested and worked well and put his chair back together the way it was, or replace his Quickie chair with a new one. I say this to whoever is responsible, to date, we are to believe the dealer didn't know about the changes, so that would make it Quickie's responsibility. He was never told he needed a new model, his decision would have been different if he knew all that would happen. I don't know, I am just thinking out loud. But it really bothers me, that no one from anywhere, has made any contact with him in a month and that alterations were made to his chair without his permission. Yes, he was told, but he wasn't asked before hand.  He did receive a call, but he was  basically told they had to do it. It was the only way they could be installed. No other way to put on the $6000 plus CDN wheels he just purchased. He didn't know about the model change, neither did Shoppers apparently. Someone needs to take responsibility take care of my husband's situation. 
No Offence Intended
I don't intend to offend any companies or anything like that, but one must understand when money is paid for a product and the dealer that sold you the product is lax in caring for the customer's problems with the product. It is difficult for me to not have expectations. As for Shoppers we have been pretty much loyal customers for decades, with the exception of the times we needed to go some where else. As for Quickie, both of our manual chair needs have been supplied by Quickie.
It is my hope that they will continue with their quality and good service and help my husband. kind and as helpful as they can possibly be. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

HeArtfully Creating: Polymer Clay Journey: Making Your Own Colours

Just want to share what I work on when not trying to get Craig's chair fixed :o)

HeArtfully Creating: Polymer Clay Journey: Making Your Own Colours: Well, I told you about my experimentation with mixing polymer clay brands. Now, I want to share a short video about experimenting with colo...

Friday, October 2, 2015

Craig's Xtender Wheel Update...Four Months Later....

Hi. We made a video about Craig's new wonderful Xtender Power assist wheels about 4 months ago. He still loves them and they are helping his chronic shoulder issues.

Unfortunately, he had some problem with the wheels making a constant clicking sound.The company Sunrise Medical /Quickie that provides them did replace them. Thankful for that.
Bummer part,  after day one, the new pair began making the same clicking sound. It doesn't feel good having to report the same problem again because  they may think you are kooky. (Okay that is just how I think sometimes) But, we have to, so Craig did call the vendor, I let Quickie know and now we will wait to see what the company that makes them says.

Decided to make this video to see if anyone else was having the same issue. Is it normal for them?
We assumed that since it didn't click at first and the fact that they replaced the three month old wheels, (he waited to see if it would go away first), that it isn't normal. The wheels, as you will see, do work.
Corresponding You Tube Video Here...

Craig loves them and I am still happy to see him be able to have such a great device that helps his shoulder so much. So we do hope Quickie can figure out what is happening.
Also made this video for Quickie so they can hear the sound to aid in hopefully, finding a solution to this model. The test model he tried out last year, was an older model and it made no sounds for the whole 2 weeks he had them.

Modifications were made to his Quickie wheelchair in order to enable the installation. We were wondering if that meant something is wonky?? Any ideas or thoughts.

He does recommend this brand of power assist wheels to anyone who sees him. Just praying it will all be corrected and he won't have to worry if they are going to stop working or not. In Canada, these wheels are expensive, which means expectations are high. Just like a vehicle you want it to work, at least for the first year of warranty :o) Well, hopefully for years. He is being very careful with them.

Day one, four months ago. He loves these wheels. Sure hope it all gets fixed for him.

We are both supporters of Sunrise Medical and believe that they care about the customer.  The Shoppers Corporation, we believe they care about devoted customers like my husband.  We will will keep you posted to see what happens.

Anyone else who may have this problem? Let us know if you found out the cause. It sounds like some small thing is in the hub and just clicking around whether the power is turned on or off.
Comments? Thoughts? Insight? or Questions about mobility devices or Quickie Xtender Power Assist wheels, write it down below.

Have a Happy Day!

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Friday, September 18, 2015

A Bergie Creation: A Closer Look At my Etsy Shop Story....

A Bergie Creation: A Closer Look At my Etsy Shop Story....: Around 2007/2008 my artistic career began a new creative adventure, designing and creating jewelry. I really felt I would be able to offer ...

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Saturday, August 8, 2015

I Stand In Awe...

If it wasn't for the Lord Our God, I wouldn't be able to be on this earth. Today, we were watching a debate, while I worked on a polymer clay figure (3rd attempt). This debate was with Kent Hovind a fellow believer and a University Professor named Dr. Rainbow. I wanted to share this because of how I was moved as I listened and was reminded how Awesome and Wondrous our God is. I really do Stand in Awe, even if I sit down literally. The question of creation versus evolution theory for us, is
not up for debate. However, when people try, God's Truth shines even more brighter. The arguments for a Godless creation/evolution makes no sense, even when I once thought God evolved it all. He really makes all things possible and I wanted to share the link to this debate and God's Mighty Word.

Walking would not be way overrated for us, if it wasn't for HIM!

[Psa 33:1-9 KJV] 1 Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: [for] praise is comely for the upright. 2 Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery [and] an instrument of ten strings. 3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise. 4 For the word of the LORD [is] right; and all his works [are done] in truth. 5 He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. 6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. 9 For he spake, and it was [done]; he commanded, and it stood fast.
[Psa 4:3-5 KJV] 3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him. 4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

New Arms and Legs....

PCAs or PSWs? What's the Difference?
It's time again. Time to hire a new Personal Care Attendant/Assistant. Sadly, one of my regular girls are moving away.
Personal Care Attendants, or Personal Care Assistants and Personal Support Workers, essentially all carry out the same duties. Yes, duties may vary depending on the company one works for, or in my case, the individual you work for. Being hired by an individual, self manager or by family members to assist one individual, is far different than being hired by a company to provide care for many clients.
Over twenty years ago, I was involved with assisting in interviews to hire for the company I
originally used the services of. They used the job title Personal Care Attendant and later changed it to,  Personal Care Assistant. It worked for me, and either of those titles are what I choose to call my girls.
Personal Support Worker or Not?
When I first became a self manager about twenty years ago, one of my first employees signed up to take the very first Personal Support Worker program at our local college. She and I initially laughed, wondering why folks would have to pay to learn something that you could learn on the job. That is how she came to work for me and how I still hire, no special certificates required. She signed up for it because her school fees were being covered by her other employer, a large home care company. As she worked through the first PSW program, she did affirm that they didn't really learn anything worth paying hundreds of dollars for. She was an exceptional individual, only 19 when I hired her. She was one of the most responsible, level headed, caring individuals I ever was blessed with, to have as a PCA. She went on to use her natural skills to continue being a care giver and become a manager for a company that provides supportive housing.
When it comes to the validity of the PSW programs that are throughout North America these days, I must say, I have learned why it it was created. Well, no one told me, I base this on what I have learned since way back then. This program was created so care giving companies, such, as seniors care homes, could have a standard when hiring. It is much easier to state that applicants must have a specific diploma. It levels the playing field and they could have a foundation to start from, knowing that all applicants would know the basics. As well, the PSW program has definitely evolved into  much more, offering more healthcare skills and knowledge that was not in the original program. It makes sense to me now, even though it didn't in the beginning.
That being said,  I still choose to consider all applicants, those with or without any healthcare training. In fact, in over twenty years, I must say that the majority of my employees have not been PSWs. It hasn't been intentional. I have had a lot of wonderful ladies of all ages, who are just interested in helping me out. They are willing to learn, able to follow directions well and are just plain great employees. My employees have been college and university students, be it Out door Recreation, Nursing, Environmental Studies...the point being when you hire your own PCAs, you can set the terms you prefer. So for me, I have hire standards, in that I seek out not certain papers, but those who are trustworthy, dependable, willing to be trained, flexible, kind and compassionate. It is what works for me.
Why do I not require PSW certificates? 
Because I have found based on my eleven years with a company that did the hiring and managing, (more on that in part two to come.) that they didn't have any set standards. It was all about the interview, about the personality, their references, the ability to learn and the desire to lend a hand and listen to the tenant's directions or needs. Carrying out tasks as if it were the person, like me doing it, enabling people again, like me, to live independently. I did criticize that this company didn't have any foundational standards or requirements and that was the reason why there were often issues with employee behaviour. After all, to me, it made sense that when you hire for many tenants or clients, that you would want to have a base requirement, hoping to obtain the best quality care possible. But, since hiring my own PCAs, I choose to go by each individual, rather than seek paper work, just the way they do/did it.

Set In Stone
My experience has been that those who already work for care providing companies, instead of individual/private hire, or those who have PSW certificates, they often are set in a pattern. Some are set in stone and some not. It makes sense that when one pays and enrols in a program such as the Personal Support Worker one, you are seeking to learn and follow the directions they give you. The ultimate goal, to obtain a job in that field. No doubt, most of those who take a program like that have a specific target. Some just want to be in charge, carrying out tasks as they were taught, and even as they want to. Many of these positions, require the initiative of the employee and not the wishes or direction of the client. This is an entire different focus and when someone like me is interviewing someone with a back ground like that, I have learned to ask the right questions. I need to discover if they would be able to handle my direction, and let go of what they have been taught. It is important that I let them know that I will need them to be my arms and legs under my direction. It may sound rather odd to some, but trust me it has been an issue. Statistically, many who are trained to work in insttuions and such, get offended when you ask them to do things in a specific way. It isn't their fault, it is just how they are wired or how they were taught.

This doesn't mean PSW certificate people don't work out for a private hiring self manager like me. It means, I just need to let them know what my expectations are and to really be specific in the interview, it is usually pretty easy to know if someone needs to be the "boss" in a sense, and just wouldn't be a suitable fit for my needs.

I don't know what it is, but, nursing students and nurses are wonderful employees. Even though they too are trained to do things a certain way, they "get" that I need them to carry out tasks the way I like.  They aren't offended if I ask them to make the bed the way I like, doing it how I would if I could....

Experience Or Not?
The question then remains about hiring PCAs, should they have experience in health care or not? Well, based on what I have experienced, it sometimes helps make the initial training period more comfortable. Only because you are physically unclothed for some tasks and it is easy to feel uncomfortable at first. Knowing they have seen it all before, makes it easier. But then, not necessarily. Seriously, it seems to be all about the personality. If someone is kind, friendly and open to giving you a hand, understanding why you need them...then being naked and depending on their help, becomes more comfortable than you realized. So the answer is, yes and no. It depends on each person. Whatever works for you, works. I can only talk about and offer advice, with what I have experience with.
Thank You To All Who Have Graced My Life
I want to say that because of so many wonderful personalities, willing hearts to help and understanding of what it means to be my "arms and legs," the physical aspect of my life has been able to happen. I am blessed by God to be able to live independently because of great ladies who make it possible. Because of their smiling faces and helpful attitude, never offended by one particular request, my life is extra blessed. :o)