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.