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