Monday, March 27, 2017

CHAIR MATTERS: Finding A Hole In A ROHO Wheelchair Cushion

You have to watch this video to see how Craig finds and repairs the leaks in his ROHO air cushion. It may even help people find tire tube leaks  for bicycles too.
Thanks for watching!

Friday, March 17, 2017

UPDATED: Curiosities: Strange sky sounds In Ontario, Canada.

UPDATE March 18, 2017
Thought it would be best to share some video compilations from other YouTube channels that capture the "trumpetish" sounds that we heard.  It is why the sound got our attention. Because we have NEVER hear it ourselves in real life until that day, But had been researching the subject on the net.
Source videos are at the bottom of the page.

 Hello everyone! Well I guess whoever is reading this, Hello. Ever hear of the term "strange sky noises?" It may seem like a really bizarre Post, five or six years ago I would've concurred. My husband and I, like researching current events, conspiracy theories/ facts, and various curiosities that arise on the World Wide Web, especially YouTube. No doubt, there are some very strange things out here, but we know not everyone could be making these things up.

In fact, in our city on March 11 2017, it happened... We heard it for ourselves. With the doors shut and windows closed, still a little too cool in northwestern Ontario, there were some familiar sounds coming from outside. I grab the camera to try and record the audio part and that is what the video below is about. We live on Lake superior, well our city is on the lake shore. In fact we are referred to as the lakehead. Because we have watched/listen to, a lot of YouTube videos Sharing that recorded strange Skype noises, the sound was very familiar.  not because it was a freighter, Tanker or a train horn - my husband has lived here his entire life I knows although sounds. It was very familiar because listening to News stories and people videos that they have posted over the last five years.

Here it is if you're curious.

If anyone has any idea or answers as to what I sound like that could be, please leave comments under the YouTube video. This is a family friendly log and channel, so please keep that in mind.
What is very strange, is the sounds was so loud that we could hear it, like I said, with everything close in our home. And yet, at both times when it occurred for about maybe two minutes or so, the audio that was recorded shows up in the sound waves on the movie maker program and yet, and some places I had to delete the video because to listen with your ears reveals no sound really at all. That is why the videos are edited to just when the sound can be heard Best. It is why I copied and pasted the two events a few times. Like I said, Google the subject strange sky noises, and you will hear a familiar sound. Very curious indeed. We trust God knows what all this is about. Maybe it is just some Bucket on a front end loader  scraping the asphalt somewhere? Kind of hope so :o)

Thanks for stopping by!

Here is One Of Our Favourite Guys To Watch and Listen To: L. A. Marzulli About Strange Sky Noises

Video/Audio Compilations.
There are so many videos on this topic, I just want to share these two for now. Viewer discretion is advised- unfortunately sometimes those recording are cussing. In This video the same sounds we heard can be heard aabout the 3 minute: 44 second mark:

Below the Same Sounds we heard are at about the 3:30 mark. Strongly suggest watching the entire video though.

Below: This on Is From Dubai (again same sound/tone)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

My Second Most Favourite Assistive Device...

Two great guys helping us out!
The power wheelchair has been one of the most appreciated as assistive devices that I've ever had. Or I guess we call it a mobility aid. Actually I call my chair, "my legs." Up until I was about 17, once I stopped walking I use a manual wheelchair. The hallways at my high school, we're long and daunting to push my wheels down them. As my arm and trunk muscles weakened, and I realized how much gravity was my enemy, it was A Real blessing from God when the powers that be, decided I was ready for a motorized wheelchair! At that point, I just couldn't do distances very well and fatigue was a big issue. So the first time I got to make those wheels or legs move, was one of the most freeing experiences I can remember. No more that I have to depend on other people to move me around. For
My first manual "lilac" wheelchair
the first time, even including when I could still walk (kind of looked like a waddling duck) - I was
able to go somewhere quick and fast. It was the running that I was never able to do. Absolutely incredible to this young teenager.

In fact, as I write this, I am waiting for our local dealer to set up a time so I can have my first fitting
My first power chair. The broken leg....
well, another story for another day.
for my new Power seating/tilt wheelchair. The one I am in now has served me well. It actually has exceeded the usual life expectancy of five years by seven more years. Probably because I don't truck around the countryside like I once did, hasn't been able to stay in pretty pristine condition. But needless to say it is time for my new chair.
Adjustable Beds
But I'm not here to talk about my power chair. I want to share my second favourite, essential assistive device. About 25 years ago, again the powers that be decided that an adjustable bed where the head and feet to go up and down, would be a
good option for me. No longer was I able to sit up on my own. My personal care attendants would have to grab my wrists and pull to sit me up. Back then it was not as difficult as it is today. Back then, I did not realize how valuable that bed would be to my quality-of-life. Just like my power wheelchair, the adjustable bed gives me freedom to be able to change position without strain and pain. These days it is unimaginable to go without a bed that can sit me up. Not to mention a bed that while on my back, can put me in a comfortable position.

Well after experiencing a lot of difficulties with our adjustable bed last year, doing things like moving up or down when I wasn't pressing any buttons on our wireless remote control. I started to try to fix, clean and pretty much repair the two remotes we have. Anxiety about losing the ability to sit up and position on my own, definitely began to increase. To spare you from all the details, let's just say after
This was "normal" for how our remote looked
much investigation of the actual bed and motors and such, one of my wonderful Friends discovered the box that accepts the signals for the control. When she pushed upward, the red signal light stopped flickering and went strong and steady. She turned the couple of screws and the bad miraculously, has worked perfectly up until a month ago.
Well, it started to misbehave again. I opened up Remote control that has been taped up, sealed in a plastic baggie and the rubber buttons cut and pieced together inside. For some reason there were no signs of life no matter what I did.  Even at one point the batteries burnt my finger bit, when I opened up the battery section. Had to use tweezers because I was too scared to touch them.  It all looked the way it should, yet no signs of life when I pressed the button. Frustrated, I re-opened it up re-tweaked everything one more time...nope, no life at all. As I went to remove the batteries, it's fate was sealed. That's when the wires that make contact with the battery ends
without the patches
completely fell apart. That is something that I would never be able to fix.

After fifteen plus years of pretty much great function, it was time to face reality and figure out what our options were. As I googled what I could think of about adjustable beds and remote controls, the company name popped up. I had forgotten it. Assuming it was too old to even get a remote, I thought we better phone. The company is Leggett and Pratt in South or North Carolina. The first fellow I spoke with knew who I was just from the number inside my broken down remote or "hand wand" as I see they call it now. He was kind and obviously kept consulting with the technicians because I was on hold off an on. Armand said we would have to replace the "Jump Box," or updated electronics because our bed was just too old. He said our bed was also under a twenty year pro-rated
warranty. That meant that the cost was cut down a bit. Not sure if we should get both beds replaced because of costs, I said we would call back. In under three minute, we decided having only one bed working, would wreck the bedding and mattress foam. Calling back right away, we couldn't get the nice man again and had another service representative. To make a long story shorter, the new person told us we didn't need those parts, just new remotes. Puzzled, I said okay please send two controls.

Within three days we had the new remotes. Opening the box, I had a feeling it wasn't what we needed. After more calls, we were emailed a programming booklet - tried everything and nothing happened. The next day, after a long time of investigation and info gathering, we went from yes, this is the right remote, to we need to switch out the system. Turned out the first person was totally correct. All the service people we nice and friendly and as a bonus, we were told because of how everything had been, we didn't have to pay for the J-Boxes. It was great relief to hear that.

So for anyone with an adjustable bed that needs help. You may be able to get help  even if it is really old. Our bed is a great. The first one I had years ago had a broken head up motor, that my dad replaced with the foot motor- since sitting up is most important for my needs. Not sure of that brand, but the L & P brand, is durable and aside from a loose box and worn out remotes, is still working great!

Thinking we had time because I had the last working, albeit patched and repaired remote control, we didn't worry about switching out the J-Box. Well, God definitely takes care of us. He knew we would need these parts as soon as possible. He knew that only a week or less after receiving the control boxes, that I would be pressing the "down" button on the head part, while my friend and PCA Heather was waiting for me to be in position so she could assist me further for bed time, would go berserk! Suddenly, the bed begins to make a horrible vibration sound and at the same time, began
Switching the green box for the black box
going up, when I was pressing down!! I began to panic yelling! "Pull out the plug! Pull Out the plug!" Out she pulls it and the ruckus ceased. The modern beds, including ours, do not have a back up crank or anything. That has always been the "what-if." fear. What-if the remote breaks completely and we are stuck in the upright position?  Thankfully unplugging it reset the electronics and I was able to get it back down. My husband and I were concerned that the bed may begin to move suddenly, in the middle of the night.

Actually, the vibrate part is the massage function the bed has. Since in no way does it feel like a massage, I had put a piece of paper inside the control to block the contacts for the massage buttons. That's why I freaked out when it all happened. It has been blocked for years! Needless to say, my husband phoned a friend the next morning to see if he could help my dad to switch out the boxes. P & L made it sound pretty easy to do. Just hard to flip over electric beds on your own.

My Dad and our dear friend Howard came by the day before yesterday and we figured it out. Bummer part, we started with Craig's half (bed number 1), had the  old part unscrewed and realized some of the wire components were not sent. Since my side was the essential need, they put it back together and did my side. The company apologized and it should be here by tomorrow,

It was a great relief that moved me to tears, when I pressed the remote button for the first time and it worked!! Thank You Lord! Thank You for my Dad and Howard's help. What a relief. No more anxiety about the patched up remotes falling apart or being stuck in an unwanted position...not to mention the most important being able to sit up on my own, avoiding pain discomfort and injuries to my PCAs.

In Conclusion
Thumbs up for Adjustable/electronic beds! They are a great benefit if you can't move you own body. They are also great if you have any difficulties positioning or getting comfy. The severe scoliosis I have makes laying flat on an X-ray table, stretcher or a bed VERY uncomfortable. Our bed keeps me bent up just where I need it! Depending where you live, you may be able to obtain funding or partial funding from a government devices program, insurance plan or in Canada where we are, I believe if you have a prescription, it would be tax deductible as a medical expense.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Quickie/Yamaha Xtender Power Assist Wheel Issues- An Update And A Review

The Spoke Saga Continues:
To anyone who was following the Xtender Power Assist Wheel journey, more like a saga, you know all this. If not and/or to refresh memories - details (lots of them) can be found when you click here this search link on our blog or search Xtender Wheels and Sunrise Medical there too.
Since week one or so, even though my husband loved these wheels in principle, because of the freedom he now had to move with great ease, up hills and to ease the stress on his torn rotor cuffs, (a common health issue for chronic wheelchair users). It was so nice to see him happy and free! I use a full power chair so I could totally relate to that sense of freedom! (I can picture Mel Gibson yelling FREEDOM! just before he dies!) okay, maybe not the best illustration, but you get the idea!

Well, instead of repeating all the details, please just check out all the Xtender blog articles here at WWO, most have corresponding videos. All along, I just wanted to video and visually record the sounds and details, hoping to help Sunrise/Quickie/Yamaha (Yamaha still makes the motors as for as we know) to try to figure out what was wrong. It has been outstandingly clear, to us and some others, that the issue is poor spoke layout/installation/design/quality, but they do not seem to want to acknowledge it to us anyway, and correct the installation/design so it won't keep happening. Yes, they replaced the spokes, the the links for details. But it is still happening.

We have asked the opinion of spoke experts and it is clear to all of us that where the spokes intersect, the outside row of spokes are almost all, ever so slightly,bent ,because they are pushing so hard against the underneath row of spokes.

My first manual chair- never had broken spokes.
As a wheelchair user, that had spokes for about under 15 years, back when I was younger, never did I have problems Breaking spokes. Yes, I had to tighten them every now and then when I did my wheelchair maintenance, but that was it. Craig himself in over 30 years of wheelchair use, also never had any problem with spokes breaking. Only once when there was an actual recall on a quickie manual chair model. So we know that spokes for daily, regular use, spokes should not just be Breaking. Not at this rate, that is for sure.

It is so frustrating because it seems obvious what is wrong with their design.

Even more frustrating when you're told that no one else Is having the problems that you are ,with the Quickie Xtender power assist wheels. And yet we have heard that others have, including a comment on one of our videos about it. We know he is not alone.

Of course we know normal wear and tear can happen. But this chair didn't even get a chance to undergo normal wear and tear before the clicking and breaking happened and STILL is!

Needless to say, we shared all that was going on from day one. Past experience told me this would be wise. Of course if I had received contact from the manufacturer much sooner, depending on how they handled it, I wouldn't have felt the need to make sure all the negative parts weren't documented. There wouldn't have been a need to.

It was disconcerting because my husband paid a decent amount of money for a very useful mobility aid and we wanted them to work and to last.
He was recommending them from day one. Even when the early troubles began. I told him he should wait, but he believed all would be well and taken care of. He is way more optimistic than me. He was just soooo happy because of how easy it made his life. He deals with chronic pain daily. But because we didn't receive any responses at that time, from Sunrise and the other contact places I tried, lack of trust increased. So I decided to make an attempt reaching Sunrise through the Quickie Twitter contact page. (again, all of this has been documented if you want to see/watch) It worked! It was great to actually have someone answer questions and trying to help us.

They did the best they could by asking the right contacts they had. But clearly, they were limited in what they could do, at times they had to break not so good news to us. Such as, if my husband weighed 250 pounds or more, then the warranty would not count at all. Thankfully, he did not, nor does he weigh that amount. But, the fact that no one even asked Craig or told him prior to his purchase, it was quite a frustration to know that if he happened to weigh that limit, he would have no hope to fix his brand new expensive wheels. Would never have bought them.
Thankfully, he officially proved he was under that number, but nevertheless, just frustrating at hearing surprises like this. Not the Twitter person's fault.

However, after all that, since Sunrise did replace Craig's wheels each time (during the next period- until last spring) the clicking/spoke issue arose (always within a very short time the sound would commence), right up until the third replacement pair - and sadly, even the third pair began clicking with spokes breaking. Didn't take long.

Needless to say, the second I hear clicking from his wheel, my heart and anxiety has caused a lot of stress and unless something changes, will continue to do so.

At some point in time back then, we received a phone call from a rep from Sunrise who basically
asked me to refrain from blogging/vlogging about what was happening. Saying, they wanted a chance to take care of my husband before I did anymore blogging/vlogging. They seemed rather bothered by the public sharing of our experience.
Because of the nature of this whole blog, I record experiences and want to share our life for a purpose. She seemed to have no regard for the fact that, as I had recorded publicly, that I did try to reach them first, but never heard back, not until the Quickie Twitter contact responded. All very frustrating. Of course, we didn't want to have to share the negative parts of our experience, we had no choice. We felt morally obligated, to be honest, not just so others interested in this product would know, but to get what we paid for, trying to help them have as much information as the manufacturer might need to help.
I tried to refrain as long as I could, but the clicking/spoke issue continued. After the conversation with her, for a while, we did shared that Sunrise was offering good customer service.

Here we are today, one year later (almost).

When he was on his third replacement pair (same clicking/breaking spoke issues) the demo chair he got to use for a bit after the third set acted up. We were so impressed, we took pictures and sent it to
the lady that had called us, saying we were glad to see the improvements. We thought they had figured it out based on his ongoing wheel issues and our postings of recorded noises, that all would be cured. (click here for that article and the comparisons) The photos show how much better quality these spokes were installed, they even looked stronger, they just seemed all round improved. Click that link to see. We were really hoping almost assuming, that since even the 3rd pair of replacement wheels had the exact same issues, they would give him these demo wheels. It would make sense after all he had gone through, and they looked fixed. But sadly, nope. They quickly sent back to him wheel set number two, saying they changed out the motors, nothing else. Motors were obviously, not the problem, not sure why. They never said if there even was a motor issue. It was all spoke issues!

How do we know? Yup, in no time....the spokes began to click indicating a break. Darn! And the spoke overlap/bending issue had not changed at all. And now, here we are almost a year later since the second set were returned back (after going through three sets of wheels and a demo). But sadly, as you can see in the article/video history, just when we hoped all was a go, another spoke or two would break. (Click here, and here and here )

Well, based on a letter Craig just received with a pack of replacement spokes sent to the dealer. No personal direct contact since that period last year. And after seeing this morning, comments and thoughts from some who have inquired about Xtender wheels...I thought it best to write this update.
The long and short of this saga is, In the end, this Xtender experience, didn't conclude with any satisfactory results. Overlapping/outside spokes are still forcing down, causing bending and the heads, not sitting flush and sitting proper. (Not like that demo pair!) Just waiting for the next click, click....

Newest Update:

Last year, originally, Sunrise had sent a pack of 36 spokes (really it works out to 18, because every time the spokes are replaced, we were told they need to take out the over and underlapping spoke
(hence the reason for long and short spokes) because one is bent. We knew that!!
But like I said before, the dealer said while trying to replace the first few broken spokes last year (on I believe wheel set number 3) he said the spokes were breaking as they tried to replace them! So, we assumed they were, as suspected, faulty spokes, so the dealer would return them and Sunrise would replace them.

Just read this first: I am recording from the pertinent parts,
"Dear Craig,
I hope this finds you well, active and enjoying your Quickie products.
The warranty on spokes for the wheels for the quickie Xtender is coverage for one year against manufacturing defects. Last April we sent a set of 36 spokes (18 long 18 short) to your dealer for you. We have now received another request for more spokes since those are all gone.

SIDE NOTE: my husband never even had half of these original 36 spokes put on his
Xtenders. The dealer said he sent them all back! Why don't they know that? There were about maybe five or six spokes replaced somehow, prior to recently receiving this bunch, - even if did send 36 a second time - after the dudd spokes were returned, there still remains half or more of that other spoke set that Craig never saw but do not exist) Why didn't they count the spokes that were breaking as they tried to install them? All too confusing. We feel bad for the dealer in all this. They just want it to all be right too.
Why don't they try to do something about the ongoing spoke issue that could improve the quality and installation design, so the problem would decrease and give that improved set to my husband??

Back to the letter: "no other user of the quickie extender is experiencing this level of breakage with their spokes so we are at a loss to understand why this continues to happen. As a show of support, we are sending one last set of 36 spokes to the dealer to be used as needed on your chair. Once the these are gone, additional replacement spokes will need to be purchased."

This letter actually stirred up anger in my heart. After everything that has happened since day one, they kind of are implying they are doing him a kindness. It is as if they do not know all that has happened and has not been addressed. It was bad enough receiving the phone call from Sunrise's rep last year , expressing her displeasure at my blogging about the topic asking me to stop. (not forever) In noway was I slandering anyone, just being objective, open and honest. But nothing changed with the spoke issue/design/construction....Argh! And he is not the only one who has had this hapen. Why three different sets in a row? All the same issues. Not just one pair.

So sad for my husband to have to deal with this.

The Shocker Is...

When I ask Craig, he STILL totally recommends the Quickie Xtender Power Assist Wheels. Not to
mention, he still loves and supports the Quickie 2 manual chair because he has had not issues with them at all. He is a Quickie devoted fan, if only the Sunrise people would help him with new and "fixed" Xtenders. But, oh well. He and I agree to disagree.

So if you read and watch all the info we have, you can make your own conclusions. My husband is a dear man who deserves to enjoy his life with minimal need of wheelchair repair. But that is out of my hands. I am happy that inspite of all this, he is still a big Xtender fan. He is a bigger "man" than I am.

Monday, March 6, 2017

SHARING LIFE! Have A Bite! This Is A Cake Walk...Fun Life Events - Sharing Time!

Wish you could taste this cake....The best I can do, is share the photos. Since this blog is about our life, then hey, sharing the besets birthday cake place ever, Dagwood, makes sense.
Sit back and drool! Never thought I  would love strawberry. You have to watch the  video below to find out how I discovered such a delectable delight! And to see some very pretty photos. Getting hungry just writing about it!
Watch The Video Below!

My husband had this cake delivered by the lady who so beautifully decorated it. She wasn't given a lot of notice, and still made the perfect turquoise icing and feminine floral motif. Beats Cake Boss Buddy by far! Up for the challenge Buddy ;0)

Thanks for stopping by.