This seems so strange to talk about online, because it’s been an incredible long journey getting to this point where I can say “I got a new wheelchair” with a smile on my face! What I find to be even weirder is that, this is the first wheelchair announcement I’ve ever done on my blog! I got my first chair dubbed “the purple chair” when I was four! Honestly, I still don’t think children under the age of four, need a power chair. The only reason why I say that is because of how much of a monster I was driving around in it! I managed to scare everyone I came into contact with, because I was either speeding, not watching out for others, and running over feet left and right. I was a terror on the loose!
In 2006, I received the hot pink chair two days after Christmas. Thankfully, by this time I had sort of grown out of the menace stage, but I still loved to drive fast and threaten people that if they didn’t behave accordingly, I would run over them. So, maybe I didn’t grow out of it after all! If you’re looking at those dates and wondering why there’s such a big gap in between them, honestly, you’re not supposed to have a power chair longer than five years, because of the way your body changes and grows overtime, but after the mess of getting the pink chair, I had both of them passed the five and even 10 year mark! My logic was if it still worked, then why switch to a new one?
For this chair, the journey started back in 2012, when I was in physical therapy for the first time since I was in middle school. My pink chair had officially crapped out on me. It no longer wanted to charge for us. This was also the time where my mom exchanged it with this puny $20 transfer chair, that I would end falling out of close to six times from 2015 to like mid-February! This is why it is literally called, “the death trap” within my family. My dad would do anything to pitch it because he hates it that much! By the end of 2017, I was basically done with anything and everything that had to do with getting a brand new chair, because we kept being stopped by our insurances. It was exhausting and frustrating at the same time!
I want to say a couple of days before we moved into our new house, we got some papers back of things that we wanted included on the chair, that were approved; I was shocked! The only thing that worried us was the fact our wheelchair provider had to order it before the end of the next month. The government doesn’t allow a lot of leg room! And then, we were finally told to look forward to the first week of February, because that was when they were going to deliver it to us! Again, I was stunned! My dad was even surprised on how fast this was now going after waiting almost 7 long years. One of the main reasons why everything was going so quickly was because we had been waiting so long, that we all just wanted a wheelchair that had a joystick on the left side of pedals and it all worked, that’s it. I am supposed to have a whole custom seat put on it soon, but that’ll only happen when the weather improves and my dad can work on the deck and ramp to get me out of the house, because right now I’m a little stuck!
The wheelchair itself is very different compared to the previous chairs, because I tend to look at them as the standard powerchair, motor underneath the seat, joystick at the feet. Okay, so maybe that last part isn’t really standard, but is it for me! Anyways, this chair is really bulky. It has a lot of structure and weight, because of the improvements that was put on it, that wasn’t on my last two.
When I first saw the chair, I was a bit wary of it. After we were told that we would be receiving it soon, I immediately got very nervous of the prospect of having a motorized wheelchair again. I didn’t think it would have been such a big deal at first, because I was mobile while I was in the manual chairs, why was this suddenly becoming an issue? I still haven’t found the answer to that overwhelming question, because I actually haven’t spent a lot of time in it yet to finally feel comfortable with it yet.
Here are some new things that was put on this chair!
- It has 3 controllers!
- I have two different speed features – indoors & outdoors!
- It can lean back while I am still in the sitting position.
- The joystick and foot pedals can move up and down.
- I have 6 wheels!
- While I change directions from left to right, the middle tires stay straight but upper part of chair and little wheels turn instead.
- The armrests lift up like a Lamborghini
- I have headlights but no turn signals unfortunately.
- When you look at the back of it, you’d swear I was a damn Transformer!
- Oh, and it’s red.
I think the two things that has everybody freaking out is first the fact that I can lean all the way back. I could actually sleep in my chair! Once I get my new seating, I might just be doing that if it’s really comfortable! When I sat in it, that was one of the first things that I was shown because the dude that helped us get it, Shelby, is as much of a goofball as I am! However, since I was already nervous about having a wheelchair again, this happens.
I was way too happy to be back to normal, sitting upright again, after he showed us the rest of the changes made to it. The “main” controller really is cool, because a lot has changed since my first chair where I only have the color coordinated lights of how much battery there was, and knobs for the power, horn and of course the joystick. These newer models are progressing to the point where they have a good quality screen, it’s easier to read and understand. You can apparently hook it up to your phone to move it even if none of the controllers want to work for you! Even though, I have one controller that is situated on my left armrest that is purely for what I’ve just explained a little bit ago, I can also do it on my own screen using the buttons and stick to alternate how back or forward I need to be. This feature is on all three controllers on the chair!
Now we get to discuss the color preference. This was actually really easy compared to the second chair, which I will stand here and tell you that I never picked one out. I would never chose hot pink for anything! I even tried to talk my sister out of having me wear baby pink for her wedding! I thought since I was her maid of honor, that I could get away with wearing it in silver, but nope. I lost the battle. So, this time I was determined to pick a color for this chair to hopefully avoid this disaster again.
This time around, there wasn’t a large amount of colors to pick from, but even then I still felt obligated to get purple because I love dark purple, but then I saw both the electric blue and red. I thought about having a blue chair for my love of Butler basketball and of course my papaw, but once I saw the red, I knew I would automatically go for it. I was asked twice how color I wanted my chair and both times I said red. If you’re unsure why I decided on red, well it’s for my love of another basketball team: Houston Rockets. Even though I love and watch four separate teams, I just felt like I needed to choose a team and color that I know I enjoy watching during the colder months. Since I picked out the color back in October, you should have seen my reaction to the color of my new camera I got for Christmas! It’s navy blue like Butler!
What do you think of my new wheelchair? For those of you wheelchair users, were you ever nervous before getting your chair? Do you have any special reasons for the color of it too?