chair or no chair?

i’ve been experimenting with driving my wheelchair around the house, just to see how it works. aside from not being able to reach stuff in upper cabinets or the sink, or do much damage on the stove, i seem to be able to get around the house pretty easy. luckily, i can get up out of the chair to reach things i can’t reach from the seat. i realize how much energy i expended shuffling around with my walker. but i also find that it is nearly impossible to carry anything when i’m in the chair (i have to use a waterbottle with a top that i can tuck in between my butt and the arm of the chair), and i wonder how the not-walking part is going to affect my legs, since the shuffling behind the walker was the only leg excercise i got. i’m trying to find a pool that i can get into (that has a ramp as opposed to a ladder for entry/exit), which will more than compensate for that. and wheeling over carpet is like riding a bike in sand. do larger tires make that easier?

i don’t think i’m ready to go  full time to a chair, it is nice to find out that my house is 90% accessible.


Author: stephen

stephen harris is a writer, painter and a photographer who lives with his family in maine.

3 thoughts on “chair or no chair?”

  1. Just make it a point to move and bear weight on your legs every day, the chair will make much in your life easier. I still remember trying my first wheelchair while waiting for a friend at a hospital. Yep, it was good to know I could do it and it wasn’t so bad. MS constantly changing, we must change too. When a cane will do, use one. A wheelchair, you’re ready, a walker, you got it, and so on and so on. No device need stop us from continuing to use our leg muscles, swing our arms, shift our weight—just an added tool.

  2. i also find that it is nearly impossible to carry anything when i’m in the chair

    I have a small backpack on the back of the chair, and a small bag that clips under the chair, just behind my legs (one of these).

    I have a cell phone pouch that velcros around a downtube (this one).

    Practice helps – I can fairly easily carry a number of small items like utensils to set the table. If I need to carry more or heavier things (pots from stove to sink, oven to table for example) I put a large cutting board on my lap and put items on it.

    I have a water bottle cage mounted on my rigidizer bar (a bar that goes across the back of the chair), and I can also put a water bottle in the side pocket of my back pack.

    So don’t rule out the chair because of the carrying issues – I find it much easier (with practice) to carry things while using the chair than while using crutches, or clutching at counters and walls.

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