Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wheels, Wings and My Thanks

First off, I wanted to say thanks to everyone who has visited this blog – whether just to take a ‘look see’ or to make a donation. Thanks for caring about me and Beth. Already I feel less alone and the burden lighter.

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Good news arrived in the mail – Beth’s new power wheelchair has been pre-approved by Pacific Blue Cross. What’s even better news is that Blue Cross says the full amount is eligible ($17,000+). We also have Triumph willing to kick in up to $4,000 for the tilt portion of the chair so we’re more than covered. Whew! Our physiotherapist at Queen Alexandra said she’d put in the claim and I didn’t think she’d have much success because Blue Cross generally only pays for a wheelchair once every 5 years. We bought the manual less than 2 years ago. But Janet, the PT, is very good at what she does. She said because of Beth’s deteriorating condition that Blue Cross would approve it. And she was right! So now we have to have another meeting to reconfirm the wheelchair components and then get it ordered.

And then I have a few weeks to make some space in the study so Beth can maneuver around better with the chair when it arrives. There’s always more to do, sigh… but it’s worth it. When Beth has an aura before her seizure she can tilt the chair back and between the tilt and the wide seat belt she will be safe and secure in the chair during seizures. The chair will also have interchangeable head rests – a small one for going outdoors and a larger one for indoors which cradles her head on the side. The larger one, because of its width, isn’t suitable outdoors as it blocks too much in her field of vision. At some point, I’ll also look into getting a portable ramp so that the chair can go into the van. There’s no chance I’ll be able to lift it! That’s one of the great things about the manual chair is its light weight makes it easy to put in the van without disassembling it.

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In Beth’s blog yesterday, she showed pictures of the shirts Laura made for Beth’s pit crew (me and Cheryl) to wear to the races. Several have asked how to purchase the item and Laura has responded. She’s set up a website,
Of Wheels and Wings, where you can email her if you are interested in purchasing a shirt. She needs a minimum order of 20 shirts in order to make it cost effective. These shirts garnered some attention at the race – I know Cheryl had a few people ask about hers. And, being yellow, it was easy for me to spot Cheryl a kilometre away. Laura tells me it’s possible to change the colour to something less bright, but I think you’ll need to give her your suggestions for the colour. Thanks Laura for your creative gift.

6 comments:

yanub said...

What good news about the wheelchair! It does make a big difference for a person with seizures to be able to recline safely. And it must take a great deal of weight off your mind, too.

Dawn Allenbach said...

YAAAAAAY for the chair being completely paid for. Less stress for you. That's exciting!

rachelcreative said...

Great news about the chair! How wonderful to have good news for a change :o)

Laura said...

With the news about the new chair I am sure a huge load has been taken off your shoulders. Now if only the same would happen for the portable oxygen concentrator. Is there any way to shift some of the extra wheelchair funds to that?

Do you have any idea when you will be going to Seattle?

Hang in there.

Love and hugs,
Laura

Neil said...

What, something went right for a change? However will you deal with success?

Seriously, good news is so overdue for you; this is great to hear.

Maybe you could convince Blue Cross that the chair comes with an oxygen concentrator built in? Probably not, darn it.

Hugs,
Neil

Linda McClung said...

Hi everyone,

Yes, I'm really excited and relieved that the wheelchair is paid for. Now we've got to have another meeting with the PT and supplier about fine-tuning the order. Unfortunately I don't think we can slip a portable oxygen concentrator into the order. Bummer.