Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Finally ... but!

Yesterday I drove to Panama City to pick up my wheelchair from a VA contractor. I could have waited until FRIDAY if I wanted them to deliver it ... I was impatient.

Team Adaptive is less than stellar. The people are friendly, but their final performance was less than stellar - The tires were inflated to 25 psi ... 65 psi specified pressure; The brakes were incorrectly installed; the battery was NOT charged; there were tie wraps still hanging from several places; NOT what you would expect from "the experts".

They offered to sell me a carrier - only $500 for a tilt rack or $1500 for an electric hoist version. Yeah, right.

The VA will be hearing about Team Adaptive ... .

The good news ... I finally have my wheelchair and my right arm can start to heal. Once it's healed, I can begin training on my racing chair again!

The chair ... it's purple! You can see how the brakes were not installed correctly - they are NOT supposed to angle like that.

Xtender Power Assist Wheels. I can take two fingers and push on a firm level surface!

The Right wheel also has the battery pack ...

The left wheel ... yes, I'm powered by Yamaha!

The cushion the VA provided is fabulous! it has Two foam components, a gel pad, and 3 pelvis stabilizers ... and is a pressure distributing cushion! Note the angle on the brake - can you tell that Team Adaptive REALLY pissed me off?

First impressions:

Power assisted wheels are FANTASTIC! They take a LOT of stress off of your arms and shoulders. They also assist on inclines. If you have an injured arm or a disability with decreased arm and hand strength, you REALLY need to talk to your doctors and see if you can get your insurance to cover a set of these wheels!

The battery pack - the VA was Penny Wise and Pound foolish. There were THREE possible battery packs - they choose the smallest capacity. For someone that mostly stays indoors, it would be fine. For someone like me that is trying to stay active, it it less than ideal. It is also a Ni-MH battery - which typically has a 1 - 2 year life expectancy. The battery packs aren't cheap and it will cost a lot to keep me in supply with a good battery. Even though it has a higher initial cost, the Lithium Ion battery pack has TWICE the capacity (10 hours of use vs 5) and a slightly longer life expectancy - which would make it a cheaper choice in the long run.

The cushion is far better than I expected to get. I have NO pressure points sitting on it - something EVERYONE sitting for a long time needs to worry about! Good call, VA!

The chair is an ultralight Quickie 2, BUT the Xtender Wheels add a good deal of weight. It is NOT something I want to lift in and out of a car without using the quick disconnects to remove the wheels and lift each component individually.

I have a cousin that is a welder, and he is going to build me a small rack that will allow me to roll the chair onto the carrier. It will mount in the receiver hitch I currently use for my racing chair carrier. I'll blog about the rack when it's ready.