Saturday, August 13, 2011

Extra-Chair-icular Activities

John and his power chair have been inseparable since they met until lately. Now it seems that he is finding his old friend to be somewhat limiting and we see him looking for more and more reasons to get out of it.

He figured out how to get down into the footplates by himself and at least several times a day is found sitting there sorting through or just plain getting into something. He also figured out how to put the chair in the right place so that he could get out on the footplates and then use a doorframe or edge of the table to stand up. He has for quite some time enjoyed 'dancing' in his chair, going in circles, bopping his head and feet to the music, but of late he asks for help to get out and either wants to dance with someone, like his cousin or one of us, or will even hold onto the chair and dance beside it.

We have loved seeing this and in conversations with various of his doctors have discussed putting him in a manual chair so that he has more direct control over his own movements. He has been fitted for one and this discussion will ensue in earnest later this month, but we got to trial out the chair in July and it left us wondering some things. Even in it he wants out to walk, or stand or whatever and we both really wish that we could find him a smaller version of a walker with a seat in it. He has been fitted for a walker that would fit behind him, and we just wonder what of this new equipment will give him the most freedom. He has new braces, shoe inserts actually, that he is getting adjusted too now that he has shoes that they will fit into. The last time he had braces the difference between how well he could walk with them on and without them was quite remarkable. Already without the braces we have seen him stand independently for seconds at a time and even take a few independent steps, so we wonder if the braces may eventually negate the need for other equipment. Mostly though we just stand and watch in amazement!

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