I’ve been having some trouble with my power chair for some time now. The charger shows that the batteries are fully charged, the indicator on the joy stick shows it’s fully charged, but I don’t get more than a block from home, walking my dog and the lights start to go out on the indicator. I was having to stay closer and closer to home and even in the house, some days when I was doing a lot of housework, I had to stop in the middle of the day and plug in for a few hours to recharge, so I could get a full day of use from the chair.
The Monday before Thanksgiving, I was walking my dog and everything seemed fine. I looked down, as we rolled down the ramp from the dike and approached a smaller ramp onto the bridge and realized half the lights were out on the controller.
I could not make it up the ramp. Each time I tried, the chair slowed down. I ended up having it shut off.
Kodi sat next to me, looking up at me, as if wondering what we would do now. I disengaged the motors (which is supposed to make the chair easier to push), put my scarf and the pooper scooper on the seat of the chair and started pushing.
Luckily for me, Kodi slowly walked along, patiently enduring the slower pace. I had to sit down on the chair several times, before making it across the bridge. I decided to try the motor again, to see if, since we were on a flat surface, maybe we could ride home, even if it were at a snail pace.
We made it to our corner where the chair died again. I had to push my chair up the ramp and into the house. I was in so much pain, I could hardly move. I had to sit right down and my asthma was so bad, I could hardly breathe.
I placed a call to the dealer who had been maintaining my chair for a couple of years she informed me that they were still not ‘in-network’ for my new insurance, something she had told me when I needed new batteries in June. I had to pay out of pocket for them, then, but she said they were applying to get into the network. She informed me they were not interested in getting ‘in-network’ with this insurance company because reimbursement was too low.
I had to search for another dealer/provider who could help me and was in-network. The insurance company gave me a list of 18 providers in a 50 mile radius and suggested I get busy calling them. I did just that. Some of the numbers were disconnected, a number of them no longer dealt with power chairs at all, some of them only serviced certain brands. I finally found someone 50+ miles away who was willing to help me.
After an appointment with my doctor (which also revealed another 13 pounds weight loss), completing paperwork for a new power chair, the new provider has opted to try to repair my current chair, to get some wheels under my butt as soon as possible. They are also going to try to get me a new power chair. The paperwork has all been done, the parts were approved, now we’re just waiting for them to arrive and for a date to be scheduled to do the repair.
Getting a new chair can take months.
I’m not sure how we’re going to pay the co-pay for the parts, but we’ll have to figure it out. The co-pay for the new chair will be awful.
We bought a manual chair years ago so hubby could get me out to shop in places where a ‘mart-cart’ is not available. It’s a horrible old chair that is hard to push, let alone hard for the occupant to move independently. I’ve been using it to get around the house, but it’s caused serious damage to my knees and ankles. My activity is seriously limited. I can’t take Kodi for walks and can’t complete all my chores without help.
I actually got really bull-headed and tried pushing it around the block, using it like a walker, sitting when I needed to , so I could walk with my hubby and Kodi. That was the biggest act of jack-assery I’ve ever committed. I am still paying for that mistake in judgment.
Hopefully the parts of my chair will arrive soon. Wanted to update. It’s been hard just getting through normally daily activities, let alone finding time to blog.