Monday, January 27, 2014

Sprucing up C.'s set of wheels

C. in her school-provided wheelchair
Today we took C. in her wheelchair to the Seating Clinic at our city's rehabilitative hospital. There, an  occupational therapist who specializes in seating for people with disabilities devoted a full hour to C.

I was dumbfounded. Three years ago when selecting the chair and its adjustments, C.'s school physiotherapists spent a whopping fifteen minutes on her - if that.

We learned that their haste and incompetence resulted in an ill-suited chair and insert. Moreover, C. may even have developed her twisted torso from the faulty seating.

"What were they thinking? It's both crooked and unbalanced," today's occupational therapist shared with us. She's a sweet person and apparently wanted to temper the criticism. But here's the only praise she could muster:  "Well, it's clear they made an effort."

Scant comfort for us.

Besides the inappropriate adjustments, we learned that the school therapists chose a chair with added-cost amenities - which we never noticed and certainly never requested - for easy self-wheeling.

Self-wheeling?! By C.?!

C. in her own wheelchair
Acquiring the new adjustments, like most everything here, will involve mega-doses of bureaucracy and time. The therapist estimated that it will be 6 months before we have the equipment.

C. looked so relaxed  and comfortable today when she tried out samples of the new adjustments that I wish we could buy the stuff tomorrow. But without Health Ministry assistance, the expense would be prohibitive. So we'll suffer the usual paperwork, phone calls, bungling and long wait.

The photo above shows C. in the chair that the school provides her with. Catastrophic is the adjective that the teacher used. As you can see, she was understating it.

We don't bring C. to school in her own wheelchair because of the 24 steps outside our house. Instead we use her Major Buggy which is a lot lighter.

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