Thursday, October 9, 2008

Now that's a wheelchair!

We had a good day at Senior Fitness this morning. I’m still having a difficult time on two of my activities. One of them requires me to use a weight machine to do side leg lifts and front lifts using my knee. One of my legs has a steel plate in it which is attached at the hip. It does have a little, sort of hinge in it to allow some movement, but it also restricts the movement.

The other one is a semi ball on which I have to stand. I don’t have great balance to begin with, so once my feet get to bouncing, the ball tries to throw me off. I also am learning to make other movements, like swinging my arms and the killer, moving my head. Thankfully, there’s a grab bar next to me so when the inevitable happens, I have something to grab.

Here’s a notice to all pollsters, telephone solicitors, e-mail spammers, and anyone else who works to aggravate me during this election period. Gator Wife and I took advantage of the laws that allow advanced voting and cast our ballots yesterday. It certainly is an easy process with no lines or tables full of people seeking a signature on one petition or another. And our Town Hall was set up to help anyone who goes early to vote accomplish their goal. Call me and expect the worst.

Yes, I cast my ballot as I’ve urged you to do. I voted “yes” on Question 1, and “no” on Questions 2 and 3. We also had a Town ballot concerning a zoning change to allow Scarborough Downs to have slot machines. That, too, got a “no” from me. These are the positions I discussed a few days ago right here. Please don’t ask me how GW voted as I didn’t ask her.

I also paid my Town property tax yesterday. That’s about all I’ll say about that.

While at Town Hall I saw the very best wheelchair I’ve ever seen. I look at these power chairs because my doc has told me there’s an excellent chance I’ll be a candidate for one in the near future. I talked with the chair’s owner and explained what my doc had said about me. He was super. I think he was pleased he could show off his dream machine. I honestly feel sorry for anyone who has to use one and told him so. He didn’t need anyone to feel sorry for him as he had complete control of his world. I admire him.

That chair he had, though, was something else. It did the traditional moving from one place to another with extreme ease. But when it got to a curbing, up to five inches, a push of a button and the chair climbed over the curb. Need to go up a flight of stairs? No problem for this thing. It would climb the stairs. How about having a conversation with someone standing beside you? A push of the button and the thing rose up on its hind wheels and raises its rider to eyeball level and then balances there while you talk. Do your friends want to walk along while talking? No problem. This machine will go right along in balance mode so you remain at the friends’ level.

One final thing it will do is ride along easily on unlevel ground or a lawn or any place most wheelchairs wouldn’t dream of carrying anyone. And that includes sand like a sandy beach. All the rider has to do is shift into four-wheel drive. Let me tell you, this was one dream machine for anyone like me who has been told he probably will be a candidate for a wheel chair.

There is one small, tiny, insignificant downside, though. It is not Medicare eligible. That generally means that if Medicare won’t honor it, then neither will Medigap (companion) plans. Medicare only allows some assistance only on chairs that simply move someone from one level place to another within a home. The company says it will work with anyone on attempting to get something from insurance companies but will make no promises. The company expects its money, insurance or not and it tells you that right up front. And, the kicker, I could buy a new Honda Accord for less money.

Time to get back to discussing issues, I think. I’ll think about it today and we’ll see what comes tomorrow.


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