Friday, August 10, 2012

Wheelchair repairs

School starts on August 20 and unless there is a miracle, Maggie will start school just as she ended it, with a broken wheelchair. This is the ripped and duct taped footbox and bolt and her duct taped headrest (leopard print tape)

Two months ago Maggie's foot got stuck behind the footbox on her wheelchair and we had to call 911 for help to get her freed. In order to extricate her, the firemen had to break the footbox.  (Maggie World: 911. What's your emergency?) Steve did a bailing wire and duct tape repair which are not beautiful, but effective.
The jerry-rigged footbox joined the duct tape over the cracked tray, and the ripped headrest. Things are barely holding together. In fact, the headrest is so broken Maggie looks like a bobblehead most of the time. You can see it cocked to one side in the picture.

 Her chair is the equivalent of the car up on blocks in your next door neighbors driveway. Unsightly and in need of repair.

Wheelchair repairs are not easily done. Maggie's chair is very specialized. It has a million moving parts and is designed specially for her. It is not simply a matter of getting new parts and slapping them on. Things have to be carefully considered and measured. Once that's done, the process of getting things approved takes weeks. It's crazy. There are several steps and each one is prone to delay.

 First it goes through our insurance that turns it down and then it goes through California Childrens' Services.(CCS). The parts cannot be ordered until they are approved by CCS. CCS cannot do anything until the insurance turns it down. The insurance cannot turn it down until it is fully submitted. It cannot be fully submitted until we meet with the vendor and determine the precise parts needed. The vendor cannot be easily scheduled because there is such high demand and so few vendors who will work with CCS or Medi-cal.

We met with the vendor in early June. The insurance (eventually) turned it down, CCS approved it, the parts were ordered but they are STILL waiting for the last parts to be shipped. I called to see where we were and learned the last part will be in next week.  YAY! Just in time for school. BUT our guy is on vacation.


BUT! The other guy in the office has it on his list. YAY! According to the woman I spoke with, however, it is his plan to come here, pick up Maggie's chair and bring it up to Santa Rose to do the repairs and then bring the chair back.


I told her that will not work because Maggie does not have anything else to use and she cannot lay in bed for 24 hours. We do have a loaner power chair that Maggie uses occasionally, but it is way too small for her and she can't sit in it for more than an hour or so.  Besides, I am really really concerned about letting that chair out of my sight. If another delay happens and they have the chair, we are both screwed. Moreover if its not done next week and they insist on taking the chair, she will miss school.

If they do insist on taking the chair, I'm going with it. I will just bring my crossword puzzle and my Kindle Fire and amuse myself in their workshop. That will prevent any delays. People tend to want to get me OUT of places.

Should that concern me?  

1 comment:

Hi Maggie loves your comments. It may take a while for the comment to post, but you will see it eventually.