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Thursday, February 4, 2010

ALS TDI (ALS Therapy Development Institute) :: Podcasts, Wheelchair Woes [yes, again].

ALS TDI (ALS Therapy Development Institute) :: Podcast

I love ALS TDI !!I think if anyone is going to find a cure or better treatments, it will be the scientists at ALS TDI. They work together with the ALS Association [ALSA], the Muscular Dystrophy Association [MDA], the Packard Center at Johns Hopkins, the Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Clinic and Motor Neuron Center at Columbia, and Massachusetts General, just to name a few.

You can now click on the link above to subscribe to ALS TDI's podcasts and be updated weekly on the wonderful work they do!!

Last Sunday, I tilted back in my wheelchair, as I always do a few times a day to take the pressure off my back, butt, and tailbone. But this time, I couldn't get the wheelchair to go down again. After about a half-hour of fiddling around -- turning the wheelchair on and off, pressing every button I could find -- it was time to call someone for advice. We knew that there was no way I and the aide [Ellita] could get me out of the wheelchair in that position, so I began to picture the drama of a firehouse call, and a bunch of nosy neighbors watching and giving their two-cents in English, Russian, and Chinese. I don't like drama and I prefer other kinds of attention, so I dreaded that scene. I had a business card from the wheelchair rep at the ALS clinic, so we called the poor guy on his cellphone. He was pretty nice, despite having his Sunday interrupted. He walked Ellita through some controls in the back with no success. Finally, Ellita found a wire that seemed to have a short, fiddled with it, and I got down. So now I can only tilt back just a little, which makes it hard for me to nap in the wheelchair.  Even more importantly, I use the tilt function to let gravity help me slide down and back so I can get my body properly seated. Not being able to do that easily and completely, is an inconvenience for sure. Antoinette from ALSA is coming to the rescue with a suitable loaner [go back to December to read about the loaner hell when the wheelchair company brought me what can only be described as a Barcalounger on wheels fitted for a 350-pound man]. I am waiting for the loaner to be delivered before I let the wheelchair go for repair. They are going to give me a new set of tires too while they have the chair. We are never bored at my house!!
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