Wanda is my new best friend!
She is my Electra 7 HD power wheelchair! I purchased her in December 2017 and over the past few months I've been getting used to working with her. She is my new best friend because she is such a great gal to pal around with. I take her everywhere I go just in case I need her but I don't use her everywhere I go. So far she's been entrusted, loyal friend. She runs on batteries that take about five hours to charge and the batteries are very lightweight. There are two of them, they long and they sit on either side of the chair and I usually only have to charge the batteries once every 2 to 3 weeks depending on how much I do. Each battery can go about 30 miles so with two batteries I could go all the way from Frisco where I live to Fort Worth where I get treatment for my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and POTS. Of course, I would not do that because even though Pink Wanda travels about 4 mph or maybe a little faster that would take me a super long time to get there but the good news is that I would be able to get her recharged while I'm getting my treatment in order to ride back home.
The day that I took Pink Wanda to the woods behind the house where I grew up it was extremely windy and chilly but I knew once I got into the wooded area that would protect me from the wind and it did when I got home that afternoon I honestly felt like I had been outside riding a go-kart.
Some pics from my ride into the woods.... oh that sounds like a book or song title.
What a cool rainbow around the fountain!
Just as with anything new, Pink Wanda comes with a learning curve. If you've never driven or used a power chair and you must know that you need to practice in a large open area before you try to go down a hallway or turn a corner because not only does it take coordination between your brain and your hand but it takes being able to judge distances and with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome those are two things that I struggle with. Pink Wanda can go very slow or she can go very quick and any speed in between. So I definitely suggest starting very slow on the slowest speed and then moving up to a more reasonable speed if you're actually going to get anywhere. I will say once that you are used to using your chair and you began to use the chair at top speed gonna feel like a snail on the lower speed but again let me suggest that you remember how fast you can go when you're trying to go into a small space such as an elevator or when you're trying to turn around in a small space. One thing that I still am not used to is that once you let go of the joystick it takes a second or two for the chair to stop. I haven't actually timed it but all I know is that if you think you're gonna stop when you let go you're not and I have run my feet into a gazillion things, one day I thought I had snapped my foot right off, there are times when I have run into the wall forward and backward or into a chair so please heed my warning stop before you need to stop and remember if you're going really fast it's going to take you longer to stop. I do like that I can choose different speeds with Pink Wanda because I can go fast enough to get a little breeze if I need one and I can go around people that walk slow or are just in my way ;) and once I go around them I takeoff speeding. Pink Wanda saves me a lot of time when I go anywhere because I can get to my destination, particularly in the hospital, in a fourth of the time that it would take me to walk there.
The only thing that I have struggled with so far with Pink Wanda is getting her in and out of my car. I drive an old model Chevy Impala and the trunk is very high off the ground. With the batteries in, I find it hard to lift her because it adds five or six pounds to her. The batteries are so simple to take out so I just slide them out and then I lift her into the trunk. Some days this can be quite a task and other days I'm shocked at how easy it is. If you had a more modern vehicle or a hatchback or SUV that does not have a traditional truck then it would be much easier for someone to get their chair in and out of their car. I am currently looking for ideas of something to use to help me better lift Pink Wanda into the car I have. I've thought of the idea of going to a tractor supply place and seeing if I can get some type of fold-able ramp which I think would be much more affordable than ordering traditional wheelchair ramp assistant whatever they're called.
Just give me a call if you would like to come and clean out my garage! :)
I love to explore! One of my very most favorite things about Pink Wanda is that I can explore places that I have not been able to do before because the walk would've been to long or to difficult. I have a friend who works at the hospital where I do IV treatment and to walk to the part of the hospital where he is is a good 3 to 5 minute walk for me and now I just point Pink Wanda in the right direction and off we go I'm able to run over and say a quick hello and get back in time for my appointment in the amount of time that it would have taken me before just to get to my appointment. I'm the kind of person that wants to take the road that looks interesting or the road that I've never been down before or if I see something off in the distance that looks interesting to me I want to go see it. I even enjoy doing this in buildings, particularly hospitals. I can't help it... I never drive home the same way every week because to me it just gets boring. This has developed my skill of knowing every single possible way to get from my house to Fort Worth, where I have most of my medical appointments, which comes in very handy traffic is bad.
Overall my life is much much better with Pink Wanda! I feel a freedom that I haven't had in a long time and I am excited about all the possibilities there are for me now that I can get around.