Sunday, April 29, 2018

I'm On Wheels With Pink Wanda!



Wanda is my new best friend!

Who is pink Wanda and how did she get her name?

Pink Wanda was given her name by one of the nurses in the infusion room where I get saline IV's. The nurse decided that PWH would be great initials and that Pink Wanda sounded fun so he officially gave her the name. 

Thanks Rahil!

Everywhere I go with Pink Wanda she turns heads and starts discussions about how cool she is and how the head turned folks have never seen a pink wheelchair and how much they need one but usually say they want one in their favorite color. I send them to Quick and Mobile and tell them what a great company they are and how much they helped me in answering my questions and helping me with my ordering of Pink Wanda. 




I loom knitted the pouch for Pink Wanda and I carry my phone and car keys, straws, a pen and note pad and a spoon cause you just never know when you might need to eat some ice cream. 😋😊



Please go check out the website and see all the cool chairs they have for you!

https://quicknmobile.com/


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.

I do get concerned about myself that I'm going to end up being the old lady that jumps in her wheelchair and runs the 7-Eleven but honestly I could do that because there's a 7-Eleven just down the street from where I live and I love using Pink Wanda. I'm not making fun of anyone, I see a lot of these people in different areas in Fort Worth and I think two things one how fun is it that you can get out and take care of yourself and two, I really feel bad that they can't get around any other way. Even though I'm not sure that's the case that's what I think anyway. I'm pretty sure I'm going to take Pink Wanda, instead of my car, to my next dental appointment.  If you see a pink wheelchair flying by, it's me so honk and wave!

Speaking of how fun it is to be able to get out and get around here's my first outing story.   Three weeks after having my chair I wanted to go to a park that has been built behind the house were I grew up. There is a really nice walking trail in the woods behind my old house. I have only been there one or two times since my parents moved from there in the early 90's but as a child I played in those woods all the time and I would cross those woods to go to a friends house in the neighborhood across town but thanks to the woods I could get there relatively quick. I always felt like Laura Ingalls Wilder walking to school when I walked in those woods. I'm probably the only kid in my hometown that spent so much time in those woods. I almost drowned in those woods when I was three in the creek there and I had favorite places in the woods that I would go and sit and sing or pray or just to be outside. I was so excited at the thought of being able to go through those woods now that I have Pink Wanda and since the city so conveniently built me a sidewalk, which I'm sure that they did it just for me, why not go and visit one of my favorite places on Earth! Anyway I spent about an hour maybe an hour and a half in the woods taking pictures and being amazed at how many things had changed in all of those well let me just say bunches of years since I was a kid (In my head it's only been a few years though). I was looking for one particular tree which was my favorite tree and I saw two or three that I thought maybe were it because when I sat by that tree I knew that I could look through the trees of the fence line and see my house and that was the case with several of the trees that I found but then all of a sudden I looked and I just started crying because I knew that I had found my tree. Now to some people this might seem really silly or weird or maybe even unnecessary, but I have not been able to go outside and do the things that I want to do in such a long time because of my inability to walk long distances and even if I could walk a long distance without too much pain then I definitely paid for that later either that day or the next day or sometimes throughout the next week afterwards because it would just wear me out to walk a long distance. So Pink Wanda has given me the gift to be able to go out and enjoy things that I truly find worth living my life for. 

What do I mean by worth living my life for? I mean that I see the handiwork of God in nature, I see art all around me, I see a gazillion things to take photographs of and share with the world. I find peacefulness, I find joy, and I'm really able to connect with God without all of the distractions that we have at home and around people. Another thing that I like to do when I was a child was ride go carts and I had a minibike and I love to ride the minibike and of course my Amy powered bike. 










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.


Liberty the Dog exploring with me!


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 ran my feet into a gazillion things, one day I thought I had snapped my foot right off, there are times when I have ran into the wall forward and backwards 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 the 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.

Over all 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.

If you are needing mobility in your life, please consider looking into Quick and Mobile to need your needs!

Please go check out the website and see all the cool chairs they have for you!

https://quicknmobile.com/


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