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Thursday, 18 November 2010

A crazy day

We picked up Seth's new wheelchair today. I was so looking forward to it; we've been waiting 4 months for it and I was getting really frustrated with his old one. One of the big reasons for wanting a new wheelchair was the lack of a tray. Seth can't hold things so when we are out and about we can't encourage him to play because everything falls off his lap. Plus, it makes it more awkward with feeding. So I discussed this with the Occupational Therapy wheelchair service and today was finally the day....there's no tray. When I asked why, she went away to check her notes and came back saying that she never wrote it down as a requirement. 'But we discussed it at length', I replied. Her explanation was that her remit is postural necessities and if a tray isn't going to help with this then we'll have to get it separately, or possibly contact the physio team - I'm not sure if she meant the Physiotherapist or the Occupational Therapists with whom she shares a building but either way I wasn't too happy. I did kind of explode at this and say that it would have been useful if she had told me previously about this. We then spent an hour adjusting the chair to fit Seth and when she was adjusting the foot straps I asked why they were necessary. She explained that these, along with the other straps help his core stability so he can use his hands. 'but' I replied, 'without a tray he can't use his hands'. I got no response to this.

Apparently the rep for chair manufacturer comes in the 6th or 8th of December to the office and she'll ask him then if it's even possible to retroactively fit a tray, because as it wasn't even built into the specification it may now be too late. So she doesn't even intend phoning him and so I've got to wait 3 weeks before I even know if it's worth phoning around to see if other departments will fund the tray.

On a plus note the chair is purple and I still think it's an improvement on what we had, even if it only meets half of my criteria for a new chair.