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  • When it Rains it Pours

    Posted by deann-r on September 11, 2020 at 11:00 am

    As you may be aware I’m working on getting a new wheelchair. Not only that, but I’m checking out the JACO Robotic Arm and have my name on the waiting list for a service dog. The Negative Nelly in me didn’t think any of it would happen. Especially not in a timely manner. It didn’t stop me from pursuing them though. A part of me is still skeptical, but not only do I have a demo set up to try the arm, I’ll be demoing my prospective wheelchair at the same time. To top it all off I just got a call that CCI has a service dog for me! Despite things coming together it’s been super stressful.

    Because my current wheelchair is on the older side it won’t support operating the JACO. Therefore to demo it I need to borrow a newer chair. Fortunately the wheelchair rep has the model I’m looking at. He knows my specs, so is going to try to get it somewhat fitted so I can use it. Somehow the stars aligned and my occupational therapist, the JACO rep, and wheelchair rep are all coming out for the trial. Fingers crossed everything goes according to plan. I’ll keep you posted. Because they’re coming to my house I’ve had to do a marathon cleaning/de-cluttering. Having a young kitten doesn’t make that easy.

    On the way back from my Spinraza injection CCI called. Come to find out indeed they have a service dog in mind for me. Here’s the kicker, the weeklong class that’s almost 900 miles away is in a week! Since my caregiver and driver can’t do the short notice I had to come up with an alternate plan. As a determined individual I’m now on plan D and it seems to be falling into place. Fingers crossed.

    Of course in the back of my mind is the current health crisis. Although it terrifies me, I’m not going to let it stop me from reaching my goals. I’m going to take all the precautions I can and hope for the best.

    Not only is the coordination to make it all happen stressful, adjusting to new things isn’t easy either. Even though I’m looking forward to the end results, I know there will be an adjustment period. At least hibernation mode is conducive to allowing time for that.

    Oh, and I have a PCA interview this week. Do new things stress you out? How do you manage coordinating multiple activities? Did I bite off more than I can chew? Mind you even though my swallowing sucks chewing hasn’t been an issue.

    deann-r replied 3 years, 5 months ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • kelly-miller

    September 11, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    How exciting, DeAnn, that you are getting almost a whole new life very soon! I remember when I was in college, my Psych 101 class taught us how any kind of change, even something good like marriage or a promotion, can bring stress into our lives. I’d be more worried about you if you weren’t feeling some stress.

    I did a demo with the JACO a few yrs ago. It’s good that you’re upgrading your chair b/c the arm does pull a lot of your battery and needs more advanced electronics system. While the arm was not something I could use, I think you would be an excellent candidate and can totally make it work for you. My circumstances were somewhat different from yours; I drive my chair with a sip and puff and have no use of my arms or hands or fingers. They could’ve hooked up the JACO thru the sip and puff, but then I would’ve had to stop my chair whenever I wanted to use the arm. Even the rep hadn’t thought about how you would need to be able to adjust your chair position while using the device to, for instance, get a glass of drink. You have the ability to use your arms etc a bit, so it should be perfect for you.

    I just went to my new neurologist and we discussed my getting a new chair. It’s been the req’d 5 yrs, and I hate my present chair, but I dread the whole procedure of ordering, dealing with insurance, and then having to adjust to a new seating situation. I’m in awe of you that you could take on all of those things at the same time. It’s definitely something to be proud of yourself for doing. I know when I have a lot going on, I tend to forget to eat. I have to map out time for food to keep my body in the best condition to handle the extra stress.

    I’m sorry my msg is so long. It’s just that you wrote several interesting things. Can I ask you a question? Ok, maybe a few! What does CCI stand for, and where is it located? Do you think you got thru the waitlist so quickly b/c you had a service dog before? I had looked into it a awhile ago (I don’t remember the name of the company), and the waitlist was a couple of yrs. I assume you are allowed to have other pets? We have a non-service dog right now.

  • deann-r

    September 11, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    Thanks for your kind words Kelly. When I tried the Dynamic Arm Support it didn’t work for me, so this would be the next step. I’m pretty positive about it. Sorry it didn’t work for you. Maybe technology will advance to make it more practical.

    CCI stands for Canine Companions for Independence. They have regions across the US. My region happens to have their facility in Ohio. Typically the wait is at least 2.5 years. Originally I waited 5 years for my first service dog. Since I’ve had a service dog I get priority because they know how reliant we become. It’s a lot of work, but well worth it in my opinion. I’ll try to post updates as I go through the process. You are allowed to have other pets as long as they don’t interfere.

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