“Money cannot buy health, but I’d settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair.” ~ Dorothy Parker
Yep, more wheelchair woes. I am so tired of them, I have not even bothered you with it. All I am going to do is take a deep breath, and in one long breath, tell you the whole story … and then let it go …
The only background you need is what a “lateral” is … it is the thingy that forms the “side” of the wheelchair along the user’s torso, the “wings” so to speak that help with sitting straight. You see one in this image under the lovely model’s arm. Some people need the lats (that’s what we cool people in the know call them) at different heights. They generally can swing out to help with getting in and out of the chair.
So, in one breath, to keep the story short …
When the chair was delivered seven or so months ago the laterals were determined to be wrong and they were ordering new ones and I checked every month or so and was told they were on order and stuff and then at some point I was told that I needed a letter of medical necessity for the laterals since it had been so long they were no longer a new replacement part which made no freaking sense and I was told the letter had to come from a physical therapist and the insurance company would not accept it from anyone else, and no, I could not just pay cash, that was illegal, but if you remember, school cancelled Pearlsky’s PT so we did not have a PT and I called the insurance company and contrary to the durable medical company, they prefer a letter from a doctor so I got the letter and they then really ordered the correct lats and then some technician installed them last week on Pearlsky’s birthday and she came home with the laterals both the same height (wrong!) and so high that she was literally hanging on them, yes, her weight was on her armpits on the laterals, so I called and they got the hint that I was not happy so they sent some newbie employee, who was actually very good, and she agreed that the lats were placed wrong, the wrong parts, and stuff, and measured that they were actually 2 1/2 inches away from Pearlsky’s body and that I should stuff a towel in there until they got the right parts but this weekend the towel kept falling out and Pearlsky would get her arm between the lateral and her body and cry so I nicely let them know in an email Sunday evening that this was unacceptable and an email came back telling me to put the old ones back on but they only gave me three of the four screws, besides, that’s a hell of a solution, but I put one on and the lady came by Monday morning, with screws, but the wrong size, but she jury rigged it so now Pearlsky has the old lats and who knows what will happen, but I hate this shit, because no one really cares that to these kids the chair is their world, their only real possession, it is Pearlsky’s school chair, dining room chair, couch, living room chair, bicycle, skate board, car, napping place, and so much more, no one really seems to get that, so who cares if the lats are wrong, or the technician places them wrong and ignores the fact that they don’t work right, don’t fit her, are not where they should be and more, because, hell, she’s just a retarded cripple, no?
Oh, for fuck’s sake. Sorry, Pearlsky. Sorry, SD. You deserve so much better.
Is there any precedent for getting permission to go outside the main company? Cos I met these guys at a disability tech expo a few years ago and I think it might work great for Pearlsky: http://www.chunc.com/products/chunc45.html
OK Now take a deep breath and get back in the ring for another round. By the way, have you ever thought of compiling these postings into a book? Sort of a guide to how to deal with assholes.
You have to wonder just how much of an idiot a technician would be to put laterals on too high. Poor baby, to have to have sat in that! Feel for you, man. It’s amazing somebody doesn’t go postal on these people.
Somewhere up the food chain in this company there must be someone who gives a shit. Has to be. Bottom line is that in the end all the adjustments and fixes and re-dos and do-overs are costing somebody money. And I don’t care who you are or what you do or if you have a hear that is covered with crusted over turds THAT is something that someone cares about even though they might not care about the kids so you find that person and you make them understand that you will continue to cost them money time after time after time until they get it right, and you don’t care how much money in the end it ends up costing their company.
Easier said than done, but if you can find THAT guy I guarantee you will get heard.
Oh, and you need a new poll.
As if you don’t have enough on your plate.
Can you file a human rights violation against the wheelchair company?
Hi! to you all!
Out of 6 wheelchairs… we kept have little access…& my husband could not still be up (breathing obstructions)…. so finally I found (took forever) a fully reclining wheelchair which had to still be customized. When i tried to find power… they said because he was brain injured.. NO (claiming he could be a danger to himself or others.) But, denying me one with control in back… for me… because I am not disabled (or bad back, etc.)… so therefore I could continue to push him around! Finally, bought one anyway.. & still tinker & invent all the time with better access, etc.
God Bless You!
Some of the kids/families I have worked with had such a problem with the approval process that the kids were practically hanging out of their old chairs by the time the new chair came in ! First the kid was the initial measurement, then off the insurance company/medicade for approval. The insurance co. would want to know why the kid needed a chair with so many modifications. Did they not read all the info that was sent along with the measurements! By the time the kid got the chair, the chair was just about too small and there was little growth left to it. I’m sure this isn’t new to any of you. But, as a person working in the field, I am frustrated, too.