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Do they make ultralight wheelchairs? I'm out of commission for 6 months
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Curtis B.
(rutilate) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Do they make ultralight wheelchairs? I'm out of commission for 6 months on 07/28/2011 07:17:26 MDT Print View

UPDATE:
Went to a specialist at Children's Hospital in Boston who said that the tear is a non-issue because it is longitudinal. The real issue was severe tightness of the tendons and muscles in the foot, ankle, and calves, coupled with severe pronation. Thus, the ankle had very limited range of motion and the major bone forming the arch of the foot was lifted nearly a centimeter, causing sharp pain as the ligaments stretched over the sharp edge. He recommended heel lifts & stretches of the tendons and calf muscles, which cleared the problem, and he cleared me for the Yellowstone hike, which I just completed with minor discomfort! Woohoo!

Thanks to all who have wished me well!
------------
I just had an MRI done and found that I've a longitudinal tear of the Peroneal Brevis tendon in my right ankle. All indications point to surgery and 6-8 weeks in a non-weight-bearing cast and 6 months recovery.

Ugh. There goes today's 36 miler in the White Mountains and next month's 75 mile trip with the family through Yellowstone, not to mention not even being able to exercise for 6 months.

Anyone ever been through this?

Do they make lightweight wheelchairs? Where can they be rented/purchased? I've got a lot of business travel coming up that is going to be a tad uncomfortable...

On the plus side, my teen kids are ecstatic about being able to decorate my cast in all kinds of horrific colors. They're threatening to physically restrain me while they bedazzle it. Problem is that even one of the three is big enough to do it alone. I don't stand a chance! :-)

Edited by rutilate on 09/04/2011 19:00:30 MDT.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
crutches an option? on 07/28/2011 07:28:38 MDT Print View

I was in a cast (non-weightbearing) for 7 weeks with a broken leg and got by with crutches. They're more of a workout than they look, if you're trying to find ways to stay active. My sympathies on the ankle. |=\

Edited by spelt on 07/28/2011 07:29:59 MDT.

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
wheel chair marathon on 07/28/2011 07:33:15 MDT Print View

Sorry to hear that news. Perhaps this is a good time to begin training for a wheel chair marathon. Watching people do races in wheel chairs looks like an amazing activity.

Good luck with you recovery!

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Do they make ultralight wheelchairs? I'm out of commission for 6 months on 07/28/2011 07:56:17 MDT Print View

Your doctor won't let you use a knee scooter?

Knee scooter

This should do the trick :) Get well soon!

4WD wheelchair

Edited by dwambaugh on 07/28/2011 07:59:46 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Do they make ultralight wheelchairs? I'm out of commission for 6 months on 07/28/2011 08:57:33 MDT Print View

Now is the time to do a lot of upper body exercise ;-) It'll help the time go by a bit faster!

Curtis B.
(rutilate) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Options... on 07/28/2011 09:05:07 MDT Print View

Thanks to all for the well-wishes. I love the 4-wheeler!

I find it fascinating that the lightweight mentality is so consuming. I can't stand my 11 pound suitcase when the limit is 50 pounds. Or a 30 lb wheelchair! My first thought is "Surely there is a lighter option!"

Of course, the titanium wheelchairs are 16 lbs and cost $2300 vs $500. Only $200/lb saved! Ah well. Crutches and a scooter. I like it. I'll put a big bulb horn on it so I can startle everyone as I come by. This could be fun.

Sarah, you're right--I could use some upper body exercise as I've only been focusing on my legs for a long time.

Edited by rutilate on 07/28/2011 09:05:52 MDT.

Karen Lewis
(karenlewis65) - F
ultralight wheelchairs on 09/02/2011 04:25:00 MDT Print View

Check a medical supplies store like MeridianHealthStore.com. You might be able to find a lightweight chair for a reasonable price.

David Chilton
(Morning_Dew) - F
Why a wheelchair? on 09/02/2011 20:55:43 MDT Print View

Ugh! Sorry to hear this.

Last February I broke both my legs. The right in four places and the left in one. I think the most important thing to prepare for is the pyschological drain. During my 21 day hospital stay I had physical therapy 5 times a day, six days a week and one of those hours each day was basically for mind consueling. Being as active as you are this will be quite a shock. You need to start mentally preparing yourself for the blow that is about to hit. When you wake up with that cast on your leg and start thinking about what it means for the next 6 months you'll understand.

I would avoid the wheelchair and go straight to crutches if at possible. It is amazing the number of daily tasks that being in a wheelchair effects. Showering is an olympic event and it requires special tools. Obtaining, preparing and eating food is nearly impossible without help. Cupboards are high. Getting in and out of beds, chairs and couches takes a bit of practice. Getting in and out of your home may require some modifications and/or a ramp. Getting in and out of a car requires practice. Can your vehicle fit a wheel chair? The list goes on.

Regardless, you might as well start doing upper body excercises now. You'll need them, even with crutches.

Crutches are much better but still have their challenges. No stopping for your morning coffee unless you plan to balance it on your head. I used a small backpack sometimes when I was in the crutches stage. My progression was wheelchair, walker, crutches, walking in a pool and then first steps :).

Good luck and best wishes to a speedy recovery.

Tyler H
(ctwnwood) - F

Locale: The Palouse
Feel your pain on 09/03/2011 00:35:16 MDT Print View

I'm sorry to hear about what you'll be going through.

I broke my leg (tib fib, many places) this June, spent two months on crutches and have been walking for 3 weeks. You'll get through it!

Do you need a wheelchair? You don't want to limit your mobility any more than you have to.

Also, I took it as an opportunity to work on on my MYOG skills, I encourage you to do the same.

Good luck.

Addition:

I second Dave on all accounts. Do what you can to keep from getting bored, boredom drains. Good thing is it sounds like you have a supportive family to help get you through the mental challenge.

Backpack is clutch. Build one and bring it everywhere!

Walking in a pool feels great, you can get the motion of walking back much sooner than waiting to bear weight.

Edited by ctwnwood on 09/03/2011 00:41:02 MDT.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
new england winter on 09/03/2011 07:47:40 MDT Print View

I'm pretty sure the major motivation to recovering from hip surgery was my unversal detest of crutches, seconded by way too much family/friend "attention".
Think of all the time you will have crafting nifty posts up here, as a matter of fact, I recommend lining up several other forums to keep juggling posts and threads, that's what I did here, since I've never been climbing or backpacking in my life and own no equipment.In all seriousness New England is not a place to take crutches lightly in the winter. It is considered a major setback to recover from the first surgery only to need several more to piece oneself back together after going down onsnow and ice. Good luck and keep us posted.

Curtis B.
(rutilate) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Update posted above--specialist cleared me for hiking on 09/04/2011 19:02:57 MDT Print View

UPDATE:
Went to a specialist at Children's Hospital in Boston who said that the tear is a non-issue because it is longitudinal. The real issue was severe tightness of the tendons and muscles in the foot, ankle, and calves, coupled with severe pronation. Thus, the ankle had very limited range of motion and the major bone forming the arch of the foot was lifted nearly a centimeter, causing sharp pain as the ligaments stretched over the sharp edge. He recommended heel lifts & stretches of the tendons and calf muscles, which cleared the problem, and he cleared me for the Yellowstone hike, which I just completed with minor discomfort! Woohoo!

Thanks to all who have wished me well!

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Do they make ultralight wheelchairs? I'm out of commission for 6 months on 09/04/2011 20:28:59 MDT Print View

Always cool when you run into that Doctor who knows what you need. Pain in the rear finding them, in my experience.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Update posted above--specialist cleared me for hiking on 09/04/2011 20:48:08 MDT Print View

I can't imagine what a relief that was. Get your physical therapist to put together a good overall stretching program for you. I did that while recovering from a minor back injury and it helps in so many ways. It's the old "use it or lose it" in a nutshell.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Do they make ultralight wheelchairs? I'm out of commission for 6 months on 09/04/2011 22:52:38 MDT Print View

If you need to know about wheelchairs, contact Bob "4WheelBob" Coomber. He's a Type 1 diabetic in a wheelchair who climbs mountains. He's incredible. And a huge inspiration to a lot of people. And he knows a lot about wheelchairs for getting out there. Very approachable and he'll answer your questions, I'm sure.