There’s many different medical conditions that people can have. They may rely on wheelchairs for independence, function, safety, and quality of life. Personally, I am a power wheelchair user for three different reasons. Here are some ways my Stretto with iLevel® technology helps me in my daily life.
My Stretto Helps Me Conserve Energy
The first is Quadriparesis (weakness of all four limbs) caused by complications of spinal surgeries along with tissue and joint fragility from Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Even though I have movement in all my limbs, I struggle with walking and using a rollator on inclines and uneven ground. Assisted walking requires energy that I don’t always have. My Stretto Power Chair helps me save my energy for physical therapy and limits my pain levels. It allows me to go from a sitting to standing position, as I cannot do this myself because of my body weakness. Using my power chair prevents dislocations and I feel useful at the grocery store when I can help “carry the heavy stuff” using bags that hang on my power wheelchair.
My Power Chair Helps with Vertigo
Another reason why I use a power wheelchair is because I have vertigo from Chiari malformation (a neurological condition caused by EDS). There are many different types of vertigo. People usually experience the dizzy kind after an ear infection because of fluid in the ears. What I have is “true vertigo,” because it’s from the brainstem/cerebellum where I’ve had surgeries. When you have Chiari, your whole sense of balance and equilibrium gets disrupted. This makes it pretty easy to fall. My power chair keeps me safe because I can drive over bumps without setting off my vertigo. Because of the suspension and shock absorption on my Stretto, I can drive my chair normally over bumps and experience no issues.
My Stretto Helps Me Recline Independently
The final reason I use a wheelchair is because I have POTS/Dysautonomia. Because of EDS, my blood pressure drops suddenly, sometimes causing me to become light headed or faint. The recline feature on my Stretto Power Chair has given me the ability to handle that independently. Before, I needed assistance with laying down, which was very problematic out in public. The articulating foot platform helps me with blood pooling that is also a part of having POTS.
Mobility is a spectrum. Everyone with the conditions I’ve mentioned has unique needs. What may work for one person may not work for another, which is why we have mobility devices customized to meet our individual needs. For me, my Stretto Power Chair with iLevel technology has been a life saver. It gives me solutions for these symptoms that challenge my life, but don’t stop me from living it.
Anomie Fatale: Anomie is a musician who performs at shows and open mic nights in Philadelphia. She is the current titleholder for Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania USA 2022 and is passionate about helping others. Click here to learn more about Anomie.
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