Saturday, February 20, 2010

Calling all wheelchair experts!

I thought I would do a post on the stroller that we have for Jax so A. If your looking for a stroller/wheelchair for your child, and B. Give me some advice on my dilemma with ours.
We got a Kimba Spring for Jax. We looked at all options before choosing this model. The main reason we chose this is because its not a wheelchair! I don't mean to sound rude, but he's so little, I thought he would look funny in a wheelchair. I wanted a stroller, but with the capabilities of a wheelchair. This has to last us 5 years because our insurance only covers a wheelchair every 5 years. I haven't used it around town lately mainly because although its not a wheelchair, its still bulky to take places. But it's ideal for school and our California trips, and since we are going again in a couple of weeks I've pulled it out to make sure its ready.

This is from our last trip to Cali. You can see it gives him the support he needs. And it has a wide headrest for maximum support for a child that has no head control. Also great for when he falls asleep!

The number one thing that made me pick the kimba was the fact that it had a canopy! No wheelchair has one, and it protects him from the sun!

One thing that is kind of inconvenient is the oxygen tank holder is on the side, so it makes the stroller quite a bit wider, so going through small spaces is tough!

This is where I could use advice. One reason why the stroller has been sitting for a while, is it came with a basket underneath that is so small its worthless! I don't have a picture because we've already taken it off. But it won't even hold a feeding bag, let alone the suction that now accompanies us everywhere. The wheelchair shop ordered us a vent tray, so we can utilize the space underneath. With no where to put a suction, the stroller was useless to us. But when we got home with the tray, we found that it still was to small for our suction! Urgh!

If you take the suction out of the bag it fits perfectly. The problem with this? First of all, do people really want to see all the boogies that we've sucked out? I don't think so. Also, if we have to take the suction out and carry it with us on a long ride, how do we carry the dang thing?

Does anybody know of a smaller bag that holds the suction machine? I thought of making one myself, but I don't think I can get it done before we go on vacation. I need something smaller to put the suction machine in so it fits and we can also carry it around.

If your child also has a feeding pump. We hang ours on the side of the stroller, which is what we do with our normal stroller as well. We have a friend that has a wheelchair, and it has no place for a feeding bag either, so this works well.

If your needing a wheelchair but you don't want the wheelchair look, I would recommend the Kimba. It comes in 3 different colors, and it only has a couple of small things I mentioned before that I didn't like about it. No wheelchair is perfect in every way right?


Anonymous said...

Just a thought...What about trying to put the suction machine in a larger lunch box? The cloth ones come in different sizes and some are expandable.

Junior said...

Can the suction hang on the back push bar. Junior has a stroller chair for when we are out and his suction just hangs on the back. We also recently got the newer suction machine model and it is quite a bit smaller.

mandd3 said...

This is so going to betray my science geek inner heart but I kind of like checking out all the boogies floating around in our suction machine! I also think it is neat to see what is in his stomach when I vent out the G port. But that is why I am Tomas' mommy and not some week bellied prima donna. Anyway, did the oxygen tank holder come with the stroller or did you get that seperate? I can fit Tomas' tank and feeding bag in our stroller basket but it takes up every inch and leaves me no storage space. Sorry I don'y have any suggestions. I have the same bulky suction bag as you although we rarely have to travel with ours. Oohh, what about a drawstring bag?

Lacia said...

I have no idea whatsoever what I am talking about, BUT, would the suction machine fit in a re-usable grocery bag? I know the bags I have would fit it not problem by the look of it, and it would still make it be able to fit under the stroller.

Stephanie said...

How about just putting the suction machine in a smallish drawstring laundry bag? Keep the REAL carrying case in the car, but if you get or make a simple small sack ( think pillowcase with a drawstring around the opening) - especially out of cotton - it should still allow the suction to fit in the tray. This would allow quick access to the suction and also keep the tubing from coming undone and dragging the ground. That would be the biggest thing I would worry about. Hope I am making sense.

I REALLY like that sroller. We are using a Jeep jogging stroller. Christopher has a wheelchair, but it is sooooooo heavy - it takes two of us to lift in and out o the van! :(

Steph and Christopher

Kristin said...

No suggestions here, but so excited that you sent your home study to Spence Chapin!

Trina and Jophie said...

5 years for us too girlie course they are soooo not on the ball that we've been waiting on his next chair for almost 2 years now...pathetic! Anyway, on the O2 tank. We have the exact same one and on the side it's not only a pain in the butt but, his chair won't fit in the van. Look here on the back of his last chair
The holder is not there because well it's on his current one but, do you see that space in the back? We have these straps that the wheelchair guy gave us for strapping on his battery pack to the tray. We had several left over so I just took 3...Place one across the neck/center/bottom so they were holding the tank/holder secure and flush against the back...All you do is run the straps around the back of the holder/tank and then to the front to meet up with the buckle then hook together and voila! Tank is on the back! Give me a bit and I'll go take a picture of his current chair with the tank/holder attached. Will be a little while though cause I'm up to my elbows in Jophie ;) On the tray portion on the bottom. Is your tray similar to this? Our suction machine was too tall as well so we would lie it on its side. The suction machine itself was upright but we just shoved it in with the base on the inner side of the bag rather than the bottom. Does that make sense or is it bout clear as mud? LOL....That chair was my absolute Favorite! He used it from 5 years to around 11 years. I LOVED it because it was a stroller type chair as well. When he transitioned to the current chair he has now the stroller was no longer available in that style and I was sooo sad to find out they didn't make that particular chair anymore. It was the Panda by Ottobock. They do have a chair called a panda now but it's not the same thing. The chair he has now is a zippie and the one on order is a Couger which I think we're gonna love! As far as all the other garb we had to carry like pulse ox/diaper bag/drug bag/med supplies/nebulizer we just had to hang it on the back of the chair handle. I will say if you weren't paying attention the whole darn thing would tip backwards because of the weight! LOL

Joyce said...

I always used a flexible sided (with shoulder strap) six pack cooler for the suction machine. They are probably easier to find in the summer but maybe out your way they are out this time of year.

The VW's said...

I love the stroller/wheelchair! It looks so much better than Gavin's wheelchair!

I was going to say to hang the suction bag on the push bar, if the strap on the bag is big enough to go aroung it. They also make these hooks that are called "The Mommy Hook" that is really big and it can hold bags from it when attached to the bar that you push the stroller with. They sell them at Babies R Us.

Hope you figure everything out! Happy packing! Love and Hugs!!!

Colleen said...

That looks like a great stroller. I'm with you there when it comes to getting a wheelchair. With Isaac being so small, we just use a double stroller. It's convenient and has room for all of his "stuff." It's also so much easier to fold up than a wheelchair.

Heart Mommy said...

Two thoughts... First... The suction bag will work perfect it just needs improvements... If you can sew a straight line you can sew velcro straps to the sucker and velcro it to one of the undersides of the chair.(I know you can sew, I've seen those darling blankies) Just make velcro loops that go around each wheel post. Make sure you have enough straps to get it very sturdy. The arm straps and tubing can all be snuggled down inside the bag they are desinged for. If you love it, you can have it forever, if not you can detach the straps from the bag with a seam ripper when you get home. 2nd thing, now you should have a little room for a small cooler of some sort, or one of those sturdy car organizers. Because you should still have the other side of wheels to strap to .. You can sew some more velcro on that and Whew... You have it attached too... Best part... I live so dang close and our project would take ten-ish minutes with nothing more than some strong velco... I'd help ya out. I don't have any ideas about the oxygen tank... But you could put the other bag down in the new handy dandy holder along with some diapers, wipes and sunscreen.

Anonymous said...

Hey you! I just got done posting pics on Phoenix's blog. I just wanted to thank you again for Phoenix's Mickey Mouse blanket, it goes everywhere with him. During his last procedure they laid it under him and wrapped him up in it so he felt more secure! Thank u!
Give Jax big hugs from us!

robbie said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Heart Mommy said...

okay.. Lets get together and make this work... Or I can talk you through it... just email me and I'll give my

Michelle and Sean said...

Thats great that you posted about your stroller wheelchair because we are going to be picking one out for Maggie next week. If you figure something out on holding everything would you mind posting about that! I would love to see what you came up with and maybe we could make a decision better that way too.

Your boys are way cute!!

April said...

We have the same one in blue!!! I really like it, but agree that the bag underneath is useless.
How did you get that oxygen attachment you have-- that's my biggest complaint, I don't have a place for oxygen-- mine doesn't have that attachment. I just hang my suction around the handle bar and it works okay.
Also--you much have strong arms, because my other challenge is that I can barely lift the thing :)