From the beginning of my wheelchair ride, family and close friends understood the importance of my gaining independence. Now, they are so accustomed to me bulldozing boxes, furniture—whatever needs moving, that they don’t even volunteer their services. They just curiously observe the unfolding of a new furniture arrangement or open the door for me to add something to my back porch recycling center.
Most often, it simply doesn’t occur to me to ask for help. For those things I cannot do, like changing a light bulb, retrieve objects from a high shelf, or open a cantankerous jar, I make a list to ask the next able-bodied person who enters. (A short pencil beats a short memory every time.) Recently, I was reminded that my bulldozer can’t do everything.
Upon transferring into my wheelchair one morning, my ROHO air cushion went flat. Now, I’ve always had a bony butt and could not endure bleacher seats without a cushion or blanket to set on. With a spinal cord injury and without the minimal glutei maximi muscles, sitting on anything but my air cushion is like bare bone grinding on concrete—excruciating.
Because I’m a plan-ahead kind of girl, I always have two ROHOs: one that I’m sitting on and a back-up for when the one I’m using springs a leak, normally once a year. BUT, I had just returned one for repair and was sitting on my back-up when it went flat.
Upon receiving my returned cushion the prior week, a ROHO (http://www.therohogroup.com) representative had called me to offer a preused, repaired cushion for $100 because mine was out of warranty (A new one is around $400.); they no longer repair for customers or send replacements unless it is still under warranty. I decided I could safely wait a few months before ordering a new one. Wrong!
I was back in bed within two hours of getting up, to allow my ischia some time off, then up again on my second back-up cushion (hard foam). I called ROHO (800-851-3449) inquiring if they offered next-day air; if so, I could make an order for a new ROHO through DME Services.
I told the service representative that my preused, repaired cushion for which I paid $100 was also caput mortuum, and I needed a new one fast. He put me on hold and came back with wonderful news: This ROHO was still under warranty. He would send me a brand new replacement, and ROHO would pay the $59 fee for next-day.
Today, I’m back on air. Maybe I can help with your wheelchair woes.