Bipedal position priority…

The following entry is my last blog in the series discussing my standing power wheelchair. Let me first explain when a person is in an accident and must live in a wheelchair, quite extensive training is shared. This information improvisation is given because a wheelchair is life-altering when added to someone’s existence. However, I was given a manual wheelchair but not even five minutes of life lessons which would have helped make my life exponentially better. Although getting into my standing device is a top priority, these facts mean it is not the only purpose for physical therapy.

We have all heard the horror stories of how slow the Veterans Administration can be with the red tape. However, this is my story of how things have moved rather quickly to get everything I require and desire. This speed is even though the pandemic is an ongoing obstacle and constantly sends stuff to slow success.  After making my land-stand demand, it did not take long to receive the upright stature manufacturer via special delivery.

When I received the massive mechanical monstrosity from the Veterans Administration, I was faced with a new challenge. My goal is to learn how to climb this contraption calamity unassisted and stand several times a week. The VA rep and I spoke pretty extensively on my options to transfer from manual to power chair safely and unaided. We talked about building a platform to make my manual chair at the same elevation as my power chair, later recognizing this was a bad idea. Also, we discussed using a power elevating bed, inevitably adding six extra transfers into and back out of the standing device. This process would be too exhausting before standing and another bad idea. I only wish a physical therapist was involved in the conversation because the therapist who eventually helped me said a direct transfer is the best and only real idea.  She shared how it would become second nature and easier in the long run while challenging initially.

The first thing I learned in my new manual wheelchair life is the plethora of unexpected muscles required. Every movement brings a need for a new set of power holders you did not know you had or even needed. Pre multiple sclerosis, my choice for exercise was weight lifting, yet I was still missing the correct strength for my sad seated situation. There are a mere 206 bones in the adult human body, but about 600 muscles, meaning many do not get used in daily life. These muscles can get pulled off the bench when life situations change, like a wheelchair, requiring new abnormal movements. It is also my understanding every position and action the body makes requires stabilizer muscles. These equilibrium enforcers encourage individual external balance allowing synergy in the body movements.   

I wanted to wrap this blog series up in a pretty little bow and simply say all is well. I was hoping to share I am standing in my massive machine several times a week, and it only took a month or so of training. Unfortunately, that is not how our wonderful world works, and sometimes you must put in your blood, sweat, and tears. Many times you must refuse no for an answer and bust your hump and make life happen. It is essential to understand life often requires hard work no matter what you want to accomplish. So let me close by saying I am pleading for perpetual progress leading to plummeting problems, and my daily life is safe and secure.

At times life demands significant effort so make yours count.

Read more about my MS adventures, visit    

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