For Ryan’s comfort and the prevention of skin breakdown (i.e., pressure sores) we made the decision to get a top-of-the-line wheelchair seat cushion. The problem was, we couldn’t afford it until we paid of the FES-300 Cycle. This would make us wait for some time. Like everything, we send it to insurance and cross our fingers to see if they approve it. We’ve been holding out for a couple of months waiting for their response. There’s no doubt, he needs it for both his comfort and health.
I just received a call that the approval went through!
This is wonderful for Ryan because he spends the greatest amount of the day in his wheelchair… and not just sitting there. He is almost always in motion, be it the FES Cycle, ActiveCYCLE, stretching, or other therapies. It takes a toll of his rear-end. We constantly battle rashes and skin breakdown. It’s an endless task, until we get this cushion (I hope).
Wheelchair-bound people like Ryan are not able to make those small, but frequent, positional changes that relieve pressure. You and I do it without even thinking. So, we do this for Ryan by never allowing him in a stationary position for more than thirty minutes. Beyond this, air flow is restricted and the skin can’t breath and evaporate moisture.
In the picture below of his forthcoming cushion (with the cover removed), it shows the mechanical and electrical layout. In the simplest of explanations, the battery-powered control panel (black box) is programmed to inflate and deflate the sixteen individual bladders to simulate seating adjustment a normal person would unconsciously make. A constant flow of air permeates between the bladders, keeping his skin dry.
You know, it just occurred to me what a sad life I’m living where I get excited about a wheelchair cushion. I often must reframe my excitement.. in this case that I have done my best to bring comfort to Ryan. It’s hopefully the same feeling you get when you help my boy.