April 3, 2012

Power Wheelchair Reconsidered

Yesterday afternoon, Bertrand went to Shriners Hospital to see the physical therapist in regard to the power wheelchair.

We have been practicing hard and at a minimum of three times a week, as per the therapist's direction. The therapist was deeply impressed by our dedication. Bertrand has made a great deal of progress. We couldn't be more proud of him.

However, the therapist at Shriners didn't see Bertrand's hard work and efforts in the same light.

First he said that insurance wouldn't cover the chair for Bertrand. So we found ways to get one donated and pay for one.

Then he said that Bertrand would need to practice 3 times a week. So we found ways to get Bertrand to practice at least 3 times per week.

Now he said that Bertrand's cortical visual impairment would likely prevent him from passing the safety requirement...

The pieces of the puzzle finally fell into place. He won't recommend a power wheelchair for Bertrand no matter what we do.

He had already made up his mind about Bertrand. He was just being obtuse about letting us know it.


Bertrand's cheerleading squad is vast. (And, I love you all for it!) So, whenever someone doesn't pick-up the pompoms, I am confused and, honestly, sad.

But, I think this is actually an opportunity in disguise. We were back to spreading ourselves a bit thin. (I know. I know. It's chronic. Apparently, I can't help it!) This situation has me re-evaluating the merits of a power wheelchair.

While Bertrand does enjoy the power wheelchair, he also increasingly enjoys standing up and taking steps--activities which are conveniently assisted by the TAOS. Such weight-bearing activity is great for his bones, his muscles, and his bowels. Overall, much better for him than using a power wheelchair.

Maybe the power wheelchair was a distraction? Maybe the therapist at Shriners actually did Bertrand a favor?

On our drive home from the appointment, I told Bertrand, "Forget that guy. He doesn't know you. You'll WALK. That'll show him!"

And when he does, you better believe he'll be surrounded and cheered by the people who believe in him.


  1. Way to go Mom. I love your optimism. You are so right that this might be a blessing in disguise.

  2. Cristina, you just made my heart explode! You are awesome, and so is Bertrand. Mean people suck, and obtuse people suck more, so there, Shriner's guy. Sending you love! XOX

  3. Keep on keeping on, mama! I so love this post, and I totally "get" it . . . sometimes, we have to keep re-prioritizing and revamping what we are doing . . . and I somehow believe that we'll just get where we are going! (We too have been having a "spread too thin" feeling and I've been trying to figure out what to do, what we could/should give up, and in essence something ultimately gave us up and it all works!).

  4. I don't trust people that put limits. A person can't decide a limit of one other person, that's nonsense. Special needs children more than everyone else needs people around that believe they can do more, and more, and more. Or they have failed without start. Of course Bertrand will walk! A hug.

  5. Amen!

    As the occasional captain of this cheering squad, I say-"Go, Fight, Win!"...to the best of your ability. Obviously this guy doesn't understand B's potential. His loss. Love and hugs.

  6. Thank you all so very much! Those tears I've been holding back since Monday finally dribbled out, but in a good way. :)

    If the therapist had been mean or ignorant, I could've brushed off his opinion. But, he is a person who deeply cares and, from what I've seen from his work with other kids, does his job well.

    That said, I believe he underestimated Bertrand's potential, but this is not a battle we can fight most effectively with words. It's one we have to fight with results. Bertrand is tough and determined, so I am confident that we will win! :)