Custom made chair for Mujhee's wheelchair.
On the previous post I mentioned an appointment at CP Tech. I wrote that we met with the Sleep Solution on that day. While we were there for the wheelchair appointment we managed to discuss about Mujhee's sleeping problem and the trial on lullaby for sleep, wedges for positioning and the monitor to make sure she is safe. This is another post that I promise on that post and it is about an appointment at CP Tech for the wheelchair.
After waiting for two months, alhamdulillah, Mujhee got the funding for a custom made seat for her wheelchair. It was 18 May 2010 when we came in for commencing the process of making the chair. There were Mujhee's Occupational Therapist from Therapy Focus, a Physiotherapist from TCCP, CP Tech technicians, Mujhee, her father, her sister and me.
Not long after we were in the room the technician came in from the workshop with the chair. The base is made of plywood with the L shape while the seat is made of foam. When Mujhee sit on it the first thing we noticed was how tall she was but the seat was a bit small because the measurements on that seat was from the previous appointment two months ago. The seat needs to be lenghten and the back of the it needs to be higher. I found out that Mujhee's right leg is longer than her left so the right side of her seat base is about 1 cm longer that the left side. Masha Allah, Mujhee has grown about a couple more centimeters since the previous measurements were done.
While the technician made the adjustments for the base seat at the workshop, we discussed a little bit about straps and bars that she needs to support her while she sits on it. We also decided to have a contour for the seat as it could hold and support her sitting. Before noon we left because there was not enough technicians to proceed with the work that day.
On 28 May 2010 we came back to continue with the detail of the seat including the flip away thoracic supports and hip bars to hold her body in the symmetric and upright position. That day all the straps like pelvic strap, chest straps, groin straps and foot straps were fitted into the seat. The pelvic and groin straps are important to keep Mujhee's tight muscles relaxed. The chest strap is to support her trunk and the one that she has must not interfere with the PEG, a feeding tube, on her abdomanal wall. There is additional shoulder pad on the chest strap to add comfort for her. There are ankle straps on the footplate of the wheelchair to keep Mujhee's foot firmly in position.
While we waited for the technician to do the work, Mujhee enjoyed playing with a switched toy. She moved her hand to press on the switch to make the toy dog laugh. It also vibrates which Mujhee liked very much. I found out that Mujhee's sense of feeling is more better than her hearing and vision. She likes to keep moving since she was a baby. I remember those sleepless nights her father and I used to get because she just wanted to keep moving even though it was night.
That day at the CP Tech was a very long day for Mujhee and us. She used her PODD communication book to make a comment like it will be great if we get in the car to go home. I was glad that we got to take Mujhee home on the new chair that day. Mujhee looked comfortable in the chair and she sit straight or symmetrical and she keeps her head in the middle line. It was amazing to think that how important this chair is for mujhee as it not only gives the comfort but also the support that she needs when sitting down. With the new chair I found out that she is able to move her head better for communication. No wonder her communication was not progressing so much because she was not in a good position that can support the movement of her head to her sides for no and nodding her head for yes.
The next day on the 29/05/2010 we came in again for head rest and tray. An adjustment was made on the right side of the thoracic support because I felt that it was a bit too high and it could leave marks under Mujhee's arm especially when she crosses her arms. The head rest for Mujhee is a very tricky one. The one that she has looks perfect this time. The only problem we had on this head rest is when Mujhee turns her head, the hearing aid's mould losens from her ears, making a loud whistling sound which could annoy and damaged her ears. That day we came home with the same head rest.
As for the tray, we still use the same one but it just needs to be brought in towards Mujhee's body with a new bracket. What I really like about her tray now is that there is a new grip bar on the tray so Mujhee can grasp her hands on it. The tray also helps her to hold her body up.
During the weekend Mujhee's sister found out that her right under arm developed bruises because of the thoracic bar. I made a call to her OT at Therapy Focus and she advised us to lower it while she get back to me after talking to the physio at CP Tech. When she got back to me, she made another appointment on the 17 May 2010, to make an adjustment and to try on different head rest to avoid the hearing aids from falling out when it hits the head rest.
As I write this post the chair is on trial for one week before it's foam will get cover on 21 July 2010. I will drop the wheelchair on that day and pick it up the next day. Guess what colour Mujhee choose for the cover? She choose blue.
Here is a fact sheet on wheelchairs for children.