Although She Might Have If I Had Given Her More Than Ten Minutes
Because today was chockablock with medical, dental, and, most predominantly, physical therapy encounters, I arrived home at an impressively late hour with precious little time to devote to constructing the usual Heck of a Guy sophisticatedly scintillating yet nonetheless instructive and insightful post.
Consequently, today is a conveniently appropriate date for the first of my new how-to manage assistive rehab devices series, Things My Physical Therapist Never Told Me.
I’m deferring the introduction and multiple disclaimers for another day, choosing to move directly to the first tip, pausing only to declaim,
If you live long enough, you or a loved one will be paired with a walker, wheel chair, crutches, etc. for a transient or long-term period.
Then, you will wish you had paid attention to these posts.
Things My Physical Therapist Never Told Me
#1. Wheels on wheelchairs and rolling walkers are constructed from a combination of exotic resins and advanced polymer composites blended and cured according to a precise protocol to produce an unsurpassed tool for seeking out and collecting filth, preferentially and selectively adhering to the most disgusting substances available in the environment, mixing it into an irreducible concoction which it then spreads throughout ones home.1
Folks who manually propel their own wheelchairs outside soon discover this fact because they tend to notice their hands turning black. Many of the fancy-schmancy wheelchairs offer wheel self-cleaning options.
Someone who uses a walker with wheels or uses a wheelchair primarily indoors (or is lucky enough to have others who insist on impersonating a wheelchair motor) may not realize that the reason his or her floor – and especially the carpeted area – has been declared a toxic dump is not because a cattle drive was misdirected through the living room but because those wheels are crushing dirt and detritus into the floors.
The simplest solution is effective although a bit of a nuisance. For those of us whose rehab is a transient phenomenon, keeping a box of cleaning wipes near the usual entry to the house to use on tires before proceeding further and another container of wipes in the car or with the assistive device itself for use at other times may eliminate the problem.
A somewhat more expensive but also more time-efficient solution and one also less subject to error is the purchase of two devices, one dedicated exclusively for use inside the home and the other, never brought inside the house, used whenever the patient leaves home.
- While I have had experience with only wheelchairs and walkers, I would not be surprised to learn that the pads on the bottoms of crutches and canes are made from similar materials and have similar problems. [↩]