Wheelchair tips?

Okay, so I am a sometimes part time wheelchair user. Yesterday I went to a Comic Festival in Portland that I attend every year. This year I knew I wouldn't be able to walk it at all, so I took my 2nd hand wheelchair. It did help immensely, though I still hurt like hell today. I was wondering if anyone had any tips on making a manual wheelchair easier to use. I have some nice blisters on my hands today, and my ribs hurt like hell, as do my legs (No idea how my legs hurt, I did not walk AT ALL yesterday)

If anyone else has had to use wheelchairs much, any tips to make it easier would be nice. I was getting quite good at it by the end of the festival yesterday. Though of course, their handicap stalls in their bathrooms were NOT big enough. I got stuck twice.

Here the people who use wheelchairs manuely have special gloves on. I asume to protect their hands.

All I can say is I've used the motorized ones in stores and it's impossible to get around a lot of things. I don't think that much thought has gone into making buildings truly handicapped accessible once you get up the wheelchair ramp.

Here's a link for wheelchair gloves: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=gloves+wheelchair

I know they're a bit pricey but have you thought of getting an electric wheelchair? They do take some getting used to but they make it so much easier to get around.

You have my congrats on going to the comic convention. I'm proud of you! That's something I'd like to do, more or less, but I'm too tired yet to even think of doing the wheelchair route. So good for you for doing it! That's very inspiring.

This is my response (and my baby) - the horn plays la cucaracha, I do not know the top speed but it is pictured as a rabbit running (slow is a turtle) and I have a decal stuck on the back that quotes Captain Malcolm Reynolds form the movie "Serenity" when he say "I aim to misbehave..."

Look at that basket in the front. Now, imagine how many comics I could fit in that baby. Ooh yeah!

Congrats to you for going to do what you wanted to do. No tips, but a high 5 to you!

I so agree with Connie. Good for you for getting out there. Another high five!

I’d find a wonderful friend to push me around! I can’t even imagine how much pain you are in today. Good for you for going to something and not missing out on it. hugs~ Sandi

Man that chair would be nice. I can't afford a power chair right now (Nor can I get one up to my apartment, we are thankfully going to find a ground floor ADA adequate apartment in October when our lease runs out...I currently live on the second floor with VERY steep stairs...ugh).

I wondered about gloves. I may have to ask for some as a wedding gift, lol.

I of course thought of that halfway through the convention. I think I will definitely do that next time I need to use the chair. Also, any ideas on how to keep the arm rests from killing my sides? I have tender ribs, so they hurt today after wheeling yesterday.

Hi Ally!

I'm not much help on this, but I may have to use one when I go for the bone density test. The facility is huge, and instead of building it up, it's only 2 floors, and the size of a stadium or three. Even if you park at a certain colored entrance, you have so much walking. Since I'll have to go alone, I'll be most likely be wheeling myself, so they had all better look out!

I'm so glad that you are using every means possible to get out and do the things you love! Don't let it keep you down and keep you in! I like Marc's thinking! I may have to borrow that quote!

I hope you get some good answers, and that you don't have to figure everything out the hard way!

Wishing you well!


This scooter is a life saver. Insurance covered 85% of it and I paid the rest. It was worth every single penny as I am able to walk my dog again (which means he can sleep here again). That one thing was worth twice the price as it means I have independence again. I can also scoot around my neighborhood, pick up food, interact with people, exercise my dog in the park, etc.,

I know these things are expensive, but we have insurance for a reason. In the fifteen months since I wok eup unable to stand or walk, this scooter has been the single biggest assistance to me.

I've put off using the power chairs at, say, the grocery store, because I've been in denial for quite some time about how bad my Fibro is. But yeah, I think I've gotta start using them for grocery shopping at least. Then I can see how much it helps!

Thank you for all your kind words and input guys, y'all are awesome!

The chair may be a standard weight.. I need a lightweight one if I am to propel it myself.

I also wear gloves - ironically, they are from the Harley Davidson motorcycle store. They are padded, which helps.

I also like legs which can be elevated. Otherwise my feet swell or tense as if they are trying to help.

If your ribs hurt, could it be that you need a chair pad to elevate you a bit? Did they scrape the side of the chair as you reached for the wheel?

I have one wheelchair that has a slippery rim. I am considering wrapping it with leather car steering wheel grip wraps to add to the friction of the gloves.

I hope this helps!

I'll try the elevation next time, hadn't thought of that. Yes the arm-rests were hitting my ribs when I pulled. It's really not a wheelchair meant to be self-propelled; a friend got it for five bucks at an estate sale (originally for a halloween costume, lol). When I became sick and needed one, he graciously gave it to me. Someday, should disability ever get their heads on straight, I plan on finding one that suits me better. But it's better than nothing for now! I noticed some leg pain too, and I wonder if it was from them tensing. My abdominal muslces hurt too afterwards. Some of that may be that I've been so inactive for so long, but maybe if I use the chair more I'll get rippling abdominals and some nice guns! LOL.

Your abdominal muscles may be hurting from leaning forward to propel the wheels. You are going to have the best 6-pack of all of us! I'm working on a muffin top, myself. (Yuck)

You probably are tensing your legs. You may find some elevating legs online that would fit the brand of wheelchair you have. They are different for different brands. It beats having to replace the whole wheelchair at once - much cheaper.

As for raising the seat, there are seat pads for wheelchairs. However, a pillow should be a good test. The average wheelchair seat pad raises you about 3" from the original position.