When we were first faced with the realization that a regular stroller wouldn't be enough to transport Christian, it was early on, while still at the hospital. The PT showed me a picture of the Convaid Cuddlebug and I loved it. I mean it certainly didn't look like any wheelchair I'd ever seen. It resemble more of a stroller than a wheelchair. And we didn't really have to call it a...the "w" word. It was really more of a special needs stroller.
It's been almost two years since we met Mr. Cuddlebug and he's served his purpose. But Christian has grown and we've grown. As much as it pains me to admit it, Christian isn't walking and is still very much in need of some alternative form of legs. That is undeniable.
It was time for the "w" word.
It wasn't at all a dramatic and tragic acceptance if that's what it seems like. It was more of a gradual acceptance of something that was once so hard to wrap my brain around. And now? I know my son's abilities and I know my son's needs. And he needs this. So it's not sad at all.
That doesn't mean I wasn't a wee bit reluctant to go through with the process. I've learned a lot of things but wheelchairs was a subject I wasn't hyped up about enough to do any kind of research.
We went for the fitting a few months ago and decided on a chair. We chose the color, black opal, which was, honestly, the funnest part of the process. We waited and then got the call that it was in.
I still dragged my feet into that appointment. I saw the miniature version of a wheelchair waiting for us and I didn't want to look at it dead on so I gazed elsewhere. While we were waiting for a couple more adjustments, I flipped through their catalog. I saw pictures of other wheelchairs that didn't look so much like wheelchairs. They looked more transitional. They were cuter. Did we make the right decision? Why couldn't we have chosen something cuter? Did it have to look so wheelchair-y?
And then it was time for Christian to try it out.
(Cue the magical fairy god mother bells)
Everything changed. It was perfect.
He sat up straight. He looked comfortable. It was perfectly fitted to him. This became the most exciting appointment of the year in a matter of minutes. He looked different. He looked older. He looked all kinds of good and it was apparent that this is exactly what he needed and I couldn't be happier with the chair.
Showing off his new wheels for the first time at school.
It just so happened to be Halloween that day.
This is where Christian sits. Do the lateral pads for trunk support look crooked to you? That's because they are. They were set up like that to correct Christian's curve. He curves to the right so these pads put pressure at the bottom and top of Christian's rib cage to correct this curve. And he looks ten times better for it.
I haven't quite decided where to put my cup holder, left side or ride side. Yes, I got a cup holder. Mama needs a hook up, too.
This wheelchair is not just a wheelchair. It will be Christian's legs for the next few years. He hasn't been this tolerant while in the chair since he was medicated into submission. We've been to the grocery store, trick or treating, and to a parade. He is so comfortable and sits up so straight, it's the best thing that's happened to him lately. I absolutely love it.
And I'm not afraid to say it anymore. I love Christian's WHEELCHAIR!