Thursday, January 14, 2010

Loss of The Controls

For the last couple of weeks I haven't been able to drive my wheelchair with my Tongue Touch. The battery in one of them went out right before Thanksgiving so I was using the second one. Then that battery went out just before New Year's, so now I'm stuck without anything to drive my wheelchair. The nurses have been using the joystick on the back of my chair to drive me. This happened a couple of times before. The problem is that I had to send them all the way to California to get the battery changed. I'm not sure what's going on as far as why they haven't fixed them and sent them back by now. Usually it doesn't take this long.

It's just frustrating not to have the ability to drive myself. I only have so much independence and when it gets taken away, it's really tough. It's hard not be able to park myself where I want to be and to rely on other people to always drive me around. I already rely on them for so much else. I just found out last night that I'm not the only one in this situation. There's someone else who is without both tongue touches as well and is relying on others. This makes me even more frustrated. I really do like the Tongue Touch Keypad when it works and I think it's a great concept, however when things like this happen it makes me want to try different options for driving my wheelchair.


1 comment:

Matthew Smith said...

Well, it's unusual to have to send a device thousands of miles just to change a battery! Imagine if you had to send a battery-powered radio back to Japan or China every time the battery ran out! It would get pretty ridiculous and expensive. I am glad we can get a new car battery for our Daewoo from the Halfords shop down the road, rather than sending the car all the way back to Korea! Clearly they have a monopoly on the device and want to keep charging you (or your insurers) money. I guess that, for people with no head movement, the tongue touch is pretty much the only option, isn't it?

It sounds so crazy and unfair that it would be easy to tell you to just get another control method, but I remember reading that you tried a chin-operated joystick and I'm sure it would have been easy to get a sip and puff system had you wanted one back in 2003. I really hope all this gets fixed for you soon.