If you follow my Facebook page or Instagram account you may have noticed pictures and videos of Lilly driving a motorized wheelchair for the first time last Thursday. This is a huge step for Lilly. Last fall her specialist decided that it was time for her to explore motorized wheelchairs because Lilly has trouble keeping up her energy levels.
He was concerned that once you add walking to her day to day life she would not have the energy to use her manual wheelchair all the time.
The easiest way to explain Lilly’s energy output is that the type of brain injury she has every day activities such as drawing, colouring, singing, and playing is a lot of work for her. It causes her to burn double and sometimes even triple the amount of energy then someone her age. The surgery plus being able to walk again is going to take a lot out of her.
When Lilly got her first wheelchair the physical therapist warned us that most children do not get a powered wheelchair until age 10. The Hubby and I were fine with that and both of us wanted her to learn to use a manual wheelchair independently first. Our biggest fear was that her right arm would not develop. Lilly is a quadriplegic due to the type of brain injury she has. At birth both arms where really affected but thanks to lots of physical therapy her left arm is typical functioning now.
The biggest question her team members have is Lilly going to pick up how to drive a wheelchair? The Hubby and I just smiled at this question. Since a young age Lilly has been interested in tractors, quads, and well basically anything with a motor. She had a little tractor that we rigged up for her to drive as a toddler.
How quickly Lilly picked up on the wheelchair did not surprise us.
Once she got used to being something new she quickly realized how to push the button to go and stop. Thankfully they had Lilly’s wheelchair on the lowest setting or she would have taken off on us. While Lilly was zooming around in her wheelchair A-man followed suite in her manual wheelchair.
Thursday was the start of a journey to the next level of independence for Lilly. It will be interesting to see where this will take her. Good news for Mommy is that there is a parent control break. 🙂