Friday, June 6, 2014

Knee Pads and Wheelchair Transfers

I feel like this blog is neglected a lot because right now Mason's health is not changing much and life is full and busy with eight children.  Last month I updated everyone on the upcoming surgery and we still have no official date set.  I plan to call next week to see if the schedule has opened on the computer for August. 

We have spent more time outside as the weather warms and it brings to light another thing we are trying to deal with - holes in clothing and bleeding knees.  Every single time Mason plays in the backyard (crawling) he tears holes in his pants or shorts at the knee.  And if I don't catch it soon enough he also tears up his knees and they bleed.  We have been on the search for a good solution, especially as it warms up and Mason wants to play outside for hours with his siblings. 

I finally bought several different brands of knee pads on Amazon in an attempt to find some that will stay on his knees.  His legs are not chubby at all (he's only 27 lbs) so getting something small enough is a challenge.  We finally found this set of elbow and knee pads and Mason can wear the ELBOW pads as knee pads.  If we put them on over his pants/shorts (to avoid holes in the clothing as well) they slip off and don't work.  When we put the knee pads on his skin they do stay pretty well.  The shorts or pants get holes and have dirt ground in so deep it is hard to get out, but that's better than Mason getting hurt.  We've resigned ourselves to lots of ruined clothing and I'm making a trip to the thrift stores regularly to stock up on cheap shorts for summer.  We're going to keep a few pair of shorts nice and not let him wear them outside, but then he's going to have a hefty supply of play clothes. 

We ripped up the carpet from the main living areas of the house a few weeks ago.  The carpet just made Mason have to work for every inch he moved in the wheelchair and crawling.  Ever since then he has asked to be in his wheelchair many times during the day.  He can chase after his siblings, spin around and dance, and roll quickly and let go of the wheels to keep cruising across the room.  He loves it! 

The other thing Mason is really working on is transferring into and out of the wheelchair from the floor.  It's hard work.  We started with a large pillow to climb on in front of the wheelchair, then he used the foot plate and seat to climb up.  Now we've progressed to a thinner pillow he climbs up from.  His right leg causes some problems because it is still contracted and gets in his way, caught on the brake bar, but he's determined and usually finds a way to get the leg pulled around it.  He is so small that it is too hard yet for him to get into the wheelchair from the floor, but as the pillow he is using only gives him about 2 inches in height I suspect he'll be strong enough to do it directly from the floor in the next year.

Getting down is another thing all together.  His preference is diving right off the seat - not a great idea with wood floors.  His legs can get caught up on the wheelchair and it's just something we're discouraging.  Instead we're trying to teach him how to push up with his hands and slide his bottom forward and down to the foot plate and down from there. 

Well, I suppose I had more to share than I expected!  I think that is everything new going on with Mason right now. 


  1. I swear that the boy looks older every time you post a photo of him! :)

    Mason is really lucky that he can learn the transfers. He has something I call "rubber" legs. At least I think he has, because he can do everything with them and the bones don't break. I was like this too until I was 4 years old. I could crawl, I could go down to the floor from my chair and back etc. but then I developed ostheoporosis and that was the end of my completely independent life.

  2. Love the photos! And your solution to giving Mason freedom to roam outside! We have "go places" clothes and shoes for our boys too - just a necessary part of boys!!! Especially living on a farm ;0)

  3. Sounds like he's been a busy busy little man! :-) When you were talking about the ripped pants, stains, and preferring to go headfirst out of his wheelchair the only thing that went through my mind was, "Well, he sounds a lot like my nephew when he was younger and learning wheelchair transfers." And I remember thinking at the time that the ripped pants, stains, and no regard for personal injury HAD to be a boy thing because most boys I know are like that (my eldest and my eldest step child included ... and they're 12 and 13!).

  4. There are iron on patches that you can put on his clothes before he rips them up that will extend the life of them and you can just iron on another patch as needed.

  5. Thank you for sharing pictures. Enjoy seeing his bright shinning smile.

  6. Hi, can you provide the name and model of the pad set you got? Or a link to Amazon. I'm looking for better knee pads for my little Oliver, he's almost three with Spina Bifida and sounds about the same size as Mason. We got through pants like crazy.


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