March 25, 2013

Stop Medicare Waste - Gail Kelly

"The most frustrating thing for me is that even when I go to a specialist, they want to push me into a power wheelchair. For some reason it seems like they don't support Amigos or realize how helpful they are. I don't understand the discrimination toward the scooter or why they don't think it is a viable option for us. After years of fighting to get what you need — going to doctors, jumping through hoops — you get to a point where you don't want to be prodded and poked anymore. 

I have a PhD in art and was a teacher for years, and without my Amigo I wouldn't have been able to do many of the things I've done. With post-polio, they tell you to keep moving without overworking yourself, but if you stop moving completely it can lead to quicker deterioration. Some day my disability may progress to the point where I will need a power wheelchair, but I want to use an Amigo for as long as possible so I can maintain the upper body movement I still have and take care of myself. I use the handle as a support system and lean on it to dress myself, brush my hair and do other things. There are so many little things I do throughout the day where the handle provides stability and support, and I would miss that if I switched to a power wheelchair. 

Companies have called me trying to sell new equipment, and even when I tell them 'no' they keep calling and mailing. They wouldn't leave me alone, and kept insisting that they wanted to visit and show me their equipment. I know what products work best for me, and I'm not going to accept something else just because I can get it for free.

It feels like we have to beg for the equipment we need — why do people who abuse the system get away with it while we have to fight for it?"

Gail Kelly
Sebewaing, MI
March 21, 2013

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