I’ve talked a lot about the impact that iLevel® has had on my life. What you may not know is what I had to do before getting iLevel. When you don’t have power elevated seating on your wheelchair, you have to be extremely creative in figuring out how to do the simplest tasks. Socially, you just feel awkward or left out of the conversation.
Before I had iLevel on my wheelchair, I had to jump up on my kitchen counters to reach things that were on the shelves. Doing that every time I needed something is incredibly hard and exhausting on the body. Washing dishes was especially challenging. I sat on the counter when I did the dishes. It was tough because the sink was set below the counter so I had to reach down into the sink every time to grab a dish so I could wash it. You can imagine how messy that was! Plus, I had to be careful that I didn’t lose my balance and fall off the counter. The great thing about having iLevel is that I can raise the seat on my Edge 3 to the exact height that I need so I can comfortably wash the dishes, and not struggle to reach down into the sink.
The hardest task that I struggled with completing was reaching the fan light on the ceiling. Ceiling fans with pull chains can be challenging for people who are amputees, spastic or anyone who struggles with gripping stuff in their hands. Before I had iLevel, I used a reaching stick, or one of those cheap claw grabbers. It was awkward and usually took a few tries. Now that I have my Edge 3 with 4.5 mph iLevel, it’s easy for me to elevate my chair and grab the pull chain on the fan without having to use a reaching stick or something like that.
Before iLevel, I had to be really creative in coming up with ways to complete chores, clean my apartment, reach stuff on the top shelf, the list goes on. The great thing about iLevel is that you save yourself a lot of time. I am no longer thinking about how I am going to complete a chore or reach something. I just do the job and get it done!
Socially, iLevel has made a huge difference in my life. Before I had iLevel on my power wheelchair, I was in a typical standard height wheelchair and I had to crane my neck to look up at people. You can imagine how tiring that got after a while. And if you don’t use your neck to look up all the time, you’re stuck staring at people’s stomachs or worst… their behinds! Now with iLevel, people look me in the eye instead of looking the other way. This eye contact makes me feel like I’m a part of things, instead of feeling left out.
About Bryan Anderson: Bryan grew up and resides in Illinois. Injured by an IED in October 2005, Bryan is one of the few triple amputees to survive his injuries in Iraq. He is an ambassador for the Gary Sinise Foundation and a spokesperson for USA Cares, which is focused on assisting post 9-11 veterans. Click here to learn more about Bryan.