Friday, August 24, 2007

Caregiving: beach wheelchair

Not every caregiver ‘idea’ is a winner. Sometimes you loose focus in a quest to accomplish a well intended goal.


Empowering Patti ‘back to the surf’ was just such a quest. In retrospect, ‘Duh! What was I thinking’?


Pre-MS, Patti and I were creatures of the surf. We sailed catamarans, wind surfed, jet skied, and even once and a while actually lay on the beach. After MS, Patti’s wheelchair was impossible to push in the sand, and her ‘all terrain’ scooter bogged down quickly in beach sand.


Returning to the surf appeared unattainable. … until I discovered beach wheelchairs. For many people these are wonderful for making the beach and surf accessible.


However, I had lost focus that sun and heat are enemies of MS, and not all people with a disability enjoy being the center of attention.


Patti did not particularly enjoy ‘my quest’. However our then 6 yr old daughter had a blast sitting in her lap while grandpa pushed <grin>. You can even hear me ask Patti to “fake” looking happy for the camera captured in the following one minute, 22 second clip from 13 summers ago.

caring on: Multiple Sclerosis & family – beach wheelchair


(Some readers have noted they have challenges using the AOL video display. For your convenience you can simply use the links to view the video directly.)

You Tube

Google Video


Looking through old beach photos, it occurred to me that it may be easier to see ‘what is Multiple Sclerosis?’ in pictures of people than a journal full of words.



Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer


  1. Yep, the pictures 'say' it all!  One of my kids, who is wheel-chair bound, went to the beach and came back telling me about the beach wheel-chairs. I have often thought wondered how the chair was constructed, but of course, never while at the computer. PVC pipe! That and velcro are two of the best inventions of the 20th century!

  2. Great video as usual Patrick!  I love those wheelchairs and see them alot more.  It tears at my heart to see video tape of me running and to know my kids don't remember me any other way but disabled.  HUGS

  3. The Beach wheelchair is a grand idea, even if at the time it didn't go over well with Patti. Sometimes it's just the thought that counts. In the end you try, instead of remaining imobile and expecting things to work themselves out. That's all we can really do in this life, is try....(Hugs) Indigo

  4. Worth a thousand words, those pix are.  Speak volumes.  I saw two beach wheelies at Asbury, the firm small tires seem to be the key - they don't sink lol!  I sense Patti's dislike for such public areas where 99% are running, jumping, able-bodied and definitely stealing looks.  But there she is in the thick of it! xo CATHY    

  5. It is shocking to see Patti so healthy and vibrant in the first photo, and then five years later, in the wheelchair. Not only her world, but yours as well, was changed forever. It's not exactly what we plan for when we are young and healthy. I think knowing that someday even I could be as incapacitated as she is now fuels me to do more whjile I'm healthy and mobile (though not as vigorous as I used to be). We never know when an illness or accident will claim our mobility, interfere with our 'normal' routine, disfigure us, or even take our life. Which is why we should do all we can in our youth, while we have our good health, to contribute to the community of the living. Patti is a trooper, though, to join you on your quest to conquer the surf! Bea

  6. It was a awe-inspiring post and it has a significant meaning and thanks for sharing the information.Would love to read your next post too......


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