November 25th, 2009

„News from the Rollinator (Wheelinator)“

Tips for wheelchair drivers, buckled fingers
and other pedestrians

Odd wheelchair stories and technical aids consulting service for free.

Eigude (Howdy),

when you, sitting in a wheelchair, have left the hospital or the rehab the drama begins. You are left on your own, and everybody has to re-invent the wheel to manage everyday life.
Therefore this blog with a lot of tips and tricks.

Send me your hints, take photos, leave comments and discuss with us!!!

If you can’t tell anything wise belonging a subject, at least you have to create confusion. ;-)

I can’t press a clothespin, but I can drive a car.

There are no problems, there are just challenges and a big challenge is a project.

Never say die if something doesn’t work out immediately, don’t take it too serious, it’s all occupational therapy!

In October 2007 I sustained a traffic accident.
After eleven months in a hospital I was released, and since then I belong to the

elitist company of the frequent drivers

How is it „going“, click me! (jokes in german)

Quadriplegic (Tetraplegic/”Teddy”) C4-C7 incomplete, some titan
plates in the neck and a pump for medicals in my belly.

Release September 17th 2008

Into the wild, now the going gets tough!!!

I have got a tremendous technical aids database.

If you have questions concerning technical aids or other topics
don’t hesitate to send me an eMail.

To „un-clatter“ wheelchairs is my favourite hobby.

I am technical aids-marred, advice for free!!!

Teddy Regards, Rollinator


*Eigude, hessian dialect for hello; hi, howdy…

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, ….

July 12th, 2016


This is by far the hardest blog I’ve ever written in 8 years. Words cannot express my gratitude!
One year ago today on July 12th, 2015 I barely escaped from the jaws of death.

When I add up everything, that my body came up with (see older blog), it comes to 44 weeks in 4 different hospitals in the Rhine/Main area since July last year.
Although I’m now starting almost where I was eight years ago when I became paralyzed in an accident I won’t complain too much, because I am glad that I am still here at all. (5 % probability of survival is not very much.)
You really don’t want to know everything. There are so many diseases and I am not keen on learning the Latin language this way. From now on, my hand stays down, even if I have to attach a stone to it.

At this point I’d like to express my sincerest gratitude especially to my wife, my parents, my brother, my mother-in-law, the rest of my entire family, the nurses and caretakers, doctors, therapists of the BGU hospital unit K3/K8 and the intensive care unit of the North-West Hospital also in Frankfurt am Main and to all other friends and acquaintances who thought of me, took care of me and still do helped me to get back to life.
At night I had a lot of time to think, and I don’t know how I would have managed without you. One night can be quite long.
I have not enough words to express my gratitude. There is still a long way to go, but keeping my positive attitude and training zeal I will not disappoint you. That I can promise!
Since Friday, July 1st 2016 I am now permanently at home again.
Hopefully, this was my last blog about diseases for the next seven years, when my medi pump has to be replaced again. This topic will be banned from the blog as far as possible.
Even though I’m repeating myself:

Thank you, thank you, thank you…

that you were there for me throughout the past year and still are now.

Translator BW

Technical Aids Tips und Tricks XLVII

July 11th, 2016


Noodle Strainer Hybrid

As I mentioned several times in the past, the function of my hands and fingers equal those of a four-year old armed with gloves in winter.
Since half a sandwich roll, plain without anything on it, already feels like a 5 kg weight to me, daily exercise of the hands and fingers is a must.
I have already tried various hand training tools. The classic soft rubber ball has the disadvantage that because of Isaac Newton it constantly falls to the ground if you spread or stretch your fingers.
More than eight years later I discovered this ingenious hand trainer, also known as a “noodle strainer”. About the expert use of such a devise I shall report in a later blog .

You put your fingers somewhat narrow or wider apart in the fitting holes. Since the inside ring is made of rubber you can quite simply perform hand curls- and stretches. With a slight twist of your arm it is also suitable for upper arm and wrist strength training.
If you want to make sure that the hand trainer does not fall down, simply attach a key band to two holes.
The hand trainer has no aid number and is considered sports equipment which explains the price of currently €29.95 plus shipping. It is available in various strengths levels at Sport-Thieme under Art.-No. 2194224.
To the link: click here

For Tetras like me, who still have some finger functions and people who have severe osteoarthritis this hand trainer is highly recommended, especially because it can be used comfortably while watching TV – no thinking required.

Excessive consumption of pasta might have a positive impact on the aerodynamics of a Rolli, but not so much on its axle load.

To read all articles of the “Tips on Aid Series”, click here.
At the end of the page simply go to: “OLDER ENTRIES”

Translator BW

Addendum Chock Part XIV

June 1st, 2016


Already home for four weeks …!!!

As already reported, after taking a shower in March at home the titanium body of my implanted drug pump suddenly peeped out of my belly. It broke through the abdominal wall and I had to sign myself into the hospital again – after only three weeks of “Home” – Holiday (see older blog).

This time I was in the room next door at the same station as three weeks earlier; they still knew me there.

One could have the impression that I like this hospital food. I do not know what you eat for dinner, but this chef salad that is served every evening as an alternative selection is delicious. We can therefore say that the food there is quite good.

After several days of unsuccessful attempt to change back to oral drugs to eventually get rid of the pump completely, the old and no longer sterile pump including lines was taken out. For two weeks an external pump supplied the meds until in a second surgery a new pump including lines between the vertebrae into the spinal canal was implanted – again at the left side.

(Not bad, that dope!)

Nevertheless, the visits from the hospital pastor, various anesthesiologists and several nurses in the intensive care station, who still knew me from eight years ago, got me thinking.

This pump change or better yet new installation required another five weeks of bed rest, but they went without major complications.

Now I am back home for four weeks and I am already looking forward to the empty batteries in 7 years. That is when I will receive a new pump and new scars. I hope that the location of the pump does not need to be changed. Otherwise, above and below the navel there is still some space left.

When I look at the numerous scars on my neck, belly and back, I should probably reconsider my desired profession as a top model.

Translator BW

Eigude Shame XXIX

April 24th, 2016


Unbelievable – or Tough Stuff

A few months ago I was scheduled to be transferred out of the rehab facility in the Taunus (behind the seven hills where the seven dwarfs lived) back to the hospital in Frankfurt from which I came 6 weeks ago. I was to undergo a special examination named Angiography, a procedure during which one can actually watch his or her own brain function live at work. The transfer service was ordered a few days before with the request “sitting in own wheelchair”. I had already had my bags packed the day before (you wouldn’t believe what all accumulates in 6 weeks!) I cleared my small single room for dismissal at 8:00 AM because it would be reassigned right away.

The next morning at 7:20 two nurses stormed into my room and told me slightly stressed that the shuttle would take off half an hour earlier, which was in 10 minutes! Of course, I couldn’t insist on the 2 drivers delaying their contractually assured breakfast break. After a short handling, also called basic care (I felt like at the Pitstop at a Formula 1 race) the transfer service showed up – but of course, with a stretcher. There was not enough room in the vehicle for me sitting in my wheelchair. Oh well, I had “only” told them about five times! Well…uh… bad. After a successful arrival in Frankfurt I was seated back in my wheelchair and the drivers checked me in at the emergency room of the hospital. I waited patiently while the drivers cleared the field. After approximately 10 minutes a staff member approached and mentioned that I was quite early.

My comment: not that bad, 8:45.

She: ONE WEEK!!!

Those “luminaries” from the rehab clinic, whose priority apparently is not the well fare of the patient, kicked me out an entire week early! Fortunately, the hospital had a bed available and granted me asylum for the time being.

Translator BW

Chock Part XIV

April 10th, 2016


You may well believe that I currently have become lazy about writing, or suffer from writer’s block. This is not the case, I have enough material, but I also have a relatively good excuse.

When I finally came home mid February after seven months of hospital-hopping, my implanted drug pump (see older posts) decided without asking me to escape from my body through the abdominal wall. And that after only three weeks of “homeland” holiday!

Over the years the skin around the scar got so thin that on March 5th after a shower at home the titanium body of the pump suddenly became visible from the outside. Boy, would I have liked to see my facial expression at that moment! The silver lining doesn’t always have to be at the horizon and a silver wire is not likely to grow out of the belly!

There I was with my non-sterile implant.

I immediately decided at the cost of my health insurance company to rent a hospital bed again. Maybe they haven’t changed the linens from my old bed?

I have always wanted to dial “112″.

It’s silly, but ultimately it’s just a laceration. Now I’m in the room next door.

It took two surgeries to replace the pump and the attached line that goes to the spinal canal and move it to the other side. After nearly five weeks in the hospital bed I’m finally back in my wheelchair.

What an uplifting feeling to finally have WiFi again in the sitting room and not bother the other fellows with my voice control. Although I’m back with my training where I left three months ago but I’d say:

“It could have been worse”

Translator BW

Zur Startseite

Technical Aids Tips und Tricks XLVI

February 24th, 2016


It is due to the small fouls that wheelers are exposed every day to new challenges. You are blocked in from the side so that you can’t get into your car anymore, during cleaning the toaster is moved back to the wall, or the installation CD is put out of reach on the cupboard. My last week’s highlight was a beeping smoke alarm because the battery was empty when I was lying in my bed. All this is causing an uncontrollable neuron tornado in my head.

Among my favourites are open windows.

In the summer it’s getting warm and in winter quite cold, if the heater below is not running on full power which I can’t reach either.

There are definitely more important reasons to ring at the neighbour’s door than asking them to close an open window. Grrrrrrrrr…

The do-it-yourself store with 20% on everything except for the parts you really need offers a

Hobbit &wheelchair window closer/

„almost“ usable in their assortment. However, small construction work needs still to be done.

Just take:

  • min. 1 meter aluminium pipe, thickness 12mm
  • 1 meter aluminium flat bar 15m x 1mm
  • 30 cm hose inner diameter 10mm- 12mm
  • 2x screw M4 x 25mm
  • 2x screw-nut, self-locking M4
  • 1x drill 4 mm with drive mechanism
  • Construction tools for screwing, or a set of healthy teeth ;-)

Cost of material ca. 10,00€

Saw the aluminium bar in ca. 2x 36 cm long pieces and pull the hose on one of the pieces.

Drill a 4 mm hole into all sides of the aluminium bars and the pipe centered with a space of 15 mm from the edge.

Bend the aluminium bar with hose oval e.g. using a bottle and bolt it two-sided with screw and screw-nut on one end of the pipe. This is going to be the window side.

The other aluminium bar is going to be the handle. This can be formed according to hand function or artistic freedom oval, square, round or even heart-shaped, main thing is that the bolting on the pipe is not forgotten.

(My white Vespa scooter from 1992 in the picture below with kick starter is looking for a new master!)

The operating mode of the window closer should be comprehensible, but could on special request be explained personally under phone number 00907/40059449665 for only ( €/min) by “Bernd das Brot”. (Translator’s note: Reference is made to a satirical sketch to spoof call-in shows on TV, (see also other blogpost).)

All open windows can be closed again now.

And how to open them we will learn tomorrow!!!

The certified re-constructor is obligated to send to the Rollinator a Chilli Pizza online.


Translator BL

Chock Part XV

February 19th, 2016


Paper chase in district court

Yesterday I had some business at the district court in my hometown Frankfurt. Public buildings should by now be all accessible, but I had to go to building A, an old venerable building from 1889. At that time there wasn’t much concern about accessibility…


So I called in advance and got the information that in order to avoid steps I had to enter though building E to get to building A. First, at security control I had to hand over my set of wrenches, one that every experienced wheelchair driver always has on board. Perhaps I could kill someone or gouge out someone’s eyes?!?

Quelle: Hornbach

So off to building E, into the elevator, up to the 1. floor. Then through the dusty hallways, follow the signs “transition to building A” – almost like in a scavenger hunt! At some point I stood in front of this ramp… positive thought first: there is a ramp, yay! However, it is significantly steeper than the specified 6% according to DIN180 40-1… and also a little steeper than the training course at rehab. Although, I know some wheelies, that would have a blast down this “Rolli slide”!

Then continue the search for the next elevator, back down to the ground floor. Then find the right room… fortunately it was the last door before the next steps.

Somehow we found our way back, but not before landing in a cul-de-sac first ……

Next time I’ll scatter breadcrumbs!!!

Translator BL


Technical Aids Tips and Tricks LXIV

February 14th, 2016


My latest tool – an Overhead Lift

After half a year of “enjoying” free food and lodging in different hospitals while testing their equipment and treatment options, I am now back home. Let me introduce to you my latest support instrument.

As some sort of a “Christmas gift” my insurance kindly approved the overhead lift that I had requested out of necessity because of my increasing restrictions. (A mobile standard patient lift cannot be used in combination with my height-adjustable frame insert.) It took a few weeks of organizational back and forth between my insurance, the medical supply store and the manufacturer – you know how this goes – until the lift was finally mounted at the beginning of February.

The Lift is hanging from my bedroom ceiling and ensures a safe bed-air-wheelchair-transfer with the optional switch between wheelchair and shower wheelchair.

For people with back problems, instead of using belts for transfer I recommend a special lifter cloth.

With the three heavy duty anchors, each 1 ton load capacity, I do not need to be fasting right away ;-)

Translator BW


January 17th, 2016


In the last few months I experienced a wide variety of therapies that even I, as some kind of “professional patient”, was not aware they’d exist.

One day my therapy plan stated “arm bath” among other things. I couldn’t imagine what in the world this meant.

A bath for arms? – Kneipp Kur for the less affluent? Maybe the doctors should know my account balance ahead of treatment?

It turned out that the ominous “arm bath therapy” really was a water bath for my two upper limbs.

Was it necessary? Did I really need that?

The dark colored water in the picture should not be mistaken as an indication for my dirty hands – it was caused by an added rosemary essence to promote circulation. After such treatment one has to be careful not to bite into his own little finger ;)

Anyway, after an unsuccessful thirty minute search for a dirt stain on the tiles of the wall, I didn’t have any better idea of how to pass the time, the therapist came back and asked me how I liked the treatment. My honest answer was “Well, my two hands are now clean, very clean”!

For some reason this type of bath therapy disappeared from my future treatment plan :-)

Translator BW

Greetings from the Training Camp

November 22nd, 2015


2 months have passed…

Nobody ever doubted that there’s something going on with my head (literally ;-) However, with the news that hit me out of nowhere in the middle of July about my brain situation – I certainly could have done without.

Meanwhile, I returned all of the newly acquired spare parts (gastric probe, tracheal needle, permanent catheter) and slowly begin to see the light again at the end of the tunnel – into the light I did not yet want to ride…

After intensive hospital hopping I have one piece of advice for all Paraplegics: no matter what illness or disease needs to be treated – your paraplegia must first be addressed; it has absolute priority! Instead of selecting an alleged special rehabilitation clinic, rather chose a hospital that you trust and make it your preference. Those specialty places might not be familiar with paraplegia and are easily overwhelmed. If you can’t make it out of bed on your own, maybe due to a decline of your overall condition, you have lost.

Fortunately, for one month now I’m back in the hospital of my trust, where even the guards know me by name. They will put me back on my wheels!

Here are a few impressions from my current “training camp”… physio-, ergo-, speech therapy, driving training, mud baths, etc. …

Translator BW

Sign of Life

September 20th, 2015


Hi Folks,

For all those, who missed me on FB, on the blog, in the stadium or wherever else: Yes, I’m still alive!

I am currently in Rehab and what my writing concerns slightly out of action. I’m sorry that I’m unable to answer any messages but hope to continue with my blog soon. Nevertheless, my presence in this facility immensely lowers the average age ;-)

Teddy Greetings from the Rollinator

Translator BW

Rock im Park 2015

June 16th, 2015

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

New savetysystem detected in Sri Lanka

June 2nd, 2015


The traffic in Sri Lanka for us Europeans takes some time to get used to. As a training camp I recommend Frankfurt “Platz der Republic” during rush hour and a fair; driving through junctions, honking horns and squeezing through anything… and somewhere in between still fits a tuk-tuk or a moped.

This is called efficient road use – keeping a safety distance is wasted asphalt ;-) During the past 15 years a lot has happened with the infrastructure, but somehow pedestrian crosswalks are still perceived as decoration, and cows and elephants always have the right of way anyway … aahh … or so.

Using the horn is prohibited in front of temples, and this is really the ONLY traffic rule obeyed!!!

This moped rider shows some astounding creativity in developing a new innovative safety concept for two-wheelers, at the same time bio-airbag, side impact protection and spacer. For this purpose he uses renewable raw materials in form of jackfruits.

Other than the cushioning effect in accidents ripe jackfruits spread such a stench that no other vehicle dares to get closer than a few feet. However, the improvement of the aerodynamics is negatively offset by the increase of the total weight of 150 kg – from zero to 50 in 2 minutes. To read the complede “Sri Lanka- serial” ,

click here.

Translator BW

Helicopter flight above Sri Lanka

May 31st, 2015


Sri Lanka, all that green and no apple trees

We were suitably picked up by a driver named “Amigo”, sporting aviator mirror sunglasses, in a silver-colored Hummer (as labeled on the hood, yet with a Honda logo at the steering wheel) and brought to the military airport in Colombo.

We were greeted by a welcome committee ready with a wheelchair, in which Lieutenant Dan probably sat already. Fortunately, they let me use my own.

We were the only tourists at the entire airport. The security chief himself took care of us right away. Our tour guide did honor to his name when he was suddenly back in the security area before us, because the security chief happened to be an old classmate of his.

Meanwhile the four bored immigration attendants were waiting in their turquoise blue saris for the end of their work day.

A golf cart pulled up equipped with mountings for flags, so strictly speaking a diplomat’s car. I started to feel like celebrity ;-) After some negotiation I was allowed to make the 100 meters to the launch site in my chair. For that I was accompanied by one of the turquoise wrapped ladies as a personal umbrella holder and also by two of my very own security guards. In my entourage puttered the golf cart with the three other passengers, one more sari-lady and even more security. Did I have a sign “Follow Me” on my vest?!

Arriving at the helicopter we were greeted by the pilot while another three men came from the hangar. I guess, I was the highlight of the day, perhaps even month, and everybody wanted to be there when the crazy white wheelchair man boarded the helicopter.

Approx. twelve men stood around me and waited for a command, how to best get me up and in there (seat height was about 1.40 m). The well proven safety grip did not work in this case.

As a result my old dream of a palanquin wheelchair was almost met, when four men lifted my wheelchair up to entrance height, from where I could with the help of my slide board comfortably slide on to the seat. This way my slide board literally turned in to a flight board ;-) The ground troops were thrilled! For a short while I felt like sitting on a throne, since everybody else was still down on the ground. I was tempted to wave to my people like the Queen, but then rather decided on a shy thumbs-up. What an uplifting feeling! It is indeed very special for someone who sits in a wheelchair, to suddenly be the tallest person around ;-)

We were flying towards the middle of the island to Kandy, and the pilot managed nicely to stay ahead of the looming monsoon rains.

The view of the island was, particularly of the highlands, comparable with the landscapes that one knows from films like Platoon and Forrest Gump. Everything is green, tea plantations and more palm trees than I have ever seen in 1 1/2 hours (and no apple trees – no apple trees, just pineapples!)

Shortly before landing, the pilot radioed that he needed more time to get ground clearance, since he had a wheelchair on board. To us this seemed a little exaggerated, because there was certainly not any more traffic than at the airport Kassel-Calden at rush-hour, (one plane the day). But everything must have its order ;-)

Back on the ground we already saw two men, who pushed my wheelchair from the hangar. One of them examined my sliding board from all sides in sheer fascination. I suspect he started that evening to work the jigsaw ; -) He must have been quite disappointed when it wasn’t used again for the transfer back from the helicopter…

Instead, the classical safety grip/throwing technique came to use, so that after the roundtrip the departure happened by a wheelchair spot landing. The Pilot was obviously impressed, because he said: “I know my game”.

On the way back the same welcome committee was awaiting us including umbrella holder, security guards and golf cart. The weather god was also gracious and only changed his mind after I was safe in my wheelchair again. Then the sky opened and the monsoon season greeted us. My personal umbrella holder kept walking next to me, unmoved by the fact that she got drenched, but she probably was used to this kind of downpour – her only comment was “It’s just rain”.

I would have liked to show you more evidence, but since we are talking about a military airport and members of the military, we held back a little on the photo shooting. A checkup of the accessibility of the local military jail was not part of the itinerary…

To read the complede “Sri Lanka- serial” , click here.

Translator BW

May 30th, 2015

To look for “Older Entries”

Click the blue button!