Posts Tagged ‘Teneriffa’

Ghost Bathroom

Friday, October 31st, 2014

In a designated wheelchair hotel it goes without saying that the bathrooms are accessible and have an accessible shower.

Bathtubs are only used rarely by us wheelers.
Here some Spanish mechanics really have bricked up the former bath tub and made a storage rack out of it. I like!

My wife as a pedestrian felt discriminated.

Taking a closer examination, it could also be a

Sacrophagus of a tomb

You better don’t ask the question if there is still anybody lying in it.

Translator BL

 

Sport News V, Wheelchairgolf

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

Trial lesson in Tenerife

I had already reported a year ago about an electric wheelchair with which you can play golf, (see older blogpost).

In Tenerife, you can rent such a golf wheelchair in the Hotel Mar y Sol in Los Cristianos, and also play a round with a coach on the golf course.

As I once played field hockey in my previous live and I would have liked to hit a ball again, my curiosity was even bigger.

This year I even had the possibility to meet the challenge of playing golf with my friend Christian Nachtwey, a former European champion and team captain of the German National Team in wheelchair golf.

Christian is not only an excellent golf player but also has a company which produces these golf wheelchairs. www.powerbasetec.de

In my former life I have driven many fork lifts, lifting platforms and similar vehicles with joystick, but such a delicate steering mechanism as it is in the golf wheelchair was new to me. Just driving around is really fun!

However, I was still in doubt how I should hold the golf club with my limited finger function and then even be able to hit the ball.
You have to take such “trifles” as a game, up to now we usually could think of a solution.

You are buckled up with knees and chest, similar to my Standing chair at home, and then you rise to the sky.

I have to admit, we were “just” on the Driving Range.

After we fixed the golf club with velcro straps and duct tape to my hand, the test series “Play Golf 1.0″ instead of “Drive Golf 12.1 years” could begin.

To my surprise you hardly need power, so that the ball even moves with me.

It seems to me that you can learn to play golf quicker as a “wheeler” than as a “footer” because you don’t twist the upper body during the shot due to the belts.

It is a lot of fun, I can recommend it to everybody to give it a try.

Wheelchair golf is also possible on Mallorca, this is there offered by “FUNDACIÓN HANDISPORT Mallorca”.

With them I was already sailing last year. It was a perfect day then, (see older blogpost).

A roll of duct tape is necessary per hole…

After I unpacked my “secret weapon”, the golf-ball from Eintracht Frankfurt which I brought along, Christian virtually didn’t have a chance any more ;-)

Translator BL

Wheelchair Tuning Part XXXIII

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Strictly speaking, a wheelchair is nothing else than a shoe!!!

It is not owned by yourself, but by your medical supply store.

Refurbishment and reconstruction are only allowed to be done by the medical supply store for insurance reasons ;-) ;-) ;-)

Except for cleaning you are not allowed to do anything officially…!!!

However I also recommend regular greasing and oiling (see older blogpost).

With a newly prescribed wheelchair you are usually allowed to select the colour, but this is the utmost individuality you can get.

Of course a wheelchair has to fit primarily from a medical point of view, but where is it written that it should not look stylish as well.

The look of the wheelchair reflects the soul of its owner… ommm…

I really have to work on my meditation… eh, medication, well, this is a little bit right however…!!!

The easiest way to change the appearance of your wheelchair is to fix spoke protector discs with motif on the running wheels.

The original reason for spoke protector discs is that such a “buckled finger” like me doesn’t clamp his fingers in the spokes.

Children get these quite expensive discs with logos from football clubs or motifs from Princess Lilifee and other kids characters paid by the health insurance, and the kids are very proud how great their wheelchair is looking.

As old guy you have to pay the discs yourself or drive around with the original health insurance shopper look.

Depending on the company, you have a choice of dozens of motifs “ready-made”, but you can get almost every picture printed on the discs as well.
Believe me, I have seen quite weird things.

You can let your creativity “run wild“.

I have now got my own discs produced, in fact according to my own design with personal reference:

With such an eye-catcher the wheelchair is not so much seen as medical device anymore and can even ease some situations. Especially kids react unbiased to the motif and don’t have any fear of contact.

I have got the discs produced at an innovative family company (contact on request at rollinator@eigude.de).

If you are on 25.-27. April 2013 visiting the REHAB in Karlsruhe, keep the eyes open if you discover my motif at one of the booths ;-)

A physiotherapist noticed once with expert’s eye that the lion is an above-knee amputee…
I was just in this moment in the swimming pool, forgot to move the arms and was almost drowning.

Translator BL

Technical Aids Tips and Tricks XXIX

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Flying with a wheelchair!!!

It is actually no big secret, but I am asked again and again how I make it into the plane, because as is known I am neither able to walk, jump nor hop.

The answer is very easy, with a plane wheelchair and two strong guys!!

When the plane has docked at the gate I move with my own wheelchair to the plane door.

If you have an outside position you drive to the plane with a normal bus.
From there you move upwards to the height of the plane with a

plane lifting bus

If this “Beam me up Scotty Bus” is even working properly you should be the first at the upper door (the other passengers are coming from the other side of the plane).
I have already experienced this differently, (see older blogpost).

In this bus two kind airport employees help you with the transfer from your own wheelchair to the worldwide similar

plane wheelchair (model on the left)

On this piece of equipment you are pulled through the plane until you arrive at a special seat row where you can fold up the armrest to the aisle.

Then the famous “dwarf tossing” to the window seat can start…!!!

Don’t be afraid, the guys know what they are doing!!! ;-)

This time we have set a new record on the return flight, only 1 hour 40 minutes from landing until leaving the airport building. :-(

Click here on “Flying” to read stories all about “Flying with a wheelchair”.

Many years ago, I have worked at a beverage wholesaler, and the plane wheelchair always reminds me a bit of a sack truck with chair.

Translator BL

Back from Wheelchairgolf trial lesson from Tenerife!

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Frontpage

Next Blogpost on 01.03.

Sport News III

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Today is the start of the

Paralympics in London!

My personal tip, watch

Wheelchair Rugby and Wheelchair Basketball

on TV. It is unbelievable how fast one can move in a wheelchair!!!

In February 2012, when I was in Tenerife in the wheelchair hotel “Mar y Sol”, the Swedish national team was training for wheelchair rugby, (see older blogpost with video).

I tried myself in wheelchair hockey, “Sport News II”.

During the opening ceremony I even recognized a Swedish player.

Wheelchair basketball is just power:

Frankfurt “Mainhatten Sky-Wheelers”

Sailing is of course paralympic as well!

In Mallorca there is an organization FUNDACIÓN HANDISPORT
With them a wheelchair user can go waterskiing, golfing and driving beach buggy, and even sailing.

I have tried it of course, it was a perfect day:

What would have happened when my sailing teacher (behind me in the picture) would have fallen into the water?

For the next Paralympics I still have to practice a bit. ;-)

Translator BL

 

Technical Aids Tips and Tricks Part XLX

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

As a man you have already evolutionary determined a technical gene. What was in Stone Age the then high tech marble stone axe with polished oak wood grip, is today the 60 inch 3D television with Dolby 16:1. The new shooter console is probably more modern than everything what the German army owns, and of course not to forget the refrigerator with WiFi and integrated ice cube dispenser where you can pre-select the shape of the ice cubes directly with the tablet PC from the couch from an individual CAD file.
In the end it is very simple, if the man is not capable to do he calls for technology…!!!
I am not alluding to the bedroom.

Subject today: Golf!!!

Except that I drove a VW Golf for 12 years I didn’t have much to do with the lawn sport of the same name, I was once playing hockey.

If you are not able to stand any more as wheeler the shot at the club house on the golf court can get a bit difficult. The variant that 2 strong caddies lift you up for each shot seems possible, but I think that the guys will slightly flag after the 12th hole. So technology is called again. For this case there is the

Powergolfer!

The Powergolfer is a well motorised, very flexible electric scooter with a stand-up fuction, similar to my standing chair (see older blogpost).

You are buckled up with legs and belly, beamed up until standing, and hits on the innocent golf ball like all the others.

Here the constructor explains in person how this is working.
Unfortunately I could not undergo a self test due to my broken leg not healed yet. I was nevertheless convinced. It is a great technical aid for golfing wheelchair users.

The Powergolfer is also available with small modifications as I call it Powerfisher. However successful draughts of fish cannot be guaranteed.

In the integrated trunk there is enough space for a tool kit, with which the Powergolfer also turns into a wheelchair service vehicle. The hand bar on the side, pimped with a golf ball, is also usable as mounting and repair hammer.

Because of the standing function of the Powergolfer I had to finally surrender after a hard fight in the direct battle with my Minitrac.

On my inquiry if the Powergolfer would also be available with sickle bar I got the answer if I would like to have it… nothing seems impossible!!!

More information and video under www.powergolfer.de

I doubt that the health insurance will cover the acquisition costs of the golf wheelchair, but for next birthday present, why not… ;-)

Translator BL

 

Sport News Part II

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

The sun beds in the Mar y Sol in Tenerife at the pool are extra high for us wheelers so that it is easier to transfer.

But because constant hanging around on the sun bed can lead to permanent back disorders I decided to perform some complementary training.

After the training match of the Swedish national team in wheelchair rugby (see older blogpost) the sports hall of our hotel was available for us tourists again.

The idea of my mates to play wheelchair hockey I found quite appealing.
Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away… or roundabout 25 years ago it was the last time when I had a hockey stick in my hands.
At this time I was playing hockey at the club SC 1880 Frankfurt until the last youth age class. Back then of course with real wooden sticks.

The plastic sticks were not heavy at all with about 200 g. But there it was again, the challenge: How to play hockey when you are not able to hold the hockey stick because of the paralysis of the hands as quadriplegic.

The first attempts to bind the stick onto the arm with bandages and theraband did not lead to the desired success.

With black duct tape a match overlasting

Hockey stick-hand-arm-adaption

could be achieved. I was quite satisfied with the result, and the wheelchair hockey match was fun.

After the match there was actually only one loser, my skin…!!!

Wheelchair hockey is excellently suitable for permanent hair removal ;-)

Translator BL

 

Training and Test Week Tenerife Part II

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Readers who are following my blog know that I was travelling to Tenerife in February for the sole reason to test extensively the modifications and offroad suitability of my Minitric with its new

Tractor Tyre Traction Technology

(see older blogpost)

Exactly one year ago I had purchased the Minitrac over there so that it was running in its home stomping ground again for 12 days.
The Minitrac never showed any difficulties with the hilly landscape of the volcano island yet.

Solid ground, also with stones to a reasonable extent, is manageable quite well for the Minitrac with its special tyres so that hiking trails in the alps should not be too big challenges either.


(Fake!)

With its two new batteries of each 12 V /52 AH you don’t have to worry about distances of easily 25 km.

Rides on the soft sand beach are not possible, the Trac is too heavy, the wheels would spin.
If you urgently need a full-body exfoliation I recommend to drive with the Trac into the sand of a nudist beach and apply full throttle, the flinging sand will do the rest ;-)

The special feature from Swisstrac and Minitrac is that you can move up and down curbs which is still possible with tractor tyres.

Because of the new tyres, the rather friendly-appearing Trac suddenly has got a rather grim appearance which has the additional positive effect that each pedestrian looks a bit puzzled and immediately takes a safety distance in order not to be overrun by my rolling offroad power box.

A cross design on the instep of the foot doesn’t seem to be currently in fashion.

Of course the Minitrac was tested in civilization as well. Due to the rather big turning circle shopping in supermarkets and department stores is a bit inconvenient. The rear exit of the supermarket uncommonly has an 8 meter long tiled ramp with 20° gradient which of course I had to test. Also this ramp could be managed without human push from behind the wheelchair.

A great camouflage, in this row of children’s fun rides I don’t really stand out :-)

In a special area of the beach promenade almost all of the floor tiles were broken so that I was glad that I had also equipped my wheelchair with mountainbike tyres for the test week.

The Minitrac has passed the tests with flying colours, and additional planned modifications can be realized. Firstly the headlights which were damaged on the return flight will be replaced.

I will still report about the battle Minitrac vs. Powergolfer in Tenerife!!!

No Comment..!!

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

When I was watching the fine art of women’s beach volleyball (of course out of sporting interest only) from the beach promenade in Los Cristianos in Tenerife, two elderly ladies came by and addressed me in English. They wanted to give me such an Anglo-Saxon information brochure.


The women are playing on the left field ;-)

I had a specific presentiment and said to the ladies that my English is not the best. It turned out quickly that the ladies were German.

Because I stood next to a small wall and they blocked my escape – I didn’t want to drive over their feet with my harnessed Minitrac – I got involved into a little chat with them.

Finally they gave me a German brochure about stressed and overworked physicians… eh…!!!

Well, since my accident 2007 I am quite familiar with this subject, but mainly from the perspective of a hospital bed during the ward round.

Just another two years, and I will know more physicians than there are beer brands in Germany.

By taking a closer look into the information material I had to grin a little about the up-to-dateness, have a look yourself:

Unbelievable but true:

Edition January 2005,

At that time I was still pedestrian!

(Translator’s note: German readers immediately recognize “Awakening”, the magazine of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany)

Well, strictly speaking the first edition of the bible wasn’t published yesterday either!

Translator BL

Wheelchair Rugby

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

 If you are sitting in a wheelchair and in addition to your legs also your arms or hands are handicapped it doesn’t make much sense to play wheelchair basketball.

There is a sport where it is possible to let off steam nevertheless:

Wheelchair Rugby,

previously also called Killerball”.

As a player you probably feel a bit like in a bumper car on a fun fair in your childhood.

The objective of the game is, similar to American Football, to bring a ball with the wheelchair from one side of the field to the end zone (“key”) on the other side. An offence has to be finished within 40 seconds.

Every team has 4 players, and it is really getting rough.

I was lucky to watch wheelchair rugby on highest level in the new sports hall of the hotel Mar y Sol in Tenerife (see blogpost below).

The Swedish national team who is the current European champion was in the same hotel for a training camp for the Paralympics 2012 in London. 3 Canadians were with them as “sparring partners”. (The Swedish coach is Canadian.)

On the hand rims of the sport wheelchair tyres there is black resin for a better grip, similar to pole vault. After the first training the sports hall was inaugurated, the new parquet floor had some black stripes. With a photo of this “sports art” you would probably be overwhelmed with awards at the next “Documenta” (translator’s note: yearly exhibition for contemporary art in Germany). Allegedly the stripes could be wiped away later. What a pity.

There was training in the morning and matches in the afternoon.

The match lasts for 4 x 8 minutes.

You could still hear the colliding of wheelchairs in the 3rd floor of the hotel resort. The special sport wheelchairs virtually consist of dents and were already often welded.

Sometimes a good defence, i.e. frontal with the wheelchair against the opponent, reminds of mountain goats in the alps at rutting season.

Click on the picture to see a Video!

Unbelievable how fast you can get with a wheelchair…!!!

Every now and then a rollover of a player in the wheelchair and some burst tyres of course belong to Killerball… erm… wheelchair ruby.

The game is characterized very much by tactics.

If 2 players out of 4 players e.g. block an opponent there is space to throw the ball to a team mate (there are only four players), who possibly makes it then to the end zone. Perhaps the blocked one is “standing” 2 meters tall, catches the ball and passes it on, everything is possible. More handicapped players are defenders and place themselves in the way of the supposed centre forward. They have a kind of basket in front of the wheelchair which is suited for blocking and as “battering ram”.

The complete course of the match changes in seconds and is endlessly exciting.

Boom-Bang and a little bit like chess, what do you want more as a man ;-)

The matches were led by a quite decisive female referee bravely without steel-capped shoes.

I can recommend to everyone to watch wheelchair rugby at the Paralympics. I hope that the matches will be broadcasted although Germany according to my information is not qualified as 6th of the European Championships.

Translator BL

 

Training and Test week Tenerife

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

After spending the last few days almost exclusively with my hobby as office communication specialist (make phone calls, pay invoices, scan, hole, file or shred documents, ok, everything is occupational therapy as well) I’m ready to continue now:

The hotel Mar y Sol in the south of Tenerife is one the most known wheelchair hotels.

Why it necessarily had to be built on top of a hill can only be explained so that according to someone’s opinion the wheelchair pusher should exercise a little bit as well.

Many “fresh wheelers” spend their first holiday there, because with the medical supply store “Lero” next door offering 24 hrs nursing services as well and renting out virtually all needed equipment it is possible to book the carefree package. At the same time you will never hear the word “patient” from the nurses, one is referred to as guest, and this is how one is treated. The nursing costs can be settled with the German nursing insurance, depending on the care level. The “pain providers“ from the physiotherapy facility „Terralava“ torture with additional charge on German prescription as well. Plenty of electric wheelchairs and scooters are present, as one would like to go down to the handicapped beach as well (see older blogpost).

The hotel has 2 pools, one of them heated to 32° C.
A “lifeguard” helps with the transfer to the chair of a pool lifter and winds one down as if he would water a ship’s boat. With a little bit of luck he also helps to come out of the pool again ;-)

Almost all guests are repeaters, some overwinter there for 3 months, so that the stay is always a bit like a class reunion, you know each other…

It is a bit crazy if the wheelers stand in each other’s way at the buffet. You always find a way very relaxed and without stress. There is no fight at the buffet, on the contrary you help each other according to your handicap.

There is also animation and some program in the evenings, but I am missing the classic “club dance”.
The tradition of 1-sheet-bingo and 10-question-quiz for a bottle of sparkling wine is held high here.

This time I was there for the 4th time.

On the day of arrival I heard something about a gym…, did I miss something???

When I was there last year there was already knocking and hammering in the side building. They have built a sports hall (and not a small one!), without asking me, what a cheek!!!

I suspected the worst:

Would I have to be involved in sporting activities, although I actually travelled there for a Minitrac-tractor tyres-test week?

To be continued…

Click on tag “Tenerife” to view older blogposts!

Translator BL

 

Back from Tenerife!

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Unfortunately the Minitrac has not survived the flight undamaged again!

Apart from that I have collected enough material for new stories, more to come shortly.

I am freezing, let’s get going!!!

Friday, November 18th, 2011

I took the ad hoc decision to follow the established tradition as German retiree and drive around on the canary islands in the coming winter.
Because the journey with the boat would be “going” a little bit too slow (actually it wouldn’t matter, I would have time and could “sit” it out easily) I decided anyhow in favour of flying.

Because I have already gone through a couple of flight miles with a wheelchair and experienced some weird things here are some tips.

Flight trips with wheelchair made easy!

When booking at your travel agency specify already any required medical devices with indication of size and weight, and if required additional assistance at the airport. Medical devices will be transported free of charge anywhere.
It came to my attention that if you need to take along any hard drugs, especially at the entry of the United States, a medical certificate and a lot of time is required.

At the check-in, approach an airport employee and get to the check-in counter with him from the side without any bad conscience, independent of the length of the queue.
Alternatively there is a “handicapped meeting point” in the terminals with an assistance button, after pressing of which a professional wheelchair pusher is coming who will manage everything.

In Frankfurt it is allowed to sit in your own wheelchair until you reach the door of the aircraft. Usually you are the first passenger on the flight. Then you are carried by two “volunteers” in a small plane wheelchair which reminds a bit of a sack truck to your seat, and then the “dwarf tossing” to the window seat begins.

Now it is advisable to pray.
Will your own wheelchair find its way into the cargo bay of the same aircraft?
Will your wheelchair be available and navigable at the destination airport?

In order to avoid that your wheelchair will be treated like ordinary luggage at the destination airport, but hopefully will be brought to the exit of the plane instead there is a label:

Delivery at Aircraft.

This means for the luggage guys at the plane as much as: Please be so kind not to load the object adherent to the label on the luggage cart and leave it here!!!
Keep the labels, don’t throw them away, you might need them for the return flight.

Sometimes there are no more labels available, which might end up extremely annoying when you are still sitting in the plane, and the wheelchair is already lying on the bulky luggage belt in the terminal.

The airport employees around the world are trained so well, they even manage to fold a wheelchair with a rigid-welded frame.
Although I have a foldable wheelchair it has a cross bar to attach an electric wheelchair-tractive type Minitrac. What I have experienced with that, see older blog post.

When the luggage loaders tried to fold my wheelchair it ended with little crashes several times already. Meanwhile I have a reversible, bilingual label on the seat:

Wheelchair not foldable.

It helped the last two times.

I have another label to offer:

Handle with care!

It probably doesn’t help, but brightens the wheelchair up with its red and blue design.

You shouldn’t forget to remind a flight attendant approximately 30 minutes before landing that you are a wheelchair user.

The pilot then hopefully won’t forget the notification at the destination airport, and the probability to leave the aircraft in a reasonable time increases dramatically.

Have fun with your next flight trip!!!

When I think about it, maybe I should better take the boat after all!

Translator BL

Technical Aids Tips and Tricks XXXIII

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

A very well-known wheelchair hotel is the

“Mar y Sol”

on Tenerife.

Everything accessible, 2 pools with lifters, a store for medical supply next door, etc.

Everything great, apart from one little thing:

Tenerife is a volcano island, and the hotel is on top of a hill, fantastic…!
A Paralympics participant might be able to conquer this mountain by himself, but not me, never ever.

Many hotel guests bring their own electric wheelchairs from Germany which often become victims of the airlines, or they rent a scooter during their stay.
I once got the tip when I am down at the beach and would like to go up to the hotel again, to wait for the next electric wheelchair driver and tow myself on to him.

Well, I didn’t rent a scooter, but already for the second time a wheelchair tractive.

I already reported in October 2010 about my positive experience with this tractive type:

Minitrac

(see older blogpost).

By coincidence I got the offer in Tenerife to buy a Trac in black, even fitting my wheelchair colour.

I could not resist and acquired my approximately 10 year old, new toy.

The re-import of the once in Germany produced Minitrac from Spain was a little bit difficult.
At the check-in at Tenerife airport, a slightly panic flight passenger broke off the steering linkage. The thing was fairly crashed.

In Frankfurt my own wheelchair was damaged as well so that I could not ride it on my own because the wheel was rubbing at the brake.

With all the luggage and a little overstrained lady from the airport handicapped service it was a perfect mess.

Without the help of my wife I probably would still be standing in Terminal 1.

After a first repair of the steering linkage of the Minitrac and a set of new batteries the first rides in Frankfurt could be made.

This thing rides only with 6 km/h, therefore doesn’t need a license plate and doesn’t have any constraints from the technical control association.
Some ideas come to my mind immediately what could be changed . ;-)
Wait and see…

Translator BL