After His TBI My Son Gained Mobility on an Adult 3-Wheel Cycle
Twenty years after suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury
on a small motorcycle he kept at college, for easy commuting from apartment to class, my son has wheels again.
Obesity and inactivity were the price
he paid for the lack of a real work program in the TBI facility where he resides. And though they seldom even engage him in chores like setting and wiping tables, he has ridden a low-exertion exercise bike for years.
Still, the pounds packed on, but once the program received some official complaints about the obesity they used some of his personal funds (the $57/month the typical Medicaid funded disabled person is allowed to keep for purchases such as clothing and toiletries). He paid for a 3-wheel adult bicycle, in installments.
It didn't crush the obesity
but he's miles ahead as far as core conditioning is concerned. He lives 1,400 miles from me. My visits last from ten days to over two weeks, to make up for the lapse. Last visit it delighted me to see the loose fit of his clothing, even if there were no weight loss involved.
Even his balance has improved
since bike riding became a regular part of his routine. Living far away from him, first impressions, after a year or so, have a big impact on me.
Balance is a noticeable issue ever since the TBI, but I took him on his first hike in twenty years and was surprised at how much more steady on his feet he was than the last time.
After he moves back home
it's still possible we may need to buy another bike for him, so I began browsing to see what bikes got the best reviews. For our purpose, if I were making the purchase now, I would choose this folding model.
3 Main Reasons I choose the Westport
adult tricycle - it's hard to write that word (reminds me of when hospital staff called the Attends diapers and the punch to the gut I felt, because only a few months before my son was preparing for university graduation and now I was hearing him discussed as if he weren't even present). Here are my reasons:
- 20" wheels mean it offers greater stability than those with the larger wheels, and that's vitally important to a person with compromised vision
- It folds! That means it doesn't necessary have to take up so much space as a regular 3-wheeler. Chances are I could even put it into my SUV with a little help from him
- I think I'll have no trouble assembling it because I have Allen wrenches, and torque wrenches and a vise-grip too. My son would love to take part in finishing the assembly with me. So, our two grips are probably strong enough for any need. My confidence comes somewhat from my house wiring experience - you can read about My Wiring Gig - and because I'm only too happy to read the directions.
I want one for myself too so that we can ride together.
That way my son will feel he's on a more equal basis and I don't have to relearn to ride after fifty years!
Please Wear a Helmet When You Ride - Stay Safe & Free
Below I share a couple photos that contrast the before and after bikes my son rode. photographs Â©2006, 2012 by Papier, aka Leslie Sinclair.
A fine match for my son's needs. I prefer a light color because it may be somewhat cooler in hot Summer sun.
Although he dispensed with his helmet while at college he had previously always gone helmeted.
Since the TBI he wouldn't think of riding without a helmet.
This bike will serve both pleasure and therapeutic needs.
One plan is to do some pathfinding on our drive and paved paths, and the bell will be a helpful signal.
Since we're outdoorsy sort of people gloves will come in handy both for improving the grip and for keeping the fingers warm.
At the price these gloves have cost no more than a couple cups of coffee and he'll love the sporty look.