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Kennedy's Disease Chat Transcript  10-15-2005

Topic:  Special Guest - John Test of Eddie Test Medical Equipment

Host: Bruce Gaughran


Chat Participants:

BEDPAN1 (John Test)



Bruce entered the room.

You are in Kennedy's Disease Chat.

Bruce's new status is 'administrator'.

murf entered the room.

murf: Morning Bruce

Bruce: Good Morning Murray. I am getting worried. There are only two of us on this morning.

murf: I missed the reminder this week

Bruce: It would be rather embarrassing if only a few people showed up when we have a guest chatter

Bruce: Have things calmed down any?

murf: At work? or my life? LOL

Bruce: Both

Bruce: You seemed pretty stressed out the last couple of times we exchanged emails.

murf: That was Dad on the phone

Bruce: How is he doing?

murf: My daughter just broke her leg in three places

murf: Hers doing ok

Bruce: NO!!! What happened?

murf: A very heavy guy fell on her at work

murf: Lower leg and ankle so not as serious as your brake

Bruce: Okay, I have to know. How did a guy fall on her?

BEDPAN1 entered the room.

Bruce: Good Morning John

BEDPAN1: Good morning

murf: I guess (the story I got) he was in a fight

Bruce: So far, we aren't doing well for the turnout. Normally we have several people on at this time.

murf: Morning John

BEDPAN1: good morning to u murf

Bruce: Did you have any trouble logging in this morning, John?

BEDPAN1: yeah, bedpan forgot his password, so he is now bedpan1....

Bruce: That will do it!

Bruce: Usually by now we have 8-10 people on. The only thing I can figure out is that maybe some of the people didn't get the notice and were confused because we had a chat last weekend.

BEDPAN1: i figured i would get at least 4 or 5 to join in and hear my riveting info.

Bruce: Murray didn't receive the chat room notice and he just mentioned TJ didn't either. That makes me wonder who else didn't receive the email. No good!

MikeG entered the room.

BEDPAN1 has left the room.

murf: Morning Mike

Bruce: Good Morning Mike

BEDPAN1 entered the room.

MikeG: Howdy all

Bruce: How are things in wonderful Florida?

MikeG: Awesome

MikeG: Wonderful day here

murf: John- What is the best and /or cheapest way to handicap your house?

MikeG: Was anyone on the chat last week?

Bruce: Mike, did you receive a notice from Terry about this chat?

MikeG: I don't know... what's up?

murf: Mike- We had a few and the transcript is (should be) posted

Bruce: Okay, let's get started and see who else joins us.

BEDPAN1: well murf, depending on who u use to install items, i dont know if it will always be cheap.


Bruce: Good Morning, I would like to introduce John Test of Eddie Test's Medical Equipment. John has worked in the medical equipment field for 20 years. While attending the University of Georgia, John worked in the business part time. After graduating, he worked in Atlanta, GA and later moved back to the North Georgia area where he continued to work in the medical equipment field. After about a year, John was offered a position in the family business and has been there since. Eddie Test's Medical Equipment is family run company in Ringgold, GA, serving the north Georgia, southeastern Tennessee and occasionally the northeast Alabama area. His company provides most medical equipment supplies including wheelchairs, scooters, hospital beds, lift recliners, canes, braces, and wo

murf: Normal chats this month were the first and the third (today) Saturdays

Bruce: wound care supplies. I have known John for about three years and consider him a good friend. He has a wealth of knowledge in the medical equipment area and has been a constant resource to me. John, thank you for taking the time to join our chat room this morning.

BEDPAN1: glad to be asked, hope i can be of help

kelly entered the room.

Bruce: Morning Kelly, we have John Test on of Eddie Test Medical Equipment

kelly: good morning bruce

murf: Morning Kelly

kelly: hi murf how are ya?

Bruce: John, several of our associates have had difficulty securing a wheelchair or have been turned down in the last few years by Medicare or their insurance provider, what are some tips that these associates should be aware of when attempting to secure a chair? Also, what percentage of the chair's cost does Medicare or a typical insurance company pay?

murf: Getting cold up there yet Kelly?

BEDPAN1: medicare will cover 80 % of their allowable on any item .

kelly: yes it is now yup.//10

Bruce: I keep on seeing advertisements on TV about paying up to 100% of the amount. Is this just if someone has Medicaid?

BEDPAN1: their med. equip. supplier should know, but a person might also want to get a physical therapist eval done as well.

BEDPAN1: most insurance companies have an allowbale set up based on what medicare allows. they usually make their's a little lower if they can get away with it. :)

murf: John - I'm thinking about putting in a swimming pool in the back yard. What do I need to consider installing?

Bruce: Do most medical equipment companies manage the paperwork end, or is it normally done by the individual applying for the chair?

BEDPAN1: medicaid does pay 100 % of their allowable for recepients.

Bruce: John, based upon your experience, what are the top two or three electric wheelchair manufacturers for reliability and performance and why?

BEDPAN1: paperwork has to be done by a company w/ a medicare supplier's number

BEDPAN1: 5 or 6 yrs ago medicare cut out allowing individuals to send in claims. private insurances still aloow it though.

BEDPAN1: swimming pool- wise... i guess a shallow end, steps and a grab bar. these are pretty standard on most swimming pools...

BEDPAN1: I believe the Pride Jazzy to be the best line of motorized w/chairs.

MikeG: Steps are taboo to us

murf: Right I was thinking power hoists or something like that

BEDPAN1: Invacre makes a pretty good one also, and even a company called CPM out of California.

Bruce: Kelly, in Canada with its nationalized healthcare, is there an easy process for acquiring a chair? How does it work?

kelly: what about the RASCAL ANYTHING ON THAT POWER SCOOTER? is it good??

heyvern entered the room.

Bruce: Morning heyvern

murf: Hey vern

murf: Morning

heyvern: Just Vern will do. Good morning it's been a long time.

BEDPAN1: the Rascal by electric mobility i believ to be an inferior model. around here, there is some yahoo that drives around in his car and demonstrates the scooter/ motorized w/c based on leads he is given.

Bruce: John, is there some annual maintenance that should be performed on any electric wheelchair? If so, what is covered by Medicare and most insurance providers?

kelly: we go through the sask abilities coucil for stuff like that, they usually pick up the bill for the less fortunate pple who need wheel chairs etc, as for the private insurance? Iam assiming they'll pik up the tab as well depending on insurance policy.

BEDPAN1: he used to also deliver cake, but i understand now he is bringing cookies. most of the time they are fresh.

heyvern: I bought a Rascal years ago and really paid through the nose.

BEDPAN1: basically, u want to choose one where u can get service done if needed in a timely manner.

murf: How often do batteries need to be replaced?

BEDPAN1: the rascal rep around here tells medicare rec. that there is no coverage and gets them to pay right away w/ a credit card.

heyvern: I* wouldn't deal with those crooks again. really inflated prices.

murf: I'm pretty happy with my Invicare

kelly: here in canada every province is differant when it comes to insurance! diss, etc

BEDPAN1: battery replacement will very. medicare will cover a new pair every yr. and there should be a warranty on any battery that wont hold a charge for less than a yr.

Bruce: John, recently a couple of associates have mentioned problems with their hands when using eating utensils (grasping, holding, cutting). Are their available utensils with larger handles to make it easier to eat?

heyvern: You can also get help tthrough your local area MDA

MikeG: Very good question Bruce.

BEDPAN1: i believe the motorize chairs that have a mid-wheel drive or the ones to choose. they allow for smaller turning radius and can sometimes be taken apart

Bruce: Yes Vern, the MDA is very helpful. They paid for what Medicare and my insurance provider didn't cover.

murf: Right Vern - They helped with my chair and give $500 per year for repares too.

murf: repairs

kelly: there is no MDA here in canada that I"am aware of??? or is there?

Bruce: Mike doesn't have this problem in FL, but my hands these past few mornings just don't function as well with the colder weather. By winter, they become clubs.

BEDPAN1: yes, utensil are available that have enlarged handles or even a clasp that will go around the hand to make sure you dont drop it. I wish i could learn to drop it more often myself! :)

Bruce: Kelly, I believe their is a MDA - Canada. I check that out. If you send me your email, I'll respond back to you.

kelly: ok will do here is my email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. plz do that for me bruuce

murf: The Muscular Dystrophy Association is there somewhere. May be in Regina.

BEDPAN1: u might try some arthritic gloves. they keep the heat in and promote circulation. they r made of a neoprene type material and do wonders for some.

MikeG: I have a button hook that I use for button up shirts - can't even begin to do a button without it now.

Bruce: For the record, John refuses to eat my wife's vegitarian meals. If it doesn't have meat, it doesn't get eaten. //6

kelly: yes i belong to that chapter here in saskatoon

kelly: and the als soceity

kelly: because we dont have a kd support group here in canada //8

heyvern: I have a closet full of shirts with buttons, Can't hold my arms up long enough to do buttons anymore.

LouLou entered the room.

murf: Morning Ron

Bruce: Morning Ron, we have John Test on this morning from Eddie Test Medical Equipment

MikeG: How old are you Vern?

kelly: gosh vern!!! how old are you if u dont mind me askin?

LouLou: Good morning guys.....Sorry to be late.

MikeG: Morning Ron

heyvern: 72 years young. or should I say feeble?

kelly: oh ok,

murf: Good going Vern. I hope I live that long!!

MikeG: me too!

kelly: lol me to but i doubt it lol

murf: Me too Kelly LOL

BEDPAN1 has left the room.

heyvern: Stoill work 20 hours a week at the City Parking Garages,

BEDPAN1 entered the room.

kelly: Iam assuming iam the youngest man here lol 42 yrs old lol

BEDPAN1: i am 37

MikeG: Good for you, Vern!

murf: Kelly - you're just a pup. LOL

kelly: bedpan u have kd??

kelly: yeah lol i know hahahahah

LouLou: Bruce--I cannot stay long today~~I won't be able to be at the BOD conference call today. Sorry---problems came up--must take care of.

BEDPAN1: no, but a good friend of mine does

murf: Ron - hope every thing is ok. Call if you need me.

kelly: oh ok bedpan good for u kd yucky man suks having this disease

murf: Bedpan (John) is our guest speaker

LouLou: John Test--sorry to have missed your help with medical equipment.

Bruce: John, you provided a small, portable ramp for use to go from to and from the front porch in my wheelchair. It was a simple design but works great. These ideas really help make a difference.

MikeG: How heavy is the ramp?

heyvern: where are you located John?

murf: Whats it look like?

BEDPAN1: in my line of work, i see people with parkinsons disease and other things. i guess i beccome numb to them after seeing it for so long, but "hearing" u guys talking about hoping to live until 72 i certainly a wake up call. thanks for that....

murf: and don't say "a ramp"

Bruce: Maybe 15-20 pounds.

murf: I know "dumb question" LOL

Bruce: My wife can handle the ramp easily and we have used it to get into places with one step up.

BEDPAN1: the "riser" is 30" by 30" and doesnt weigh much, as bruce indicated. it holds up to 600 pounds. made of aluminum.

MikeG: Not bad - sounds like something I could use. It would be nice if it would attach to the back of my chair.

LouLou: Once on disibility--what kinds of medical equipment is available to make our homes handicapped excessible?

BEDPAN1: unfortunatel, medicare will not cover bathroom items which is where a lot of accidents occur.

heyvern: John, do you have a website where we can browse for goodies?

Bruce: The ramp is designed to fit into a normal door and is bent to sit flush with the door sill.

BEDPAN1: they cover what them deem medical necessary. they will cover scooters but not ramps, hospital beds but not over the bed tables for eating or reading etc

kelly: medicare in the states sure isnt all that great in term's of items needed for the handicap hey?

murf: Vern - I have a spread sheet on the web site at the 2002 or 2003 conference presentations.

heyvern: That's where I fell and broke my leg 2 years ago.

Bruce: John, does Medicare or typical insurance companies cover your LazyBoy type lift chairs? I doubt it?

murf: Call me if you can't find it and I'll e-mail it to you.

BEDPAN1: sorry vern, we dont have a website. you could probably browse the manufacturers websites and see items. invacre has a good site as does Pride jazzy.

murf: It has websites with all kinds of stuff from ramps and toilet stuff to car lifts and van conversions

BEDPAN1: here in GA and Tn they allow the same for a liftchair. 337.00 They cover the "seat lift mechanism." if u qaulify, they generally going to be an out of pocket amount owed.

Bruce: What other problems do we have that could use some type of assistive device. John might have some ideas for us.

heyvern: I just ordewred a lift chair through List price of over 2000.00 dolars for 689.00 and 2.95 for shipping.

murf: How do I attach a file to this chat?

Bruce: I found it interesting that if you have a wheelchair, medicare will not pay for a walker. You can have one or the other, but not both in their eyes.

kelly: well chatroom have to go now,,,, see ya all next chat session,,,,BYE ALL, TAKE CARE

BEDPAN1: great deal vern on the liftchair.

Bruce: Murray, I don't know if you can. You can provide a link to the web site's page however.

kelly has left the room.

heyvern: I can'i use Mdicare because I'm onn Kaiser

LouLou: So long Kelly--stay healthy.

murf: Bruce I can't find it on the website anymore

murf: Take care Kelly

BEDPAN1: medicare se some items as conflicting.they say, "why do we need to pay for a walker if we already pd. for a Jazzy?" 1 suggest walking the other not walking.

BEDPAN1: i believe it is a way of saving money.

Bruce: John, are you aware of devices to help a person stand upright? We can only stand for so long before the legs give out. I am not talking about braces for the legs, but something else.

murf: I got a walker at Sams Club for $100 and it's a good quality walker with wheels (4) and a seat

BEDPAN1: there isnt a single person that wouldnt benefit from having a liftchair that got a Jazzy from us.

murf: Same walker was over $200 everywhere else I looked.

BEDPAN1: sounds like u got a rollator. the seat suggest that. many company makes rollators.

MikeG: I was in Atlanta a few weeks ago getting my house ready for sale and fell on my right foot - broke my fibula... now I'm wearing a velcro boot in addition to the AFO on my left foot. If I had been wearing the AFO it wouldn't have happened but I took them off to brush my teeth and go to bed... AFOs are part of my attire now!

BEDPAN1: unfort. though u couldnt get any insurance aid by getting it at Sams

Bruce: Mike, I thought you said the AFO was only good for bracing up your tomato plants?//1

heyvern: What are AFO's. It was my fibula I broke when I fell.

BEDPAN1: AFOs are sometimes called drop ffoot splints. often prescribed for people that have had a stoke.

BEDPAN1: they can be heated up and molded to a persons foot.

murf: You can't but I wanted one and it was only $100

MikeG: They keep your foot from bending too far and breaking something.

BEDPAN1: bruce, i am not aware of anything that would allow a person to stand longer than their legs wanted them to.

Bruce: If anyone has questions for John after the chat, they can email the KDA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.' and I will make certain he get's the question.

Bruce: There is 10 minutes left in the scheduled chat.

BEDPAN1: also, if there is any literature u would like on any item i would be happy to mail it to u.

MikeG: There was an experimental hip to foot device that Don got down here in FL. He didn't like it much but it looked like something that I'd like to try. It keeps your knee from buckling which is the cause of all of my falls.

Bruce: You and me both, Mike.

heyvern: Gotta go y'all. I'll try to make a few more chats in he future.

Bruce: Take care Vern

BEDPAN1: adios vern

Bruce: If you can get some information on the device, Mike, let me know please.

MikeG: later Vern

LouLou: So long Vern--join us again.

murf: Bruce - we need to get that spread sheet on the website. I thought it was there but just looked again and can't find it.

Bruce: What other questions do you have or John?

murf: Take carre Vern

Bruce: Murf, send Terry an email and copy me.

heyvern has left the room.

MikeG: Ok, Brice will do. Should I use the Yahoo address or the Gmail?

Bruce: John, on average, how long do the tires last on a wheelchair?

Bruce: Use the Gmail please

murf: 50,000 miles?

MikeG: Ok

Bruce: Is that a warranty????//1

murf: LOL

MikeG: I gotta go too - later everyone.

BEDPAN1: depends on how active a person is in the chair. we have some younger people that wear them out every few months it seems like. most of the time they last years and years.

Bruce: Take care Mike

murf: Take Care Mike

MikeG has left the room.

LouLou: John--I hate to ask for help with any medical equipment. Sometimes the cost is so high that we back off rather than take away from some other areas of income need.

BEDPAN1: there is medicare and other insurance coverage for the replacement of the tires.

BEDPAN1: yes, lou i hear that quite often. it is expensive to get sick

murf: You got that right John

Bruce: Ron, you shouldn't be afraid to ask for help. Often, the MDA, Social Security, your insurance provider, etc. can provide support or provide a resource to help with your decisions.

Bruce: 5 minutes left in the chat. We have time for a couple more questions.

LouLou: No matter what type of equipment we have--those of us who have caregivers helping us in our daily lives, are very fortunate.

Bruce: The turn out today was pretty low. Ron, did you receive an email announcement of the chat from Terry?

murf: Right Ron

murf: John - what do you have to help those of us living alone?

Bruce: By the way, get to know your local medical equipment supplier. They are most helpful when it comes to answering questions or providing needed equipment. John's company has been fantastic and I can't imagine what life would have been like without them.

LouLou: I think the mix-up in the 1st of Oct. knocked the chat out of wack.

BEDPAN1: there are special made plates and eating utensils that are designed for people that have stroke like symptoms.

murf: I agree Ron

murf: Maybe we shouldn't have had the extra one last week

BEDPAN1: for those type items, i would recommend looking at the sammons and preston website. they tend to be high priced but they have about anything out there to address your needs.

Bruce: Murray, in our local paper, there was an article about an individual that designs homes for the handicapped and with modifications to existing homes. Houston should have several people like that.

Bruce: Okay, thanks John for joining us today. We appreciate you taking the time to be with us. I apologize for the low turn out.

LouLou: Well guys--It was nice talking with you all. Stay healthy--John--thanks for sharing your knowledge about hospital equipment.