About twelve years ago, when my MS made it clear that it would continue to progress, we made the decision to remodel our home. The goal was to remove whatever obstacles that would be in my path when my legs were replaced with wheels.
I went from walking to using a walker, to depending on a scooter, and I now spend most of my time in a wheelchair. That’s a lot of wheels. The remodel of our home has given me the ability to continue living here through each transition.
My entry into and exit out of the house is by way of a a platform lift in our garage. It was a practical choice, was installed well by the company that sells it, our contractor built a great landing for it, and it usually works smoothly without any problems. As with all mobility aids, it requires regular maintenance. When all of its parts work well, the lift’s motor purrs; but when the gears become dry, especially in cold weather, it’s high-pitched squealing demands attention.
These photos were taken shortly after the lift was put in place.
The company that installed the lift has also serviced it and has kept it running well. On a cold day in March of last year, it began to screech again. I called and requested regular maintenance. The company sent someone to look at it. Those who service this kind of equipment have a multitude of products they maintain for customers. The technician located the problem. He found a suitable grease at our local hardware store, he greased the gears and put the lift back together, all while helpfully answering our questions; and he was pleasant when I asked to take his picture and agreed to it being here.
It’s a messy job to remove the old, used and dirty oil and then apply the new, and it’s complicated to take the unit apart. With an additional travel charge for the service call because of distance (we live two hours away), and the inconvenience of his driving time, the serviceman was more than happy to show Mr. Legs how to grease the motor’s gears himself.
The serviceman finished the job and the lift ran smoothly…until that ear-piercing screeching began again and was becoming increasingly worse. I contacted the manufacturing company asking what they recommended for grease, and I ordered the specialized aeronautic lubricant that performs in extremely cold weather. Mr. Legs took the unit apart, removed the old dirty grease and applied the new, recommended grease to the gears and then reassembled the unit. My freedom was restored! We hope this maintenance will last a long time before the lift screams for attention again.
I stepped back and looked at the complicated piece of machinery. Somebody somewhere found a solution to someone’s problem; and years later, the product that resulted was available to me and provided me with a solution to overcome the obstacle of getting in and out of my house. I’m grateful for the talented brains that created the lift, for the thoughtful contractor who calculated every measurement well and built the structure around the lift to give me a smooth entry into our home. I’m grateful for the helpful and accommodating company that ordered, installed and has maintained the lift. And of course, I am grateful for Mr. Legs who so willingly learns something new and always keeps things running.