Why I Appreciate My Quickie Xenon2, and insist that you get one too!
When I got my first wheelchair, it was like having a portion of the Iron Giant (pre-restoration) strapped to my ass. It was a generous (possibly illegal) donation from a friend who worked at a nursing home. They saw it sitting idle, put out to pasture, and nabbed it in the middle of the night for a second wind. I know, I know; It was a moral conundrum and with some ageist arguments to-boot. Trust me, the steel caboose carting around my under carriage was of more use to me than it was to the nursing home during lockdown.
This piece of kit was made for pushing by a care-assistant, not long-haul hauling by the user so I was hesitant to use it alone on any day. But, lord, didn’t it help out the family! We called her Luisa (because Encanto had just been released and she was a hulking, robust beauty who was burdened with purpose but knew where her heart was.) I am grateful to her. But I knew sweet FA about wheelchairs back then. So I thought that it was all about aching wrists, no lumbar support, strained abdominal muscles, feeling like Minaj as soon as I sat down. When you’re waiting for wheelchair services to pick up their feet, there is no choice but to grin and bear it. With my rapidly deteriorating physical function making it more and more difficult to be out of the house safely, Luisa towed me wherever covid restrictions would allow. When my Disability Support Allowance came through, Luisa was thanked for her service and returned to whence she came. But with the NHS backlog and face-to-face public services still facing huge limitations, I turned to Amazon for my next chair. Lighter, sleeker, flighty, aloof. I named her Isabella (The Encanto soundtrack was now principal music of the main lobby).
By this time, we had the preliminary diagnosis of MND. My left limbs were as much use as a pair of tights full of custard. Isabella had a back that would fold down, wheels that would come off, arm rests that would fold in like the wings of a butterfly. She demanded to be seen. And with covid restrictions lifting, she was! If you’ve seen Encanto, the chair was the embodiment of her namesake that eventually went her own way! She was a chair that just needed to be…so we let her be! There was little control of her wheels, she would tip and roll with excitement! Meaning I landed unceremoniously on the pavement when she decided! With the NHS lagging drastically behind my needs, we already had a GoFundMe set up and, thanks to many wonderful donations and so much support, the funds were raised for my current chair. She is bespoke, she is colourful, she is quick: Ceecee.
Wait! I know! Why isn’t she named ‘Mirabel’? Copyright fears aside, she is named after the biggest supporter of the GoFundMe Campaign, unlikely friend and social media influencer Cecelia Jacobsen. This Quickie Xenon 2 has a light-weight folding glitter pink frame fitted to my rear-end and, 3 months down the line, I am still getting used to how perfect she is. So the remainder of this post is dedicated to her sheer excellence!
So, brief overview: The Xenon2 is produced with leading wheelchair technology from Sunrise Medical making the model more flexible and lightweight without compromising on durability or comfort! It is exceptionally customisable. You need swing away footrests? Done. You want your legs at a particular angle? Done. You want her teal blue with red piping in the upholstery? Done! There are a number of material options to suit your needs and wants. For example: If you’re like me and carbon fibre creeps the hell out of you for no particular reason, the wheel guards and footplate can be made of aluminium or plastic!
Without further ado! This is Ceecee Mirabel!
1. Her Frame
Made with high-tech aluminium straight off the Death Star (those are my words), Quickie uses a material that allows for lightweight tubing while maintaining an incredibly strong, folding wheelchair frame that weighs as little as 8.8kg and maximises your speed and efficiency with every push. Seriously…I keep rolling…uphill!
Alongside this, the axel and cross-brace are uniquely designed to provide you with a folding chair that has all the stability and rigidity of a rigid chair.
The frame allows you to change your Centre of Gravity enabling a driving characteristic from very active to passive. To adjust your Backrest Angle, important for your ergonomic posture. And alter the Rear Seat Height to your personal need. Something else! The chair can be adjusted depending on your activity. You wouldn’t march into battle on your tip toes, you wouldn’t strut a catwalk on the flat-foot! And being in a wheelchair is no different!
Luisa was rigid, extremely heavy, and not particularly portable, it made for a bumpy, unstable ride which lead to severe back pain and sore wrists for very little movement. And Isabella, for all her grace, was a fraction lighter but unstable due to a basic folding cross-brace…imagine sitting on a mattress where the springs are made of a garden trellis versus springs. The ability to adjust the chair for different purposes is something that Luisa and Isabella could only dream of; couple of screws here and there and you can go from battle to casual stance!
2. She Folds Like Vogue
The way she folds is spectacular! She’s a proper lady, once she folds, she keeps her legs closed with a catch making her easier to lift, move and adjust!
3. Her GTFO handles.
If you’re like me, people handling your chair is as gross an invasion of personal space as feeling you up. So the fold-down handles were a must. They’re awesome because, if I do need help, they flick up with a swift index-finger flex!
4. Flip-off breaks
Having wheels under your ass really gives you an appreciation for a parking break. Between people trying to shove you out of the way, to waiting at a crossing, to being in a lift, you use your breaks a lot! Unlike when you’re walking, it’s not as simple as putting your heel down to steady yourself…but it’s the same principle!
Conventional wheelchairs have lever brakes which I would liken to attempting to put your heels down through a cornstarch slurry; they are stiff, sit at an odd angle for gripping while seated and, for my poor left claw, painful. The Xenon2 has these compression breaks; I can put them on and off with an index finger saving all my wrist action for more important things!
5. Her no-sweatybetty backrest
Backsweat. Gross? Sure. But a reality for every manual wheelchair user. And I’m not just talking the gentle trickle of perspiration you attribute to PG 13 make-out sessions. I mean full-on, gym-rat salty torrents that puddle in your lumbar.
Alongside being lighter than your nans Angel Food Cake, The Quickie Models come with an Exo backrest that is moisture wicking and breathable which makes for a comfortable, far drier ride! And the surface is gorgeously mushy to protect the spine!
6. Easy-grip pushing
One of the favourite parts of my chair is the push-rims. Conventional wheels have a basic, round, metal push-rim…a soda can. The Quickie model comes with Surge wheels. This is already a step upfrom your conventional wheel because it comes with a rubber grip giving more push for your tush with less effort.
A side-step from the Surge would be the Ellipse. You try gripping a soda can and tell me it feels as sturdy and snug as the curves of a soda bottle. Because that’s the Ellipse’s. Combining the luxury of a rubber grip with ergonomic curves. Much better for my claw hand that struggles to retain strength around a cylinder. It is all dependent on need and comfort. If you like your soda in a can or a bottle!
I like my soda pink so I added my own spokecovers!
That is what is most important here; That the chair fit the user.
This is a piece of kit that is as important to daily life as the clothes you wear, the shoes you put on, the brush you use for your hair; The Quickie Series Xenon 2 lends itself as much to personal style as it does to personal need. Though additional customisation comes at a cost, the basic level of comfort and security is already at a high level that you can have an incredible chair without any additional adjustments.
Whether you succeed at securing wheelchair services through the NHS, or fund your mobility aid yourself, it is an incredible piece of equipment and an invaluable investment in your lifestyle! Which is also why I added my own universal cup holder!
To find out more about the Quickie Xenon 2, additional features, and finance options, head to Sunrise Medical for information.
Nab your own spoke covers and cupholder from these affiliate links and you give this blog a bit of a boost while properly pimping out your chair! Cupholder: https://amzn.to/3QJumnV Spokecovers: https://amzn.to/3eQpKz1