Tuesday, January 26th 2010

Suspended!

I had a gaggle of girls descend on me today – well, five to be exact! Marion, my OT, and Elaine, an expert in lifting and handling techniques called round this morning to demonstrate to some of my carers the hoisting equipment that had so far been delivered. First up was a look at the mobile hoist in my study and how it would be used to transfer me from the glide about chair into my high backed office chair. I must admit it felt quite strange dangling from a hoist suspended only in a fabric sling. It wasn’t long before I felt a little song coming on ‘hanging around, nothing to do but frown, rainy days in Monday’s always get me down!’ Ann, Vanessa, and Debbie could only look on in embarrassment and shake their heads, he he. All joking aside though today was of course just a dry run through but I shudder at the thought that one day before too long being hoisted around from one place to another like a sack of meat will become an everyday occurrence. One thing we did pick up during this manoeuvre was how difficult it was to position the mobile hoist when it was on thick carpet and underlay. Apart from that it should be possible to get me into my working environment each day although it’s not going to be a five-minute job.

Next up was a look at the goalpost hoist and transfers from the bed to the glide about chair and it soon became apparent that the folks from equipment services who had fitted it had actually positioned it too far forward of the wall at the pillow end which will make transfers difficult. They are going to have to come back and move it about 12 inches. Well it’s better to get these sorts of problems identified and rectified ahead of actual need rather than find out on the day is needed.

Lastly Elaine and Marion took a look at the feasibility of transfers on and off the stairlift from the glide about chair at the top of the landing. One thing we cannot use is the mobile hoist as the feet are too wide to pass through the study door way onto the landing now that the stairlift track has been extended. One option would have been to use a transfer board but Elaine seems to be of the opinion that the manoeuvre is too risky particularly as I lose further strength in my upper body. Basically I’d be trying to slide across from one chair to another with the stairwell behind me. If I was to tip backwards I would not be able to stop myself falling. Obviously I couldn’t do this on my own and would need the help of carers but even so it is still deemed a risky manoeuvre. So for the time being anyway it looks like I’ll be spending my time upstairs. At least I have all the amenities I need i.e. bedroom, bathroom and study, so in that respect it’s a bit like living in an apartment although I wouldn’t of course want to live permanently like this. It’s also going to be something of a problem when I do actually need to leave the house for medical appointments. And in the meantime it’s not particularly well set up if I ever receive more than one guest at a time as my study is limited on space.

Mark

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