Thursday, July 1st 2010

High-tech call system

Bernie, the hospice’s friendly IT guy was in his element today after coming up with a system that would allow me to call for help while sitting at my computer. And in typical IT fashion it’s a lot more complex than the Blue Peter solution I borrowed from my time at the hospital (i.e. a call switch attached to a box of tissues at the bottom of the bed). What he’s come up with is a system that links my laptop computer to another computer in the nurses room, and through remote access software that he downloaded and installed on my computer, I can access a PowerPoint presentation embedded with sound files that is on the other computer. Phew! These sound files contain recordings of my voice, each one a simple request such as “this is Mark in the Stratfield room. Please can I have a drink”. So now I can be left alone and if I need something simply click on an icon of the message I want to play so that they hear my voice in the nurses room.

Jean and Helen (the physiotherapists) called by this morning to see how well I could stand up today. As with yesterday they swung me around to the side of the bed and then with the assistance of a third person supporting me from behind helped me to stand up. First attempt was a bit shaky and I could feel myself leaning to one side or another. Second attempt was better in that I was able to stand up for longer but I was still conscious of the fact that I was locking my knees and resting the back of my legs against the bed. I could feel my leg muscles tiring rapidly so gave up at that point.

I’ve been given a brand-new high spec mattress in an effort to ease the aches and pains in my back. It would seem like nothing is too much trouble for them.

Because of the discomfort I’m experiencing when sitting in my chair from prolonged periods the hospice staff have advised that I take a break every few hours and be hoisted onto the bed for an hour. I’m not keen on losing all this valuable time but neither am I enjoying being uncomfortable so I will go with their recommendation. Anyway today that one hour in bed went very quickly as Gail gave my toenails a good trim. I’m not saying they were growing long but I could do a pretty good impression of hanging upside down from a branch like a fruit bat! smile_regular


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