Friday, January 14th 2011

Moving day!

The day I have been waiting for since goodness knows when has finally arrived. A couple of chaps from joint equipment services arrived first at midday to dismantle my profiling bed, carry it downstairs, and reassemble it in my new bedroom. Shortly afterwards a service engineer from Possum turned up to install an electronic door release system which is replacing the automatic door opener I’ve had for a couple of years. Whilst he was here I also managed to get him to set up a few other things for me that will make my life easier and a bit more ‘independent’. These include being able to operate the bedside light through a foot switch mounted on my bed and linked into the Possum unit.

At around 12:30 PM an ambulance crew of three men and one woman arrived to carry me downstairs. Kim, my carer, was on hand to do the transfers from my wheelchair to the stretcher chair (using the gantry hoist in my old bedroom upstairs) and then back again (using the ceiling track hoist in my new bedroom). Getting me downstairs went very smoothly but unfortunately my brand-new hoist stopped working halfway through being hoisted back into my wheelchair. Yes, the first time we ever use it and it breaks down! Fortunately it had an emergency cord which allows the hoist to be lowered, and it was only because of this that Kim was able to get me safely back into the wheelchair. My OT, who was also on hand, had to make an urgent call to get a service engineer out and fix it – pronto!

While we were waiting I got stuck into supervising the arrangement of various items of furniture in the living room. Now that I was downstairs and able to see for myself it was much easier to work out the best arrangement for making it ‘wheelchair friendly’ whilst maximising the usefulness of the available space. One thing I discarded straight away was the idea of setting up a small worktable in the bedroom adjacent to the bed specifically for the laptop. It had seemed like a good idea at the time as it enabled me to preserve a degree of privacy when working. I also thought that the smaller room might prove beneficial in keeping me warm. However that idea went straight out the window as soon as I could see the area for myself and how a small computer desk would intrude on the area required for my carer’s. Fortunately I’ve come up with a better idea and after enlisting Kim’s help to move some cupboards around I now have a nice area in the living room to work from.

The service engineer for the hoist turned up around 4:30 PM, discovered that the batteries were flat, and suggested that the hoist had not been ‘parked’ correctly. Because we had a definite need to use the hoist that evening to get me into bed he replaced the batteries with fully charged ones just in case the charging system wasn’t working correctly. He left us with the assurance that everything should be okay now. Hmmm we’ll see…

So what’s it like, now that I can see the extension for myself? In a word ‘lovely’! The bedroom has a nice cosy feel to it and it looks like it’s going to be a joy to work in for the carers. Okay, it’s not huge and there certainly won’t be room for a wardrobe so we’ll still be running up and down stairs for clothes but in all other respects it fulfils my requirements perfectly. Looking into the house from the extension really does make the house look a lot bigger though.

Before I sign off I would like to say a really big thank you to both Kim and Suja, who between them worked very hard today helping to get everything the way I wanted it.

And so here I am, downstairs at last. It is the conclusion of a long drawn out battle to maintain some quality of life. There had been times when I wondered if it was ever going to happen, and even if it did would it be too late to really benefit from it? But here I am and ready to take advantage of all the benefits my new location will offer. At the moment I am in high spirits. I have a brand-new purpose-built extension, and a care package full of lovely people that do so much for me. Fingers crossed that this will be a good year for me!

Mark

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One Response to Friday, January 14th 2011

  1. Jane C says:

    In a word, hooray! May you really reap the benefits of your new surroundings and enjoy being able to get out and about once more.

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