Thursday, April 16, 2009

Belt + Suspenders + Belt

Skip isn't often alone in the house, but occasionally she is when I'm out running errands on the weekend or there's a 1-2 hour gap between the time I leave for a trip to see my parents and her aide comes. Last Saturday, I went off on some errands. As I left the last stop, I gave her a call so she could call in a take-out order for me to pick up on the way home (we often do this, I'm not much for cooking, I must confess).

When I got to the Cheesecake Factory 15 minutes later, there was no order for me to pick up. I called home a few times and just got a busy signal. Since we have call waiting, this could only mean the phone was off the hook. I realized Skip must have dropped the phone and then had no way to retrieve it. So, I placed the order, waited a bit for it to be filled then headed home. I knew just what had happened, so decided there wasn't anything to worry about.

Things were about as I had imagined when I got home. Phone on floor. Grabber that could have picked up phone also on floor. Frustrated Skip. One thing I realized with concern was her spanky new wheelchair has one key flaw ... the manual leg lifting apparatus. Medicare was willing to pay for two power functions: tilt and recline. The other 2 power functions available in the chair, power leg lift and the ability to raise the seat about 8", have to be paid for by us if we want them. Since both features cost about $2,200 each, we haven't purchased them. But Skip was sitting in her chair with her legs fully extended so really couldn't navigate anywhere. She couldn't get from her spot in the living room to anyplace else to grab another phone. (Or, more dramatically, get to a door and out of the house in a fire.)

So, time for some suspenders to back up that belt. And another belt, too. She has a pay-as-you-go cell phone that's permanently hanging off the manual chair she uses in the morning before getting dressed. Now, that moves to the power chair every day after she's dressed. Also, we had our home security system upgraded a while back to include a panic pendant ("help me, I've fallen and I can't get up" kind of thing) but she refused to wear it. I think it made her psychologically feel more disabled. Now she's got it on all day. So, she's got some options if the phone falls again. I think it's warranted with the weakness she now has in her hands ... lots of stuff falls out of them.

I just realized while I was writing this that the bedroom phone is on the headboard on my side of the bed. I think we'll have to move that within arm's reach for her...


Herrad said...

Hi Cranky,

Sorry to hear about Skip being left without the phone.

Glad you can sort it out for her.

Remember when I first got my panic button it took some getting used to.

Everything with MS takes getting used to and even then its bloody difficult.

Wish we could all make it go away.

Take care of each other.
Thinking about you and Skip.

awb said...

The things I haven't thought of yet surprise me sometimes. I look around the house and try to picture what will need to be done when the time comes, and the phones weren't one of them! Oh well, add it to the list.

I'm glad it was only the phone that ended up on the floor, still bad for Skip.

Take care,


Cranky said...

Herrad - thanks for your lovely note. I think about you and Richie as well, knowing you've a tough row to hoe.

Andy - I know what you mean. Even after all this time, I'm still surprised about the blind spots I discover, like the bedroom phone when I was writing this post this morning.

awb said...

Row to Hoe, now that saying makes sense!