Saturday, 19 October 2013

A Long Process

I'm looking for a place to live. My current apartment is rented; I rented it before I was diagnosed. I love it here; it's close to shopping, close to downtown, close to the highway headed west, and easy to go to via transit. My apartment is a reasonable size, not too small nor too large, and my main window, really the balcony sliding door, faces northeast enough to get a good dose of the morning sun. I'm up on the third floor so I can see over the top of the mall across the street, enough to really enjoy the winter sunrise.

Yet seek a new home I must, for this abode has very limited bathroom access for my wheelchair. In order to get into the bathroom I must take the feet off of my wheelchair. Even then the casters on the front scrape the doorframe and the wheels on the back scape the door on the way through. This apartment also has carpet throughout, making wheeling about a challenge on occasion.

When I rented this place my landlord said "This is not a wheelchair apartment." I said "No worries, I am not planning on being in a wheelchair." Back then I didn't know I had ALS; I thought it was some sort of back injury or spinal cord injury. Then came reality.

My reality these days means I am looking for another apartment, one that either has wheelchair access or can be easily modified to ensure proper wheelchair access to bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. Yesterday my real estate agent sent me a listing, well-priced, where the apartment was on the main floor, the bedroom and kitchen were a good size, and the floors were already laminate. We wanted to see if we could modify the bathroom.

On arriving, we found that there was absolutely no wheelchair access from the street. "No worries", I said to the agent, "we can go in through the garage." Then I got to the garage and found that the entry door was 5' 9" high; my truck is 6' 2". I simply turned around and went home. We just didn't bother.

These are the challenges I face. It is not as simply as finding a place I want to live. There are all kinds of other considerations. This is going to be a longer process than I first expected.

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