Saturday, 26 July 2014

A New Lift System

I have a new piece of hospital equipment in my home; a HumanCare Singel 5100 NA Track and Lift System installed firmly above my bed. This systems consists of a steel mounted track firmly bolted to the joists in my ceiling and a hoist lift that rolls freely inside the track. The "system" is designed to lift 450 lbs., about 220 kgs. Since I weigh about 245 lbs., it should work nicely, lifting me easily out of my wheelchair and into my bed.

I say "hospital equipment" because that's what it is. The documentation talks about the patient and the caregiver, implying that the caregiver will always be the person operating the system, and the patient will always be the passenger, not the driver. The documentation talks in very clinical terms about the safety issues, the protective shut-off switches, the "soft landing" in the event of a power loss or emergency.

This kind of care is inevitable in my future; I just don't need it right now. The reality is that I will need it; I will need the caregiver to operate the system, safe handling and soft landings. I will need all of these things one day, in the future, just not right now. Right now this is another reminder that my home is slowly becoming a care centre, that the place I live is being medicalized.

It is distressing to see this happen, to see more and more of my life dominated by medical equipment, knowing full well that there is more and more to come as ALS steals more and more of my life. Now, every time I look up from my bed, I will be reminded of my up and coming limitations, the thefts that await me.

I know I should be grateful for this equipment. After all, the government paid nearly $2,500 of the $2,800 cost under the Alberta Aids to Daily Living Program. I know there is absolutely no doubt that this will be an important piece of equipment in my life all too soon. I know that it is better to have it sooner rather than later, so I can get used to it and discover how to use it to make my daily life better even now. I know that people who know more about ALS than I do said this would be a good idea.

I just don't like it.

No comments:

Post a Comment