Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Grateful Again

It's been an interesting evening, or night, or day; whatever you will. Right now I am sitting safe at home after one of my nights out. I love my nights out. I forewent an evening with Katherine to have my night out. something which was a real struggle for me. Given the opportunity to spend a safe and warm evening at home, snuggled on the couch, clean from a shower, wine in hand; or an evening out with the gang, and out even later. It's a difficult choice. I chose out.

The first step of the evening was getting downstairs in the new stair walker machine loaned to me by CanWest Elevator & Lift. I've seen these machines before. They are expensive. CanWest has put this one at my disposal until the elevator is fixed. More than that, Steve Poffenroth, a technician from the company, came to my apartment at 5:45 PM today to get me downstairs using the machine. We wanted, once again, to show Katherine how easy it was to use. Then he went with me to my Trivia night and got me upstairs, showing the gang how to work the machine. I was so happy that he joined us for part of our trivia night, and a beer on me. It was the least I could do.

It was difficult for me. I was embarrassed and frustrated that I had to be hauled up to the second floor this way. I was ashamed of my inability. I felt awkward, like I could not "do" for myself. I was cranky, angry, upset by the time I was up, out and in my chair, only to find I was at the "kids table", a short table at the end of the large table for everyone else. I have nobody but myself to blame for this; I should have called ahead and arranged a short table for a full team. I know the bar would have arranged it.

After playing my trivia night, the guys got together and used this new device to get me down the stairs. The two men who have been so big in my life to date, Mike and Dion, were not part of the crew; they didn't have to be. The rest of the amazing group of men and women who are a part of my life just stepped up and helped.

I got downstairs. The guys loaded the walker into my truck. I beetled off to the Cat 'n Fiddle, my other Tuesday night haunt. I planned on closing the bar, and hoped one of the guys there would come home with me and help me up the stairs. I made the assumption, fully expecting it would not happen, with a backup plan for getting home.

When the evening wound down, I found myself, as expected, on my own. I drove home and did what the Calgary Fire Department and EMS have been encouraging me to do since the beginning of all this nonsense. I called them. They came, three EMS techs in their ambulance. We talked. I explained about the walker, about how it worked, about what help I needed. They said "Let's do it." We did it; they had never seen a stair walker like this. They were impressed, plus incredibly helpful along the way.

At the end, I was, and am, safe at home. The EMS team were super easy about it, once again encouraging me to call anytime, no matter what. I am so grateful to live in a city, province and country with this amazing, wonderful support. They thought the whole thing was pretty interesting. I showed them the modifications on my truck, the renovations to my apartment, the slings, the shower. It was just nice to feel like the way I was living was cool, amazing to them. And I felt like I could handle even this on my own, with a bit of help from them.

After they left, I once again thought about how fortunate I am. The truth is, other than this one small health issue, I have a pretty good life. I just have to keep it in perspective. Sometimes I need help. Sometimes helping me is a good thing. Mostly I just need a little food and watering, but that's Katherine's job.

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