Friday, 5 June 2015

Problems In Bed

I've said more than once that the most challenging part of my day is getting up in the mornings. Over the last few months, as my arms have gotten weaker, getting into bed has slowly been creeping up on the difficulty list. These days it is becoming a neck and neck race, a headlong fling into the difficulty sphere to see which is worse.

Back in the good old days, just a few months ago, getting into bed was problematic but not particularly challenging. I would simply force myself upwards into a standing position and rotate to sit on the bed. As my arms weakened and my legs gave out completely, I found I could no longer do that lift. So instead I started transferring onto the bed. I would simply lift myself up in the wheelchair and fling myself sideways onto the mattress using the M-rail as an aid.

As time went by, that sideways fling disappeared, my arms no longer strong enough to get a full lift out of my chair. It disappeared sufficiently to say it was no longer flinging so much as dragging my ass across the wheelchair wheel and onto the bed. The loss of strength has continued such that now I can no longer even get clearance for my ass across the wheelchair wheel. For the last month or two I have taken to getting one butt cheek rested on the wheelchair wheel with the first lift. A second lift would move me such that my butt crack rested right on the wheelchair wheel, not a terrible issue when clothed but very awkward when making the transfer naked after a shower.

Nonetheless, the second lift takes place and I balance precariously on the wheelchair wheel. Then comes the moment of truth. If the stars align, if fortune smiles on me, if the gods favour me with a glance, I do one more lift such that I end up approximately seated on the bed. If all does not go well, I end up either split-cheeked with one part on the bed and another still somewhere one a wheelchair wheel, or I end up just flopping down sideways and pulling myself the rest of the way using whatever grips I can find, be they bedsheets, bedposts, an M-rail, whatever.

As you may surmise, all of this exercise is exhausting, making whatever comes next wait a while until I catch my breath. What you might not understand is that I am grateful I can still do that transfer, however its form may end. Beside my bed is a sling. That sling is what comes next. Soon enough I will not be able to get into, or out of, bed on my own. Soon enough another machine will do for me that which I used to do for myself.

I suppose the real question is this. "If it's so hard to get into bed, and so hard to get out of bed, why bother? Why not just stay in bed?" Then I remind myself that the first step in dying from this disease comes when you don't get out of bed anymore. I'm not ready for that yet.


  1. Oh my dear this is awful. You are so courageous. What comes next? Love Mom

  2. Actually the sling lifts can be rented from Red Cross for 100 a week and then with one assistant, you could still travel. We just bought a used portable portable for taking special needs clients to camps.

    1. That is a good suggestion, Freida. I suspect we will take your idea and put it to good use.