Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Failed Transfers

There are five critical transfers that I make from my wheelchair on a daily or consistent basis: to and from my bed, on and off the toilet, in and out of my truck, in and out of my power wheelchair, on and off my couch. In the last week or so, I have failed in three of them; in and out of bed, in and out of my PWC, and on and off my couch. By failed, I mean I have been unable to make the transfer, either in whole or in part.

The most significant of these failed transfers is the one in and out of bed. In one case, I tried to get into bed and made it half way; Katherine had to rescue me. In another case I was getting out of bed and once again made it only half way. David was here; he and Katherine had to rescue me. Then there are the several instances where I simply am unable to get the transfer going, no matter what I do. I rock back and forth to get starting momentum; I use the wheel of my wheelchair as a halfway launch point; I try alternative methods. None of this works. I simply cannot get myself out of my wheelchair into my bed. I end up using the sling.

The transfer to the PWC was both failed and dangerous, with my daughter Kate having to spring into action, making sure I didn't end up in a lump on the floor. The transfer off the couch resulted in my slipping as I made the adjustment to my wheelchair. Fortunately I was well in the chair and simply fell sideways, the arm of the chair stopping me from going over completely. Katherine was there too, helping me recover from my loss of balance.

So far I am not having trouble with the truck or the toilet. The truck lift system is well designed for the transfer, the gap being small enough that I can still easily make it. The toilet transfer is still fairly simple as well, although I am sensing increasing difficulty with it. That whole bathroom thing, with the shower transfer too, is becoming more problematic. It's going to fail completely one day, at which point I will need the dreaded commode chair.

My arms are failing me. This is what it looks like. It's not fast. It's not easy. Nothing is fast or easy with ALS. Nor is it pretty. In fact it is downright ugly. I am losing my arms. Thankfully I have the sling in my bedroom, the lift in my truck. the commode chair, and most importantly, people in my life who will help me. It's they who make this whole thing bearable.

1 comment:

  1. Losing your arms is another horrible outcome of this disease. It is so sad. I love you.