Thursday, 6 August 2015

Transfer Board Adventures

I used my transfer board to get out of, and back into, bed this morning. The two-part transfer is necessary as I get up to go to the washroom, then get back onto my bed to get dressed. Actually it's a three part transfer, as after I am dressed I once again transfer back to my wheelchair. It all went pretty well, actually, although it was not without its difficulties. Then again, everything I do these days seems to have its difficulties.

The transfer board is one of those terrifically simple, low tech devices which makes my life incredibly easier. It is just what it sounds like, a board which I can use to aid in transfers. It is a thin piece of heavily laminated plywood, designed to take the weight of someone like me as I move from one surface to the other, typically from my wheelchair to either my bed or my couch. It has sloped ends to allow for easy mounting; I slide off and one.

This morning, when I wanted to get out of bed, I first had to roll about half way over so I could bet the board under my rear end. Then I positioned the opposite end safely on the seat of my wheelchair. After very carefully positioning my feet so as to avoid entanglement during the exercise, I simply slid across the board and into my wheelchair. It is not all that difficult; I can do it alone, without help.

The trip up out of the wheelchair is somewhat more challenging. First of all, I can't roll my rear sideways while in the chair, it's just not physically possible. So instead I have to kind of shove the working end of transfer board underneath my butt, trying all the while to get a bit of lift to make the shoving easier. After a bit of effort, the wheelchair end of the transfer board was in place. Then I put the bed end in as safe a position as I could, and pulled myself up the board.

That's when I discovered that the transfer board slides for itself just as well as it slides me upon it. About half way across I noticed that the board was starting to come with me. I was committed to the process, so I just kept going. Fortunately that's when I also discovered that while I was on the board in this position, with just the slightest shifting of my center of balance, the board would still stay in place for the last of the slide.

Getting into bed is not as easy as getting out of bed, at least with the transfer board. It doesn't really matter though. Once again I have found a new way to do old things, a way that helps me keep my independence. That's all that really matters.

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