Monday, 18 January 2016

New Ways For Old

My left arm and shoulder are hurting. I would like to say that this is a result of my Range of Motion exercises, but that would be a lie. They were hurting before the HCA arrived. They were hurting last night. They pretty much hurt all the time now.

I've noticed a deterioration in my left arm of late, moreso than in my right arm. I know both of them are slowly failing me. My right side, however, is stronger than my left, so I notice the loss less, and it seems to take longer to lose it on my right side. It doesn't really matter. My arms are well engaged in the process of failure.

I notice this loss in couple of specific ways. It's extremely difficult for me to get into my truck these days, although driving is not difficult at all. It's the transfer, the lift up from my wheelchair cushion onto the lift seat of my truck. I can't make that lift and transfer any more, unless someone helps me. Mostly it's Katherine who does that, grabbing my jeans at the back and giving me a bit of a boost. Other people help too, in the same way. I know it's a bit more awkward for them, and they shall remain unnamed, but they help, for sure.

When I am alone, it gets interesting. As well all of these problems, I have to learn new ways to do old things, so I can keep going for as long as possible. With the truck seat, I have developed a solo method which will work for a while. What I do is get close to the seat, as close as possible. Then I lift my right thigh up out of the wheelchair and put it over the lift seat. The lower part of my leg comes along for the ride. My posterior lifts, ever so slightly, creating a sliding angle from wheelchair to lift seat. Once my leg is in place, I pull myself off of the wheelchair and onto the seat using the steering wheel as my grab point.

It's not elegant. It's not easy. It's not fast. In the winter, that "not fast" part is a bit of a problem. I can get rather cold in the process. If it's snowing, I can get a bit wet as well. It's not that big a deal, a small price to pay for continued freedom. Once I am on the lift seat, everything else is relatively easy. It's the transfer that counts. It's that new way of doing something which will keep me going. There are other changes too, but more on them some other time.

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