Sunday, 10 April 2016

My Own Little Xanadu

Yesterday we called an ambulance and had my Mom transported to hospital. She has a serious UTI; her bladder has been removed so we can't call it a bladder infection anymore. She's had a few of these. The come on rather suddenly, and are easily treated with IV antibiotics in the hospital. Nonetheless, the period of time between onset, discovery and transportation is frightening. During this time, she becomes semi-conscious, comatose. She won't wake up, barely responds to any questions, if at all. Her legs are weak, shaking so much that she cannot stand or walk.

I've decided to stay a few extra days here in Vancouver. Katherine has rearranged her schedule at home, passing off a church responsibility to a fellow member, clearing her calendar so she can stay as well. Doing this without her help would be a near impossibility, especially while staying in my Mom and Ray's apartment. This place is lovely, a beautiful condominium apartment with a loft, well laid out for anyone who is not in a wheelchair.

For me, there are three things which are the definition of difficult, besides stairs, which are an impossibility rather than a difficulty. This trio of trouble is carpeting, narrow doors and hallways, and small rooms, especially small bathrooms. Unfortunately, in order to maximize full use of the available space, Mom and Ray's apartment meets all of the above criteria.

The whole apartment is carpeted, making for a tough push in my chair. The doorways are all small, no more than 30" for the largest, and 28" for the smaller doors. The hallway, the one hallway, is narrow and has a 90° turn half-way down. The bathroom is not just small, it's tiny. Getting me in there requires Herculean efforts and massive help from Katherine. The guest bedroom is no bigger than a closet.

The living room, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom and loft are all spacious and well lit. You would expect this; the apartment is designed for living, not for wheelchair living. It's getting nearly impossible for me to stay here. I am very sad about this, especially right now with Mom in the hospital. I would like to stay as long as possible, but staying here is very difficult, and staying in a hotel is very expensive.

I will stay as long as I can, thanks to Katherine's help. Mom will get better. Then Katherine and I will head home, where I will find my own Xanadu, a bathroom where I fit, wide hallways, large rooms, big doors, and no carpet. Heaven.

1 comment:

  1. Our homes are truly the best place. Everything feels doable here.