Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Another Commode Chair

I've somehow managed to break yet another commode chair, in the same way as I broke the previous one. The bearing has slipped out of its pressure fit seat, leaving the axle free to extend and the wheel free to fall off. It did so while I was in the shower yesterday, or rather almost in the shower. As the wheelchair wheel slid off, the commode chair rested on the smaller inner wheels, so disaster did not befall me. The stress of the incident, however, convinced me that a shower was not necessary just right then.

The ALS Society of Alberta, in the person of Rob Lognon, my Client Coordinator, is delivering another commode chair to me today. This will be the third chair from the Society, or perhaps more likely the third wheel. The parts on these chairs are interchangeable. With the new wheel on the chair, I can retain the same chair, already adjusted to fit over my toilet seat such that my bidet spray works. This is important to me.

A fair bit of the equipment which makes my life functional comes from the ALS Society. My slings, the lift in my living room, my power chair, even the grabby stick I got on Saturday to replace the one I broke getting my cordless drill kit out of the cupboard last week. The ALS Society has provided me with temporary equipment, such as the hospital table I needed when I was ill last year, and longer term equipment such as the shower bench. Both of these items have been returned, there in the inventory for other PALS to use.

That's the great thing about the ALS Society. We all know I won't need this equipment for long, perhaps a couple or three years at best. We all know that others will come along who need it. This equipment is expensive. It consistently outlives the PALS using it. With the Society it gets handed along, sharing the expense amongst multiple recipients, saving me in the money from buying it, allowing me to spend more on meaningful things like food and wine.

My biggest concern these days is the financial viability of the ALS Society of Alberta. As with all these kinds of organizations, it runs on the knife's edge when it comes to money. You might the the Ice Bucket money was there, but all that money went directly into the research pool. Virtually none of it stay with the Society for local operations. So they are left with fundraising in a poor economy. It's a tough situation, yet still they provide me with equipment, advice, information, and, most importantly, hope. Hope for a cure, hope for a treatment, hope for quality of life.

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