I’ve done my bit

You may recall reading (if you are a regular reader) in ‘Two contrasting days’ that I am struggling with the Disability Facilities Grant. While the OT (Occupational Therapist) is going round the houses talking to my amputee physio, prosthetist, GP and any other healthcare professional they can dig up I was left to do two tasks. Because my wheelchair is ultra-light it has no arm rests, the downside to this is you cannot get a cup holder or tray for it. This can of course, at times, cause a problem if you want to carry certain things. The OT’s answer was that I had a trade-off either a lighter wheelchair or a practical one. The other option was to have two wheelchairs, I was asked to contact wheelchair services and ask them if they would give me another, more practical wheelchair. Yesterday I phoned wheelchair services and spoke to the very helpful lady I have dealt with before. The first thing I asked her to do was to humour me with the call. I explained the problem and told her I knew what she would say but asked her for the official take on it. She told me that they can only issue one wheelchair per person. The only exception is to people who have been issued a motorised wheelchair as they will get a manual one too. She told me if I had any trouble I should tell the OT to give her a call and she will tell the OT the same thing. She also said she thought the OT was being very petty, I totally agree!

My second task was to cook a meal but I had to prep it at the dining table. I have been told not to use crutches or stand on my leg for long periods of time. As you can see from the pictures I have a big kitchen to roll around. For Mum and Dad I did Sausage, Onion, Mash and Peas and I had Sausage and Salad. I didn’t do a normal salad for myself just Carrot sticks, Cucumber and Tomato. I started at 11:50 and dinner was on the table at 13:00. For my efforts I did my back in again, had neck and shoulder ache and felt totally knackered. I also nearly cut my leg with the knife as I was trying to carry it with other stuff to the table and nearly cut my hand too. I can’t get my stump under the table because of the skirt supporting the table top, with my prosthesis on I have to sit in a lower chair. I have to lean forward all the time and as the table is quite high my arms are elevated to peel the veg and cut up the salad. Using the cooker was difficult and had to keep standing up or just stay standing, which is against advice. The perching stool is to low but being a gnome if I raised it my feet wouldn’t touch the floor. So when washing up I would have to open a cupboard to get my knee in or sit more side saddle and twist my back. The way I see it there has to be some compromise. Obviously there can be nothing done with the cooker or sink but surely they can take a cupboard out and give me a small wheelchair level worktop. The cupboard in question can be seen in the second photo, on the right hand side, with the bread maker sitting on the shelf on the side of it. From this position I can reach the cooker, draws, etc. and I don’t even have to wheel myself round I can just push off the units. I am sure when I tell the OT the outcome she will not see the explanation as me being practical but obstructive. I can honestly say I am dreading seeing them again, having to fight so hard for something so simple and not that expensive, it really wears you down.

2 Responses to “I’ve done my bit”

  1. The buggers just don’t understand do they. Let them that have, loose the ability, some part of there body, illness or disability THAT WILL dramatically interfere with their lives. They might, just might understand what we have to put on our loved ones. Keep smiling sweetheart. Mumsie. xxxx

    • I think OT’s should spend a week in a wheelchair or while healthcare professionals train try and recreate the different restrictions their patients encounter for them to experience. I appreciate you can’t do that for everything and they would never truly feel what it is like but it would be an eye opener. I like the point you made about our loved ones, we are not the only ones who are affected by our conditions but they are often forgotten about the NHS in our care. xx

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