Some progress!


Yesterday the OT (Occupational Therapist) came out again reference the Disability Facilities Grant. She had phoned me to say that she was coming to talk about the wet room and that she had secured an electronic bath chair to help in the meantime. I had asked about the Kitchen unit, she told me she had spoken to her line manager and they couldn’t do anything about that as I was still in rehabilitation. I was not going to give up on the kitchen but would discuss that when I saw here.

She brought in the bath chair, assembled it and went through how it worked. Before I tried a dry run she tested it out to make sure it was all safe. It was OK but as I tried to transfer across the stump cramped up. I am not too sure how easy it will be when everything is wet, we can but try and see what happens. The OT said that she would contact the manufacturer this morning because she just wanted to clarify that the overhang of the flap was safe. We went on to discuss the proposal for the wet room which would include removal of the bath and installation of a shower, handrails, level floor, curtain and change the sink to a wall mounted one. With a wall mounted sink it will enable me to do away with the perching stool as I would be able to get the wheelchair fully under it. I will also get a wheelchair/commode type thing which I can use in the shower so I don’t have to worry about getting my normal wheelchair wet. It could still take a year or more for things to go through and completion but at least I am pretty much guaranteed (unless structurally impossible) to get one now, which is a major breakthrough in itself.

Finally I broached the subject of the Kitchen, how I had made a meal, the problems and the results. I mentioned that I had phoned Fenland District Council to get their take on removing the cupboard and putting in a lower worktop. I was told that the cost to do that work would be minimal and their priority was independence and safety over cost. I then went on to remind her of the fact that I am not meant to compromise my other knee but I have to compromise in the use of the sink and cooker which cannot be used from the wheelchair, I have to stand. Oh, I nearly forgot, I also demonstrated that I couldn’t get my stump under the table and the issues that created with back, shoulder and neck ache. She asked me in an ideal world what I would want, I told her that all I wanted was to have the cupboard taken out and the worktop lowered to wheelchair height. Then, something quite extraordinary happened, she started to come on board with me. Was it my pitch, the mention of speaking to the District Council, or maybe reiterating my other knee was totally knacker (they were my exact words to her), I don’t really know and I didn’t care. She started taking measurements and told me that she would put my case forward to her line manager again, I can’t tell you how thankful I was.

The OT was back out to see me earlier this afternoon and she has now changed the flap from a big one to a small one, on the side I get into the bath. I did another dry run and surprisingly it did make quite a difference. Her line manager is not back till next Wednesday but she is keen to speak to her as soon as possible, so she can get the proposals written up. If I still draw a blank on the Kitchen I will fight on with it but I am now hoping it may not come to that, fingers crossed anyway.

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