Went Out in My Powerchair
The first day of the month seems very apt to do something for the first time, or is that just me? As it had now been 2 weeks since my second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, I decided it was time to reacquaint myself with the big wide world. Where are we going? Morrison’s! But this time, I would actually be using my powerchair in a public place.
The difference between someone pushing you in a wheelchair, and using a powerchair is amazing, it’s freeing! I could toodle off down the aisles and go at my own pace. I’ve not been able to do this since when I was at rehab, it felt strange but exciting too. Mobility aids are the best, aren’t they?
Daisy’s First Cold
Poor little Daisy-doo had her first cold, she had a bit of a sniffle but remained her happy and cheeky self. It was only a few days but lots of extra cuddles and kisses were needed.
Daisy (6 Months)
Half a year… what?!
New Logo and Banner
After nearly 2 and a half years of blogging, I felt a refresh and revamp was in order. Now, I’ll admit that I’m not the most creative, therefore deciding on what I wanted for a logo and social media banner was a bit of a challenge; I’m so thankful for graphic designers, especially Amy! Check them out – I’ll add the link at the bottom of this post.
The Inevitable and Sod’s Law
With Ewan and Daisy having a cold, it was only inevitable that I would get one too. I had not been unwell since November 2019, almost 18 months without a cold or anything, and yet the one time I want to have some normality back is obviously the best time for me to get a cold. Two days before my physio review, I started feeling unwell. I was mad!
Sod’s law, ain’t it? We had to reschedule and I eventually attended my physio review the following week.
Oh my goodness, it was so good to be back! It did feel surreal to be back in the physio gym, but this time with Daisy. I got to see Sophie, Erica and my old PT – I feel bad for calling him my old PT, because he’s not old, he’s like mid-30’s… I’m sure I will think of a nickname for him at some point. Anyway, I’m rambling!
We talked about what I hope to achieve this time round, and see where we go from there. As I am still not confident to transfer with my walking frame, I was transferred from my powerchair on to the plinth, and did some leg exercises. They encouraged me to try and stand with my walking frame, which I was hesitant at first, but gave it go. I managed to stand 3 times without shaking, boom!
Saw My Nan
After 10 months, I finally got to see my Nan! I hadn’t seen her since I was 25 weeks pregnant, it feels like forever ago! She is 84 and keeps forgetting where she has left her walking stick, it is comical as she laughs about it as well. So far, she has left it in another room, in her back garden, and the best one yet, in her front garden hanging on the tree. Wherever next?
She finally got to have a cuddle with Daisy and we got some lovely photos too, me and my Nan didn’t hug but we elbow-bumped. It’s nice to see her on a regular basis again.
Molly, Molly, Molly… I genuinely thought that I would be sharing an upsetting post, this time last week. Last Sunday, she wasn’t interested in her food, water nor moving much. We know she struggles with a bit of arthritis from time to time, plus she looked like she was in discomfort when she did manage to walk a little. Mum phoned the vets, on the Monday, and managed to get the last appointment for that day.
There was no way Molly would have managed to walk to the car and then climbed onto the seat, so mum bought her a carrier. Mum took her to the vets and they gave Molly some pain relief to see if that would help, but they also noticed her stomach was quite swollen, so they did a quick scan. They found something, but as it was only a quick scan, they couldn’t determine what the ‘something’ was. Molly had to go back to the vets first thing, the next morning.
We were devastated, obviously whatever it was had made her unwell quite quickly. Me and mum spent the Monday night in tears, thinking this would be Molly’s last night at home. It broke me watching her just lay in her bed, when I went upstairs.
The next morning, mum had taken her to the vet and would message me as soon as she had any updates. This felt like an awful deja-vu, like with Millie. It wasn’t long before mum was trying to get hold of me, but ended up ringing Ewan.
It turned out that Molly had an infection in her womb, and that she was going to be taken straight into surgery. The plot twist? The shelter we got them from, told us they thought Molly had been neutered. In the vets own words, “Well, when we began surgery on Molly, there was definitely a uterus!”
Now, we had to deal with whether Molly would make it through the surgery – she is nearly 10, but the older a dog is, there is more risk of complications. The surgery went well, they drained the infection and definitely neutered her. Molly had to stay overnight for observations, and all being well, she could come home the next day.
Well… that was the original plan…
As Molly became more aware, she wouldn’t let the vets do anything, and she managed to pull out her cannula. So, the vet suggested that mum should pick her up and bring her home, to see if she would settle a bit more and hopefully eat.
Molly was very reluctant for the first few hours, which I don’t blame her, she’d had a lot done, bless her. She was drinking every now and then, small sips but eventually more. She had no interest in food, except from licking Daisy’s baby food (vegetables)… yes, you read that correctly.
Each day since, she has got stronger and stronger and we are immensely relieved that she is back to her normal self, following me into the toilet, supervising when I’m transferring, joining in when Max starts barking, bounding about. She’s even more cuddlier now than she was before, which is a bonus.
Literally, out of nowhere, we got a call from Wheelchair Services to say that they had a cancellation the next morning, and offered me an appointment to have an assessment. Obviously, with how long the waiting lists are, I jumped at the chance. However, I had to have my interview for a volunteer role rescheduled incase my assessment ran over into the time for my interview.
The lady who assessed me (with the appropriate PPE) was really lovely. I explained why my current powerchair is no longer suitable for me, and she took everything into consideration. After a while, she went to get a powerchair she had with her (no idea as to what vehicle she was driving). I noticed 2 differences straight away as soon as I sat in the new powerchair.
The gap between the front wheels was wide enough for my ross return (standing aid) to fit inbetween, whereas with my current powerchair, the ross return doesn’t fit fully inbetween the gap, therefore before I sit down, I have to take one step back and then sit down, otherwise I’m at risk of sitting too close to the edge and potentially falling.
When I sat down, I actually fit. Whereas my current one, the sides pinch my thighs.
I can safely say that was the first thing that I’ve sat on and was impressed with straight away.. really Ami??
The steer control was firmly attached, whereas my current one falls off more times than it stays on. The back support was higher, therefore it fully supported my back, and it came with a headrest too… a big bonus as I would be able to rest my neck and hopefully prevent any further muscle aches. The settings were easily adjusted, the lady was able to do it via this device that is insterted underneath the steer control, and was able to program the settings via her phone!
Next was the drive test, we live in quite a small house but it works for us at the moment, but not everything is completely suitable for a wheelchair user. I drove into the hallway fine, but found it a bit difficult to turn around as there wasn’t enough room, but we can work round that, then I reversed back into the living room without any bumps.
I also went into the garden, and it went smoothly down the ramp too. Also, outside the back gate, with my current powerchair, mum has to continually move the ramp so that I can get over a bump, or go down a small drop. BUT, with the new powerchair, I won’t be needing the ramp outside the back gate because it is robust and can handle the impact of a small drop, and I do mean just over 5cm but definitely lower than 10cm.
I couldn’t do that in my powerchair and it gets better… the new one can climb! Which means that, where I would have the ramp to be able to get onto the path leading up to the back gate, I could drive up to the path, and there would be enough power to ascend onto the path! All singing and dancing, ain’t it brilliant?
Usually with every good thing, there’s no doubt something bad to follow. The lady completely understood my situation and her only concern was my vision impairment. I explained that yes, I have central vision loss, but my peripheral vision is good. I did my best to demonstrate this when I was test driving the powerchair, I was constantly assessing the width and how much room I had to be able to manoeuvre.
I was checking for any obstacles and making sure I was in line with the ramp and the path. I wouldn’t go out on my own in my powerchair as I know it would be unsafe for me to do so, due to both my vision impairment and hearing loss. We did explain this to her too. She told us that she would speak to someone higher up, but assured us that I would get the powerchair.
2 days later and we find out that I’m… getting the new powerchair! Ohh, I can’t put into words how happy I am, I was quite tearful when Ewan told me the news. This is going to be an absolute gamechanger for me!
A very up and down month indeed!
What’s Happening in June?
There will be 2 new guest posts in The Reality of… series, and 3 posts from yours truly – I think this may be the norm for me but we shall see!
Daisy turns 7 months old, she is just getting cheekier and more adorable by the day, always makes me smile and laugh!
I will have my interview for the volunteer role I mentioned earlier in this post – fingers crossed I’m successful! I’ve got a few writing opportunities coming up, not sure when they will be published but I will highlight them in my monthly round-ups when they are.
I’ve got my second physio session, looking forward to that!
How was your May? Got anything nice planned for June?
– Ami 💚