And in the “That Didn’t Go Well” Department

I went down to the front desk late today to see if there was a wheelchair I could use instead of the crappy chair. They had two. One was too small and the other looked like it could work. But I transferred to it too fast and found myself stuck and unable to stand back up because it had desk arms, which are lower in the front with the higher padded part in the back. I need the padded part to be up front to get the leverage I need to stand. We ended up waiting for a friend on staff to come in and help. There was a great team of people keeping the wheelchairs from sliding back (both have brake problems) and one person on each arm to help me stand up.

I knew my legs would support me if I could just stand up. They did, and I was able to transfer back to my too-big crappy chair. I felt so stupid for not remembering to check the arms before I tried out the chair. I know better. But I am so grateful for the friends who came to my rescue, and for the skills I learned that helped me know how to facilitate that rescue.

Veronica at Olympic Center told me that it was my job to direct my care. To know what needs to happen and to tell other people what to do to make it work. I think I learned that lesson pretty well.

Silver Lining to the Wheelchair Cloud

The only good thing about the new borrowed wheelchair is that it’s so bad that I opted for the alternative today: walking around the apartment with the walker. It wasn’t easy but I didn’t fall. This was the most I’ve walked around here since I think before I went to the hospital in August. It’s kind of a miracle considering I walked for the first time in a month two days ago and I’m proud of myself for doing it. I switched back to the chair late afternoon because feeding the cats is much easier from a seated position than when trying not to fall bending over from a walker. I’ll switch back after they’re fed because I need the practice and hate having the big bulky chair around when I’m not using it.

The biggest chair problem (of many) is that the brakes do not hold and the chair moves when I try to stand up. This is a huge problem on the laminated floor of the living areas of the apartment and it took me 10 minutes of repeated tries to move to the lift chair. But I have carpet in the bedroom and it doesn’t roll as much or as easily there. So I backed the chair up against the bed for added stability and stood up with the walker, moving into other areas. The living room looks much bigger without the big black chair. The walker also has a tray that lets me carry things from the kitchen to the chair, something that’s very hard to do when both hands are busy trying to wheel a chair that doesn’t want to turn.

Someday I’ll be ready to use a rollator but that certainly isn’t now. Using the regular rolling walker with the little tennis balls in the back was enough of a challenge.