6.30 pm....... we are green lights to go, and the Chariot is cleared for departure.......
Apparantly wheelchairs are like tanks (with less guns and less armour)
- to go forwards - push both wheels forward
- to go right - stop the right wheel and push the left wheel - or for tighter turns pull the right wheel back as well
- to go left - stop the left wheel and push the right wheel - or for tighter turns pull the left wheel back as well
- to go backwards - pull both wheels backwards
I soon learned that doesn't take too much to propel yourself on the flat and narrow - given could pop a wheelie quite easily on the ward..........
So down to the car - bit of experimentation in getting in the passenger seat and that was reasonably simple as well.
Drive home was fairly uneventful and getting out of the car I found a bit trickier than getting in but still manageable.....
Getting in the house, again quite simple - but this was only because Dad, Uncle and Dad's neighbour had spent a day and a half creating a ramp with a flat top to enable me to get in. (pics to follow)
Quite honestly a few tears of I don't know what - happiness to be home in a familiar surrounding, relief that had managed this far without a mishap - hey it will be ok in the end, anger at the stupidity of how something as innocuous as a bouncy slide could reduce me from a healthy fit and able bodied photographer / golfer to a bloke relying so much on others to do basic stuff.
Manouverability - downstairs indoors - a bit tight indoors , esp through doors but nothing we couldn't manage - so transfer from the wheelchair to the sofa - hmm this is a slightly bigger gap, but lets build a mountain of cushions onto that and then remove the cushions - simple.........
Getting back from the sofa to the chair however - hmm a rise of 6 - 8 inches - (without bearing any weight on the ankles) - a bit trickier - 10 mins later, shouting swearing and the use of some ancient anglo saxon vernacular, I was still in the same place - so that wasn't going to work.
Plan B - the arse shuffle up on to the arm of the sofa and a simple transfer across to the chair. It's all about adapting to the environment you are in, but a lot easier with working ankles to stand up turn and sit.
Having no downstairs toilet there is always one thing I am going to struggle with throughout my time in a chair and that is crapping in a bucket, or to put it more eloquently for those of a quaint disposition, using a commode. I don't know what it is about it, but to me, in a civilised society, completely humiliating and I know I am going to have to fight against this thought. I also feel incredibly sorry for Sharon who has the job of emptying it......lol. If i know you, and you live nearby and you have a downstairs loo that is accessible by a wheelchair, I may be paying you a social visit soon!!!!
The rest of the night was doing things by trial and error - whats the best way into / out of bed............ how many of you sat and cleaned your teeth in the front room last night using a pyrex bowl instead of running water from a sink.
Hopefully things will progress and I will continue this blog, and if anything will gain a good understanding of what is simple for one person is difficult for another.
Plenty of pics and updates to follow..........