Dixie Peach: Would have been better with pictures

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Would have been better with pictures

There are times when things don't seem to be going well but you still feel the need to keep plowing along.

Remember the battery charger for my camera? The one I can't find? B ordered a new one from a shop and the shop's supplier was late in delivering its shipment so the shop is late in getting the charger to me. I've been hoping each day it will arrive because I've been missing a lot of photo opportunities due to me having three dead camera batteries.

So what did the postman try to deliver today at the same time that I was in the shower shaving my legs? You don't even need to give it a thought, do you?

Visiting the post office tomorrow to claim my package goes on my schedule for tomorrow.

A few hours later while I was out walking my dog another package, this one from Amazon with this and this inside, was being delivered. Fortunately it happened when B's physiotherapist was there so she could take the package while I was off watching Bonnie search for the perfect blade of grass on which to pee. Reversal of fortune...for the moment.

B hasn't been out of our apartment since the day we moved in. Our dreadfully cold winter and practically non-exsistant spring has conspired to keep him housebound so when the weather today turned out to be perfect we made plans for B to get out. Things were really beginning to look up!

My MIL arrived a few minutes after B's physiotherapist left. I got him dressed, his wheelchair squeezed into the livingroom (since B is nearly 6'4" tall he doesn't really fit into normal wheelchairs and his electric one is much larger and heavier than normal), and we talked about where we'd like to go. Since he hasn't been outside in nearly six months his neck muscles aren't used to the near abuse they take bouncing along in a wheelchair so we figured that we'd stick close to home and maybe go to one of the many cafes in the area.

I can't put B in his wheelchair alone - he's a foot taller than me and while he's a rather slim guy, 160 pounds of near dead weight is just too much for me to lift. We also can't use a mechanical lift - no room and they don't get along with his wheelchair very well - so I need another person to lift his legs while I get him under his arms from behind and together we lift him off the bed and into his chair. It's not easy but it works and when you care for someone with a physical handicap, "it works" is sometimes the best you can do.

It's very important to get the wheelchair as close to B's bed as possible if you want the lifting proceedure to work properly. It's even more important that you turn off the controls to the wheelchair.


My MIL had grabbed B's legs around his knees. I had him under his arms from behind. Eins, zwei, drei...LOS! and the wheelchair began to roll backwards from my MIL pushing against the joystick. I had no time to say stop. I had no way to move. That 300 pound wheelchair rolled right onto the big toe on my left foot and cue the panic! I couldn't think. I couldn't say what was wrong. All I could do was scream from the pain and freak out at the thought of it continuing to roll backwards and breaking my toe. I was desperately trying not to drop B, my MIL didn't know why I was screaming and she was nearly about to drop him as she kept pushing the chair's joystick backwards and all I could think to scream was "Get it off my toe! Get it off my toe!".

Unfortunately I was screaming it in English. My MIL doesn't speak English.

All hell was breaking loose and yet we somehow managed to get B back on the bed and the chair off my toe. A moment was taken to assess the damage and when it was determined that my toe would survive we attempted the lift again, except this time B's not really in the right position for lifting him. We plowed ahead anyway 'cause that's what you do when you've just got to get it done and this time it was my MIL's turn to holler in pain. She was lifting his legs, she bumped against the wheelchair's controls turning it on again, it began to roll again, I began flailing at the buttons to turn the chair back off and just then one could hear a very audible "craaaack" and my MIL yelped. Somehow she got her back twisted the wrong way and she seems to have popped a disc in her back.

And B still wasn't in his wheelchair right.

At this point I barely wanted to go out anymore. I was in pain, shaking, sweating like a whore in church and worried that we've just crippled my MIL. But we plowed along in hope that it would be worth it all in the end.

And it was. We finally got outside, my MIL could still walk even though she could barely bend over and the weather was so fabulous that nothing short of having to request immediate medical assistance should keep us indoors.

We walked down to a restaurant located on the market square, sat at one of the tables outside and had some ice cream topped with the freshest, most delicious strawberries I've had in a long time. An old neighbor from when B was growing up came by and sat with us and treated us all to a dark beer. The sun warmed our faces and for the moment swollen, bruised toes and injured backs were forgotten. Reversal of fortune...for the moment. We still had to get B back into bed when we got home.

All I'll say about that is at least none of us ended up in the hospital - but we're glad the doctor is scheduled to come for her regularly scheduled housecall tomorrow.


Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

See? No good can come from shaving your legs.

1:43 AM  
Blogger ninjapoodles said...

Bless your heart. Long-distance hugs to you. I'm really having a hard time imagining you in the same context as "a whore in church," though!

Oh, and a new Tom Wolfe novel? I didn't even know! How is it?

3:13 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Poor Dix and B and MIL: I'm glad everything worked out as right as it could. Mr. Fabulous is right -- no good can ever come from shaving your legs.

4:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn! The combo of ice cream, strawberries and good beer just might be worth a few broken bones and popped discs. I hope everyone's still in one piece tomorrow.

4:26 AM  
Blogger Marshamlow said...

Even without a camera you still spin the best yarn on the Internet!

I am in awe of your grit, determination, and sheer will.

6:17 AM  
Blogger christina said...

Oh my goodness! Talk about blog fodder. And you tell the story so well. But good for you - you got it all sorted out despite the squished toes and strained backs.

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa!!! Talk about earning your beer. I am glad that nobody was seriously injured. Sounds like life in the Murphy house...minus the wheelchair of course.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

You poor things, I know how you feel about the toe *and* the back. There should be a club.

Oh, and thanks for giving me a height reference. A foot shorter than B puts you at about 5'4", and Christina and Ginnie somewhere near that, yes? :) I'd always wondered.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Mahala said...

Lord have mercy, we must be related lol.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

my goodness!! I am sure it made B's day though (well not the struggle to get in the chair). 6'4"! That is one tall drink of water!

7:51 PM  
Blogger Mimey said...

Aw. I feel for you all. But can't help believing having sun on your face is worth it all, no question.

As for strawberries, don't get me started. Mmm.

11:07 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Mr Fab - It's a habit I just can't break!

Belinda - This book is a few years old but I'm just getting around to reading it. I'm liking it so far.

Katya - Well at least I didn't cut myself shaving. That's about the only thing missing from the day.

Robin - You'd have been swooning over these strawberries. And the beer was delish too.

Christina - It really was worth the injuries. Even my MIL agreed.

Chelle - Never a dull moment in your house either, I know!

Lisa - I think Christina and Ginnie are slightly taller than me but maybe it's just my preception!

Romani - Glad to know I wouldn't be the only one to get into a fix like this!

Claire - B loved it outside. And yes, he's all legs!

Jemima - The combination of the sunny day and getting B outside was intoxicating. Or maybe it was the beer.

12:56 AM  

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