Saturday, 20 July 2013

Forewarned is forearmed: good nights CAN be gone into gently

I have a degenerative neurological 'condition', which is manageable, but not painful, even though discomfiting, and increasingly enervating. It is all in the day to day management. To this end, I have now consulted two occupational therapists, the second as a consequence of my stay in Royal North Shore with pneumonia, which was totally unrelated.

The side entryway already had good solid railings attached, which each of us use. They are not attractive, necessarily, but immensely useful. This is my entry point now, as I no longer use the rear steps, being too steep and frequently wet. The OT from RNS put me in touch with a community service group in Lane Cove, who came out and attached two 30cm rails in the downstairs bathroom, one adjacent to the toilet, and the other to assist me getting over the hob into the shower. It took about 45 minutes and my share of the cost was $145. He also told me about attachments for the shower that enable the head to be located lower, meaning just above chair height,

While both OTs were here they did a full assessment of the house for someone living with increasingly limited mobility. I 'wobble' a lot, and occasionally take tumbles. It is the nature of the degeneration. The second OT had much better ideas than the first, who was mainly a documenter, leaving possible solutions to 'community handymen'. This next image is the front porch, which we do not use as the front door, however it is the main access from my living space to the veggie garden in the front yard. In time, this step will be a barrier for me. Not yet, but I suspect it will be so within a few years, perhaps before I am 70. I will be 65 in two weeks. Megan's idea was to convert this into a wooden porch, wider, with a railing, and with a ramp. This will leave the yard little impacted, and add to the appeal of the front of the house. I liked the mental image a lot. It is a suntrap with a great outlook. When the handyman came for the railings, I did not mention this idea, though, as it is second cab off the ramp.

In the backyard there is n issue more pressing. See this triangulation of steps? I use it daily, nay many times per hour on my gardening days. It is a challenge which sets my wonky balance system into over drive. If there is an 'issue' whereby an adult needs to react, then I still react, and this is where the tumbles occur. Mostly, it is just tiring. Megan suggested a wooden 'bridge'. Totally brilliant. The handyman confirmed that it would be doable. It will require timber scaffolding to frame the bottom of the 'triangle' over which planks form the walkway. The scaffold which underpins the walkway would be enclosed to ensure that children do not come to grief. There would also be a railing over the drop. Yes, access to the rear yard is a bit mre restricted, but the walk around is only about 20 metres.

so, although Dylan Thomas exhorted us to rage against the dying of the light, I prefer to go gently into my goodnight. Thomas died of alcoholic poisoning at the age of 39.

1 comment:

head in the sun said...

What's Dylan Thomas know?