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29 March 2012

Posted by DMC on 30 March 2012 in Diary |

All’s well that ends well. After that flurry of telephone calls yesterday morning, the last one I received, in fact the last two, confirmed that the pressure cushion had arrived and indeed was delivered to me late yesterday morning. I was curious to know how this was achieved without Holly wheelchair knowing anything about it as they were supposed to be the suppliers, I know not but I am just thankful that this particular saga is now over, or so I thought. (The answer was that Holly’s did not provide this cushion but it had come out of the NHS store.)

I know other patients, and indeed their carers, will understand why he I am making such a fuss over a cushion. Quite simply sitting in the same position for 11 hours becomes very uncomfortable even for a fit person but for someone who cannot even shift the weight at all, it becomes extremely uncomfortable or even painful.

Anyway, when we unpacked this pressure cushion it was like nothing we are never seen before. Something like 144, 3 inch high, plastic tubes controlled by air from a pump valve at each corner. This one was not new, which is fair enough, and came from the NHS stock. However, as the Internet details explain it comes in 13 sizes so it a precise fit is quite clearly important. Also, if I had purchased it personally for £650, I would expect it to be fitted properly. As it happened my OT, who was working to a very busy schedule, kindly agreed to pop in and do her best best to fit it for me. This comprised adjusting the of some of the tubes after putting her hand under my bottom whilst I sat on the cushion. Not very scientific! Having sat on this cushion for a couple of hours I found it more uncomfortable than the previous one so had them swapped around again and will have to do battle tomorrow to try to get one of the right size.

Our visitors today comprised Ba and Rosemary, two old friends of Alice’s, who came and sat with me for an hour before the 12 o’clock call. It’s very nice of people to want to come and see me and check on my progress but it is a blessing that we are able to restrict the visit to an hour knowing that our carer would appear around midday. It’s not that I don’t enjoy their company, I do but if I have to talk from too long and yet exhausted and then start panting for breath.

After lunch, Lee, the aerial man arrived to check it out our satellite dish as over the last couple of days the pictures had been pixelated. After scaling the roof, he appeared holding l what looked like an expensive component and explain that it had been taped in position and the socket which received it was broken. (Or something to that effect which required emergency tape) I never thought to ask him who he believed was a person who used tape in the first place as the only person who had ever gone anywhere near it when it was installed was him!. As usual the guarantee had run out and we have to foot the bill. I asked him about the government advertisements telling old-age pensioners over 75 or disabled that, they can be switched from analogue to digital, free. Did this include a satellite dish I asked, and was told that it did not. If that’s true there will be a large number of elderly people who, not being able to afford a satellite dish will lose their television picture completely when analogue is finally turned off. I really cannot believe that to be the case. Apparently, according to Lee, we are entitled to have another TV point fitted, entirely free, due to our age of my disability. We might take advantage of this and have a point put in the skirting opposite the end of my bed, just in case. (I discovered later in the day, after speaking to the government body set up to deal with this that we could qualify for the whole package but could not have a single TV outlet fitted!) in I always using the 800 and

Having put in a call to my OT earlier. Lynne, kindly agreed to squeeze us in between other appointments and fit the new cushion for us. In the event this seemed to me rather a hit and miss procedure whereby she let some air out of a particular quadrant and tested it by putting her hand under my bottom. Not exactly scientific compared with the much less expensive cushion fitted to my wheelchair which was adjusted according to figures produced on a computer pad. I rang the local suppliers of the wheelchair cushion and was told that they do not provide anyone to come out and adjust either the wheelchair cushion or the cushion for the lounge chair. I then rang Roho’s head office and was told that that they do not have a local rep. who could drop in and check these two cushion over for me.

However, they would send me some more detailed sitting directions. In the event my OT rang, and learning that I was not happy with the size of the cushion she had delivered, said she would see what else was available and come back to me. In the meantime I am back on my wheelchair cushion, I hope temperately, fitted to my lounge chair. What is saga!! I never would have believed that something as prosaic as a cushion could possibly figure so largely in one’s life the day while that’s the difference between being fit and having a terminal illness.

I have always faced up to problems when they arise even, if in doing so, it creates more aggravation but in the end honesty is the best policy. Click here to see what happens when you try to avert your responsibility by not being honest.


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