In New York

In New York

Friday, 18 March 2011

Let's hear it for the carers or 'how petty' (depends on your point of view)

We are lucky with our Occupational Therapist, we like her and she works hard for us. But on her last visit, she made a remark which has stayed with me. She was contemplating the ramp outside the back door, its shortcomings, and what would need to be changed to make it work in a safer way, for wheelchair use. Her very valid point was that the gradient is too high - it comes to an end not far from the side wall and should continue on a turn, taking it well down the garden. I understand all this and if it's necessary, so be it. It was the casual way, almost as an aside that she said "Of course that plant will have to go." I had thought we could have kept it, the Laurel. The first time we viewed the house I noticed it. I noticed it because the previous owner had planted it in exactly the same situation as the Laurel my father had put in at home, many years ago. Exactly the same place in our garden in Butterfield avenue, my childhood home. Seeing it there had meant something for me. Another sign that the house was right for us. Now, of course Rachel had no idea about all this - she was just doing her job and doing it well, and we are grateful. It was just the casual way in which it was said. Why would it matter? What difference would it make? Well, it matters to me. It's another thing I don't want to lose, another change I don't want to make. I am the voice of the carer here and sometimes it sucks! I think I need to say that here sometimes. I don't want to lose my Laurel tree!

Now folks, don't tell me we can plant it somewhere else or say 'it's only a Laurel tree!' Or 'Stop complaining, you're not the one with MND!' Yes, yes, I know all that. If I sound insensitive I do apologise, but let's hear it for the carers folks. Little things can make a difference and sometimes I feel a bit 'run over' by the professionals as more and more of our life gets swept aside.

1 comment:

  1. I felt compelled to write this comment before I even finished your first paragraph. OTs are great, to a point. I have had two, the second one much more realistic and prepared to advise off the record. Although such advice is usually what I have already worked out myself! Its funny that you mention the ramp. If the OT had had her way our ramp from the backdoor to the garden would have either extended half way down the garden or turned 90 degrees on the patio leaving no room for the patio furniture. We humoured her and they approved the £1500 monstrosity and gave us a 3 month lead time, taking us to the end of the summer -genius. I went on ebay and bought a folding aluminium ramp for £80, got a neighbour to grind the side edges off at the top so the door would open over the ramp in situ and bingo, I am in the garden. Ok the ramp is steeper than recommended but I just tilt the wheelchair seat back when going down. I cancelled the civil engineering project! I don't know your ramp requirements but what I am saying is get the OTs advice but let your judgment decide. OTs would have had me using a full hoist a year ago, bollocks to that. I am still using the standing hoist, its just taken some imagination to achieve it but it has delayed the requirement for a second carer deemed necessary for full hoist operation.