In New York

In New York

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Jenny gets things done

We had a visit a couple of weeks ago from Jenny, one of the occupational therapists at Richmond Neuro Rehab. I was glad I was at home because we talked about a lot of things. I had only met Jenny once before - Roch has had a series of OTs from Richmond Neuro Rehab (the wonderful Rachel is a Constant - she is the OT from the Council). Jenny is the latest OT from RNR and there is something about her manner I find very comforting. She is matter of fact and I can see that she is someone we can trust to get things done. We talked about a new chair for Roch (she and Rachel were to liaise on this one) as he is having difficulty getting up by himself from his lovely leather chair. We talked about aids for eating i.e. lifting the food up to his mouth (no problems with swallowing). Rachel has supplied us with a selection of specially adapted cutlery to try and our good friend Lerick (hello Lerick, I know you read this!) sent some excellent lightweight cutlery.
Jenny brought a new offering with her. A strange looking contraption called a 'STEADY/SPOON' with a rather outdated descriptive tag line on its box:

Doctors and Occupational Therapists Agree
The SteadySpoon is;
'One of The Most Innovative and Revolutionary
Advancements in the Care and Feeding of the
Handicapped, Disabled,
Challenged or aged Individuals, Ever!'

It's an interesting contraption, a spoon which is attached to the wrist with a velcro fastening strap. As the spoon moves towards the 'challenged' individual's mouth, the food is tipped out, hopefully into the aforementioned mouth. However, the SteadySpoon has been consigned to the cupboard. It's not working for us - certainly not to be attempted with soup! We didn't dare.

Other topics of conversation with Jenny included arm supports, cigar holders and environmental controls. She and I also discussed how Roch manages for lunch when I am at work and I expressed some concern about him lifting and transferring hot dishes from microwave to table. So she promised to look into providing a kind of 'hostess' trolley for him. I'm not sure how Roch feels about this, but it sounds like a good idea to me.
It's becoming a real team effort - Jenny and Rachel, Amber (physio), Jo (Community Matron), Donna (Hospice Nurse) - these people are some of the members of Team Roch...there are others.

Anyway, today two items arrived (I told you Jenny gets things done).  Firstly, an absolutely delightful duo arrived this afternoon with his new chair. Pat and Les, who deliver items for the MND Association. Well, they couldn't have been sweeter. The chair looks as if it has always been in the tv room. It fits in perfectly with our colour scheme! We just hoped, Pat and I, that it was the right size as it may be a little small. So no more struggling out of the leather chair (last night it took the combined efforts of me and Tom to get him up), now his motorised chair at the push of a button will gently raise him to a standing position. If there is a problem with it, Pat assures me that they can change it. Many thanks to the MND Association, to both Jenny and Rachel and the lovely Pat and Les. And here it is:

There you can see Roch's leather chair set to one side. You can also see why this part of the house is now the tv room, as guess what's on the wall opposite? Judge Judy awaits...

I have a feeling the leather chair will become Tom's chair now. He won't complain about that.

The second item to arrive was the 'hostess' trolley. I don't know what he'll make of that. It definitely looks pretty 'old people's home'. Well, if it does the job I guess that's the main thing.

Preparations have begun today for Roch's trip to Dublin - a series of my famous lists lie scattered on the kitchen table and the house looks like a laundry. He's off on Friday morning and back on Monday night. Once he has left home in the capable hands of his cousin Tony, I look forward to a few days spent here with my faithful sister Maura, doing what we do best - talking, drinking tea and shopping (throw in a bit of 'Strictly Come Dancing' for good measure). Bliss. But before then, Roch and I have an appointment on Thursday at King's College Hospital with Professor Al-Chalabi.  A long drive across town, but always worth it in the end. I'll let you know how that goes.

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