Wednesday, March 23, 2016

My own devices


Finally sending away my wheelchair last week did more than free up trunk space. It's also revived memories of the path I've traveled since my awakening and the now-unneeded mobility tools that helped me get there, however briefly.

I haven't needed the wheelchair for some time, and I had no real attachment to it. In fact, the only reason I hadn't made the call to have it picked up was it didn't really matter to me one way or the other. Plus, my ADHD makes me an inveterate procrastinator.

But now that it's gone, I've been casting my eye on the other mobility paraphernalia that we can't return because we purchased them ourselves.

I'm using the walker as parallel bars for my physical therapy exercises, so it still serves a recovery-related purpose. But two of the rollators are simply taking up space. They're awaiting burial in the garage, alongside with the light rollator I thought would be easier to hook on the back of the wheelchair, but was actually harder. We'll eventually give most of them to Goodwill.

One is currently serving as a particularly bulky table for clutter.

Perhaps one of our moms will be able to use the three-wheeled rollator I liked so much. Indeed, my mom has been thinking of buying a similar model. The Winniewalker was the best of the bunch by far.



And then there are the various canes. Lately, I've taken to leaving the Hurrycane behind, though I may still use sometimes it when I think I'll be in a crowd.

Indeed, the history of my recovery is paved with physically enabling devices that I've grown past almost by the time they've arrived. I may never get a chance to use the fancy folding canes Keith gave me as gifts. By the time I don't require the extra stability the Hurrycane provides, I won't need a cane at all.

My stroke-caused vertigo is now the sole reason I might need a cane. That's why I still feel more comfortable with it when I could be jostled and set off balance in a crowd.

And then there are all the accessories we purchased to make those devices more convenient or comfortable. There are several cup holders and totes for the wheelchair, walker, and rollators. The inflatable seat cushion for the wheelchair was insanely expensive, and it was hundreds of bucks cheaper than the top of the line models. We'd like to find a charity that will give it directly to a handicapped person instead of simply selling it to someone who will probably just use it as a regular seat cushion. It's called a Roho. I looked through a catalog my physical therapist in the nursing home lent me. They can run ten times as expensive as the one we chose. Kaiser would only provide a cheap and very thin inflatable seat pad that looked like a waffle. At any rate, since these pads are so obscenely expensive, we're hoping that it will go to a poor veteran or someone like that.

Wheelchairs don't seem to be built for people to sit comfortably in for long periods of time!
You can see the thinness of the pad as it peeks out under my butt. The back pillow is my own pillow. In this case, its thinness was good, allowing it to conform to my back. I'm sitting against it now.
Perhaps we should hold a special garage sale for the mobility-challenged. The only problem is, how to get them here?

And while we're at it, there is the swivel spoon the nursing home occupational therapist
recommended, which I barely needed by the time it arrived.

Or what about the resistance bands? Or the special totes for the walkers and rollators? Or the all-terrain attachment for the cane Kaiser issued to me before Keith gave me the Hurrycane? Or the...




2 comments:

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  2. hey there... Amazing post. There are many people which could not walk considering that they might have meet with the crash which make them disabled the factor may be anything. Electric Mobility Scooters are kind of scooter with 3, four and also five wheels. This scooter is developed especially for individuals who are unable to stroll. Thanks

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Coma Girl

Coma Girl

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In July of 2013, I fell into a six-week coma and nearly died. When I awoke from the coma, I could barely lift my head. It has been a hard road to recovery. The doctors advised my loved ones to give up all hope for my full recovery, but while they were shining lights in my eyes to gauge my level of consciousness, I was telling them grumpily to leave me alone because I was trying to get back to sleep...in my coma-dream. I was experiencing covert cognition, and the coma-dream was my version of a near-death experience. I'm a skeptic, so I saw surreal images instead of spirits or dead loved ones. According to my research, as many as one in five people with consciousness disorders have covert cognition.

Not a miracle recovery, but a miracle of modern medicine

In 2013 I fell into a six-week coma and nearly died after I contracted legionella. The Legionnaire's disease was in turn triggered by immunosuppression caused by the prednisone I was taking for my rare autoimmune disease, dermatomyositis.

I suffered a series of strokes on both sides of my brain when the sepsis caused my blood pressure to plummet. I fell into a deep coma. My kidneys and lungs began to fail, as my body was began dying one organ at a time. My doctors told my loved ones to give up hope for my full recovery. They expected me to die, and even if I somehow lived, I would remain a vegetable or at best left so hopelessly brain-damaged that I would never be same. But unbeknownst to them, while they were shining lights in my eyes and shaking their heads, I was telling them in my coma-dream--my secular version of a near-death experience--to leave me alone because I was trying to get back to sleep. I was experiencing what is known as covert cognition, the subject of my Skeptical Inquirer article "Covert Cognition: My So-Called Near-Death Experience," which appeared in their July/August issue.

But it wasn't a miracle--despite what so many continue to believe--that I recovered so fully. I owe my life not to God, but the miracles of modern medicine, as well as the nature of the watershed-area brain damage I suffered, as I detailed in my article and in this blog.