I had an idea for today’s post, continuing the equipment theme, and then another friend with ms gave me another idea that tied the two together.
Bathrooms are hard to photograph, but in this you can see three of the main pieces of equipment I have. A chair in the shower. I sit on the side of the bath and slide back on to the chair. Ian has to lift my legs into the bath and then get the water sorted out for me. At the end of the shower, he dries me off and has to get me out.
The raised toilet seat is to help me transfer. The big white thing is a pole to help me transfer too – and I have one at the side of my bed! Yes, a floor to ceiling pole in the bedroom!!! On bad days, Ian has to help me transfer on and off the toilet too.
Which brings me to the suggestion – dignity! Having a chronic disease such as MS robs you of your dignity. Constantly having to ask with the simplest things up to the most intrusive things. Having every procedure and test known to the medical system. As another dear friend once said “I’ve lost so much dignity, it would save time if I just started to strip off in the doctor’s waiting room!!!” Every time she says she has a medical appointment, I smile and check the news carefully to see if she was arrested…
Ian plays a massive part in me managing to maintain some dignity. They all become tasks that are just part of life for us, but still, it’s not a situation we ever wanted to be in. For many people, they don’t have family members to do this for them at home. Instead, it takes people like my cousin who works as a full time carer, to try to help people keep the dignity that the disease has taken away from them.