I thought I would share my evening with you… I’m going to have to repeat a few things about myself, so my apologies to those of you who know the deal.
I’m a full time power chair user, but up until now I have been able to transfer myself on and off things. I kind of have both types of MS – a progressing bit and a relapsing bit. That bit never goes into remission either, but that’s another story.
3 months ago I stopped taking DMD (disease modifying drug) number 4 to have the break before starting number 5. The DMDs have done their job, as far as I can see, at keeping the relapses at bay, so I really just have progression.
When you stop your DMD, of course, there’s the chance that you will relapse. There’s a whole debate out there about how you manage that changeover to lessen the chance, but this time it hasn’t worked for me and I’m having a relapse.
And of course it has affected my legs. And now I can’t use my previous methods to transfer. Bummer. Goodbye independence. For the last few days Ian (my husband and full time carer) has been having to transfer me every single time.
Today I decided enough was enough. My arms are quite weak but there must be some things I can do with sliding and using the poles I have next to the bed and so on. So I’ve been lift the arms of my chair and sliding my butt across. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I have a system from chair to recliner and chair to bed. Not 100% effective, but as long as Ian is in the house somewhere I think I can try it.
The problem comes with the toilet. And one part in particular …when and how do you pull your trousers down… and then when and how do you pull them up again?!?
I reached out to my friend, Dr Google. There’s all these helpful sites that tell nurses and carers what to do and tell people in wheelchairs what to do… but in all of them the diagrams show fully clothed people and the descriptions never mention when to deal with the pants!
Finally… I find one page that’s for people with spinal injuries and it describes when to pull your pants down. Great. So now what?!? I look for the next page… Tell me how to pull them up!!!! Nothing.
Then I realise the title of the site is Pants Up Easy! They are selling this humungous piece of equipment just to pull your pants up!!!! And no way are my arms strong enough to do that!!!! Just watch the video!!! I can imagine my arms flying up in the air – just not strong enough!
There must be an easier way. For heaven’s sake… there must be an easier way!!!