davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
"Thanks for contacting us about your case for the following item:

Quickie Gpv Mobility Wheelchair

We've reviewed your concerns and have reversed the outcome of the case. Within 48 hours, payment will be credited to the PayPal account you used for the original purchase."


It took about 20 minutes on the phone to a very pleasant Irish lass on Tuesday night to convince eBay they were wrong, Almost as soon as she looked at the email trail she noted "Someone's made a right mess of this," though it was going back and forth between her and another team over IM and it wasn't clear how much authority she had.

At one point she said "We've decided not to allow your appeal because we did tell you to return the wheelchair". I then got a little more assertive and pointed out they still hadn't answered the original request I'd made to them, and seeing as it was a request for a reasonable adjustment under EA2010 they're obliged to answer.

I was stunned by a comment "Hang on, they're still typing, they must have seen something else" - if I hadn't hung onto the phone and kept arguing would they even have told me that? But she then said "You know what, this has gone back and forth a ridiculous number of times, I'm allowing the appeal."

Paypal have now confirmed the refund, so that's finally settled.

Thanks to [personal profile] legionseagle for some useful advice which may have added to eBay-girl's sense of "Oh, god, this is going to go on for hours and I want to get home".

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
So after our regular Saturday coffee date my friend and I decided to call in on another friend,.

Only I couldn't park across the road from them due to Mon-Sat residents only parking, so I left my friend at the door and ended up next street over, about a couple of hundred metres away. I'd just pushed back to the car, it was slightly uphill, I really couldn't face hauling the chair back out of the boot and pushing it, so I decided to walk. One problem, neither my sticks nor my crutches were in the car - and annoyingly I'd actually been meaning to move the sticks back to the boot, but had forgotten in the rush of running late. That would make it the furthest I've walked unaided in, well, as long as I can remember.

'It's okay,' thinks I, 'If I cross over, then I can use the wall to steady myself against if I need it, and then there's walls all the way.'

Good plan, assuming I made it as far as the wall. I'm not quite sure what I did, but it involved my foot not making clean contact with the kerb, and the next moment I'm headed decidedly floorward. Classic faceplant: knee, then hip, then hand, arm, shoulder and finally forehead, with my glasses skittering off into the distance. It's a side road, so no one to make a fool of myself in front of, but equally no one to help.

I really did do a good job on myself, it was several minutes before I felt up to standing, and that pavement wasn't exactly comfortable. First thing I checked was how badly I was bleeding from my forehead, and I was most surprised to find that I wasn't, and that my glasses had survived.. OTOH it was pretty clear I'd skinned my knee even though my jeans were intact, but that was the only real damage. I really was shaking quite badly, so the first few minutes at my friends' turned into a patching-up David session, and they insisted on driving me around to the car afterwards, which was probably wise.

But damn, I've never done that before that I can remember (well, not since screwing my back 25 years ago), there've been the odd few unintended descents to the carpet when I've overbalanced in  the house, but always in a semi-controlled fashion, never a complete facepant in public (even if there were no public)

The moral of this tale is don't leave the damned sticks in the house, make sure theyre in the boot for when you need them!

(And I really am okay, the only serious damage is to my dignity)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
Expanding on the previous post...

My trip north went largely as intended, though I got the distinct impression I wasn't on the booked assistance list at Kings Cross. They still got me on the train, though not without a frown or two. The train itself was surprisingingly empty for a week before Christmas, but the rest of the trip was trouble free I was picked up from the station at Bishop Auckland by my sister, who immediately spotted my new Kunzli boots and remarked "They look a bit, um, specialist". I had to admire her word choice. I'd actually considered leaving them at home to avoid family reaction to the orthopaedic look, but in the end they're just so damned supportive I decided to go with them. And the family can always be talked around by a good bargain, such as getting them at 75% off ;)

Visiting the family has become quite strange, because of the situation with my dad I'm left alone in the house from 2PM until somewhere between 7:30 and 8:30PM, while my mother spends the afternoon and evening with him at the care home. I went along once and walked home (I can't manage much more than about 45 minutes with him because of seating issues), but after that it was decided* I was better off going along in the evenings with my sister as I can get a lift both ways.

* Apparently I don't get a vote in the matter. The family is still a bit inconsistent in handling my walking limitations. At times they'll be overprotective, and at others they're pushy.

Dad is very variable. Some days he's very much with it, and capable of making jokes about the immediate context, other times he sleeps all day, or is awake, but pretty out of it. It's clear that not having the aggressive physio he was getting in rehab has caused him to regress physically, but scheduling it for his good days was and is impossible. His speech is still very much affected, and not helped by him mumbling or whispering, or his insistence on using a sentence where a word might do. OTOH it's a lot clearer when he's annoyed! Apparently I'm now referred to as 'Goldenboy' by my sister, because he can always remember my name even if he hasn't seen me in months, whereas he can't always remember my sister's, even though he sees her daily. Whoops! Fortunately my sister takes it in relatively good heart, and her devotion to him, and, especially, my mother's, puts my efforts to shame.

We had our Christmas Day lunch at the care home as the only way of managing to get the whole family together. I thought it was a little sad that out of their 60-odd residents, only one other relative did that (though a few residents were visiting families for the day). I think my mother was a little stressed over how it would turn out, though given she'd normally be stressing over the cooking that wasn't too much of a change from normal, but in the end it was fine. The food was good, better than any works Christmas Meal I've ever had, and if the portion wasn't huge, it was more than adequate. And Dad was on fine form, so that was a result.

New Year's Eve was less of a success. I went along to the local club (as in working men's, not night-) with my sister and her husband, which we've done in previous years, and we even got my mother to pop in briefly when she came home from the party at the home, and while the beer was fine and there was a ridiculously large buffet laid on, there weren't the people who've laid on entertainment in the past, or even my brother-in-law's drinking cohorts, so it just died away, and when someone decided to stick MTV on for music, rather than say Jule's Hootenanny or one of the other New Years programmes, it just killed it (I didn't object to the music myself, but it was completely wrong for the evening and most of the audience and no one had the sense to claim the remote back and change it). So we left before midnight and I was actually in bed by the time the New Year rolled in - sad!

And the next day I came down with a savage cold, which managed at various stages to cover all the traditional woes: streaming nose, hacking cough, up to and including feverish chills. The most annoying part of it was the randomly varying pressure in my inner ear, with associated randomly varying hearing loss, which was just plain irritating. Every time I tried to watch something it was alternating can hear him-can't hear him-can hear him-can't hear him. I think that was actually more irritating than just not being able to hear at all! And it's still doing it ten days later, even though I'm over the worst of it; there'll be a sudden pop and I'll suddenly be able to hear much more clearly. Unfortunately I gave it to my mother and possibly my sister, though neither got it quite as badly as me. And of course it meant I had to stay away from Dad for the last week I was there rather than risk giving it to him, though I was well enough to see him the night before my trip home.

I had meant to be online while I was up there, ordering a 3GB data sim, which should have been more than enough to last me while I was away. It took a few days to arrive, but when it did I hooked it up, did a little light catching up (mostly DW and webcomics), and after 3 hours it announced I'd used up my entire data allowance. I was not impressed. I was initially cursing myself for not turning off Windows Updates, but after a little poking around the system Windows told me that even with updates enabled I had only used 740MB of wifi in the last month, less than a quarter of what Three were claiming I had used in three hours. Not Impressed! But it's an impossible argument to win with the mobile companies. I could have bought a top-up of course, but I was understandably loathe to risk throwing good money after bad. And when I did finally risk their cheapest deal, a) their website crashed, b) Firefox took offence to Kaspersky's ebanking functionality and blocked access to my bank. *Headdesk* *Bah, humbug!*

Being stuck without net access meant I couldn't do the literary agent research I'd been promising to do over the holidays, though I did manage to work my way through the Acknowledgements pages of most of the books of my Kindle - surprisingly few authors credit their agents. On the brighter side it meant I was able to concentrate on writing instead and I'm now 15,000 words into the new novel with a much better idea of where the plot is going (Answer: Underhill).

My trip back worked even better than the trip up, this time everyone knew I was travelling and all the assistance was waiting for me when needed - in fact I had three separate people turn up to get me off the local train at Darlington - driver, guard, and passenger assistance! The only slightly worrying moment was when I came down the ramp at Kings Cross and even with my hands clamped on wheels it was steep enough the chair skidded. (In a masterpiece of not thinking the issues through, the train stops with the exit from the carriage with the wheelchair spaces right next to where the new escalator lands on the platform, meaning there's only just room to get off the ramp before hitting the side of the escalator, and if a passenger chooses to step into that space at the same time you're skidding down the ramp... well, it's just as well she had good reactions...). My subconscious was so completely thrown by booked assistance working without a flaw for once it keeps hitting me with dreams about missed connections!

Weatherwise we escaped the flooding that afflicted most of the North. It was decidedly soggy, but the worst of it was east of us, then south of us, and finally north of us (and of course being a couple of hundred feet above the river doesn't hurt). I saw an awful lot of flooded fields on my trip south, though fortunately nothing to disrupt train travel. Compared to previous years, when we've had to worry about trains being cancelled due to snow, it was positively uneventful.

And so that's Christmas done for another year. Same time next year?

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
 Our party split up once we got back to Athens: two flying to the UK, two to Munich and two staying in the apartment one of them owns. Meanwhile I caught a taxi to my second hotel. No problem with check-in, but then I came to use the lift - and my chair was wider than the door. The receptionist was convinced it should fit, but the edges of the doors were hitting wheels, never mind pushrims, so I have to climb out and half-collapse the chair every time I want to use the lift.
The room is great, even the accessible bathroom (mostly) makes sense, but the arrangement of furniture means you can't get the chair into the window half of the room, I'm not even certain it would be possible without taking at least the coffee table out and probably the drawers as well. That isn't too much of a problem as the room looks out on Vassilious Sofias Ave, which combines being the road past parliament, embassy row, and a six lane motorway (eight lane for the more adventurous). Glad I brought a good pair of earplugs!

Breakfast today was good, also leisurely, then I headed out to meet my friend Julia, and decided to be adventurous by wheeling all the way. Considering the whole embassy row/road past parliament thing, accessibility is pretty dire. If you find a good kerb-cut then 50% of the time it either has a dumpster in it or someone is using it for parking. Half the kerb-cuts don't have matching kerb-cuts on the other side of the road and I only saw one traffic island with kerb-cuts to match those on the pavement. Even the Hilton didn't have kerb-cuts.  By the time I was half way there I was muttering dark threats against whoever is in charge of pavement maintenance, there's a man who needs to spend a few days in a wheelchair trying to navigate his city.

Julia and I met at the Benaki museum at about 1pm, but only got about half of it done before it closed at 3pm (Jules had already done the Parthenon, the jewellery museum and part of the open-top bus ride before we met up), then we wandered past Parliament to take pictures with the Efzones on guard, through Syntagma Square, then down Emlou, the main shopping street (mostly closed given it's Sunday), finishing of with a meal in a streetwise cafe (moussaka for Jules, a chicken and pork gyros for me, which had so much meat it beat me). And then I caught a taxi back to the hotel as I was pretty knackered - and it's up hill all the way (fare 7 euros, I pay nearly as much for the 5 minute ride between the station and my house - and more on Sundays!).

davidgillon: Me, at the wheel of a yacht (Sailing)
 A longer post to follow when I'm home and in reach of a better keyboard, but we finished the sailing portion of my holiday on Friday and today was back to Athens from Poros.  Itinerary was Poros to Ermioni to Tyros to Navplio(n) to Navplio(n) to Ermioni to Poros. The double Nafplio(n)/Navplio(n) leg should have been to Astrous, but was diverted because we had a slight rudder casualty with me at the wheel* that necessitated the owner of the yachting company driving 4.5 hours to get to us, doing running repairs in the dark and then sailing us on the emergency tiller back to Nafplio and mooring us at first attempt (impressive stuff) ready to get parts rebuilt the next morning - whoops.

* Me: We've lost the rudder!
Everyone else: No, we're turning just like you want
Me: We're turning to port, I've got the wheel hard over to starboard.
Everyone else: Oh shit! Oh fuck!

We also got a lot more use of my wheelchair than I'd anticipated, but not for me...

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
 Got to the hotel about 23:45 Athens time, up before 7AM to grab breakfast, then taxi to Acropolis to be in queue for it opening at 8AM. Glad I decided to go with stics, not chair. Theoretically wheelchair accessible and actually wheelchair accessible are two different things! Bit like the hotel, whose lifts turn out to be smaller than UK standard wheelchair, and the bathroom, which has all the right bits, but in a not very sensible arrangement - e.g. towel rack at above standing head height in a wheelchair accessible room. Rest of room is okay (once I rearranged the furniture), but only here the one night so not a major issue.

Acropolis and Parthenon are spectacular, even half-shrouded in scaffolding, also saw Greek military doing their flag ceremony (not too sure about their singing!)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
After the last minute scramble to get my Pitchwars submission in I got to sleep sometime after 6AM and woke up at 9:30AM. This wasn't really enough.

Today was supposed to be a reasonably leisurely day before heading into London in the evening for a drink with friends, then various things got concatenated together.

The holiday prep I'd meant to do yesterday - a wheelie friend has strongly advised me to get my booked assistance with Ryanair for the flight home changed from 'to aircraft' to 'to seat', reminding me Ryanair are too cheap to use airbridges, so it's likely to be bus out to the middle of nowhere and climb an airstair in the middle of all the other passengers. She says she was literally trampled on the stairs once. This seems like a good idea. I'm probably not going to bother with changing booked assistance Aegean for the flight out as I'll have a friend on the flight and they used airbridges last time IIRC.
Printing out everything I need printouts of - hotel bookings, directions of hotels, where we're meeting etc, only I need new ink cartridges, and if I need to spend £20+ on ink, then I just happen to have a £40 HP voucher (for the laptop balls-up) that needs spending in the next couple of months - so new £80 HP Envy Inkjet to await delivery of (paid £30 with voucher and £10 off), which of course got scheduled for today.
Trains to from airports to book, with assistance.
Holiday cash to pick up from Post Office (ordered online yesterday. available after 1PM today).
Needed to get to cash machine to get cash for night out with uni crowd.

I was clearly running sluggish this morning, so decided to concentrate on what absolutely needed doing today.

Spent time waiting mugging up on a little Greek.
Printer delivered at 1PM, quickly up and running - reasonably impressed.
Headed into Rochester about 2PM to hit the cash machine and pick up my Euros from the post office

This is when things went wrong. I'd adjusted my footplates on the chair last night - I lowered them the other week and while more comfortable they've been catching on too many gutters etc, so they needed shifting up. The new multitool I bought didn't have the grip to unbolt them, so I used an adjustable spanner to loosen them, did the adjustment and deliberately didn't tighten them as hard, with the idea of being able to use the multitool if they needed adjusting again. Bad idea.

Right-hand footplate swung out of position within 10 metres, tried pushing it back, but it kept doing it, so I flipped it up and crossed right leg over left.
Got to cash-machine, out of order - took me three tries to notice because the screen is angled back - fine if you're reading it from above, not so great if you're reading it from chair height.
As I headed for second cash machine, left footplate similarly swung out of position, so flipped that up as well and curled my crossed legs back under the chair. This really doesn't do the efficiency of pushing any good.
Got cash, decided not to bother with Euros today (did I need the email notification or just my card? still need to check that, plus opposite end of highstreet with no footplates)
Got back to car, drove home.

Just short of home (fortunately last 100m), head starts spinning, clearly tiredness, by the time I pull into the drive I'm completely light headed. I got into the house, couldn't work out where the car keys were and turned around to find them sitting on the path outside. Absolutely no way I was fit to take a train journey into London.
So I sent a message to say I wouldn't make the get together, and was sound asleep in bed by about 3:15PM! 
Slept til sometime after 8PM or was it 10PM - I've got a bit of a blank between the two, so may well have woken up, then gone back to sleep.

Lessons learnt:
1) Fasten the damn footplates tighter
2) Get enough sleep!

And still got all the printing out and booking etc to do!

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
I picked up some useful luggage courtesy of my sister while visiting my folks, which has solved my main luggage issues for the Greece trip, but I also picked up something this week I thought might be practical for day to day chair use if I want to carry a small amount of stuff without going for the complete back-of-chair bag.

It's a military styled leg bag, designed to be worn on the outside of the thigh, with both a waist belt and a thigh belt - think of a bum-bag/  fanny-pack on steroids combined with one of the special-forces thigh holsters (technically called a drop leg holster, apparently). Side of thigh wouldn't really work for wheelie use, but if you can strap it to the side of your thigh then you should be able to strap it to the front. I tested it out today (it arrived last night) and it successfully took wallet, phone, camera, kindle, and two sets of keys with room to spare -- so far I've found eight pockets and I'm not sure that's all of them. Adjusting it to fit front of leg instead of side took about 30 seconds. I did have to take it off when I got to the restaurant for lunch, I couldn't actually fit my leg under the table with it on, but for general out and about in the chair it looks ideal.

Amazon have several different ones (I also noticed a range on ebay), mostly in military camos, though I've seen leather as well, and a bunch, including the one I bought, have a big prominent 'SWAT' on them. I decided I'd just tape over it, or cut it off or something, but on opening up the package yesterday I found it was just velcroed on and pulled straight off, so that needn't put you off. For £11 I think it's a pretty good buy.

This is the one I bought.

Black Leg Bag with multiple pockets and prominent SWAT label

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
I've been meaning to write-up my trip North, though I'd anticipated being slightly quicker about it.

I booked the train tickets at Chatham Station the Sunday before I travelled, made it clear I'd be travelling in my wheelchair, and was assured that wheelchair spaces and assistance had been booked for every leg of the journey - three there, three back. I'll be slightly more skeptical next time.

Longish and very mixed experience! )
davidgillon: Text: You can take a heroic last stand against the forces of darkness. Or you can not die. It's entirely up to you" (Heroic Last Stand)
Sometimes you start with the best of intentions, and then it all goes to hell.
So I saw my GP yesterday and it was the young, with-it one, rather than the elderly, baffled by her computer one. And everything went great, I got the referral for my shoulder issues that I wanted, I got the agreement we needed to try again with the wheelchair assessment, she checked my blood pressure which was okay (which considering stress etc is really good), and then said, 'Oh, and you've not had a blood test in a while, so here's the form, and it's a fasting test, so nothing after 7PM'. Oh, great.

So I got home, by which point it was gone 5PM, and, not actually having had anything to eat yet at that point - bad night, 4 hours sleep from 8AM til Midday, decided that if I wanted to do the blood test on Tuesday I'd better have something to eat right then. So I threw a pizza and some garlic bread in the oven,  and they were yummy, but given time to get organised, heat the oven etc I was pushing that 7PM deadline, and had to rush the meal, which shortly after manifested itself as indigestion.

And then I fell asleep, and slept until midnight. Now I'm not about to turn my nose up at 4 or 5 hours of clearly needed sleep, but sleeping on top of indigestion meant I woke up with not just indigestion, but indigestion and backache. This is a bad combination for me and rarely ends well. So I found my heat pad and a book, a couple of ibuprofen and half a bottle of wine and settled down to try and wait it out.

About 3AM it was clear the backache was gaining on me, so I abandoned the heat pad for a hot bath, and when the bath wasn't enough a pounding shower directed right at the knot of pain growing at the back of my ribs. And then the inevitable happened and I finished the night by vomiting everything up into the toilet.

That broke the back (ha!) of the pain, but it was pretty much 8AM before I got to sleep again, and I slept through until 2PM. So now it's 4PM Tuesday, I've had bugger all to eat since whenever I last ate on Sunday and I've got an 'I need to be fed, but gently' stomach ache (fortunately no back-ache) and I'd guess it's going to take a couple of meals before I'm back to normal. So I guess chances of the fasting blood test happening Wednesday are pretty slight.

Why is it never simple?

And I've still got the blood test and the competitive sport of 'find the vein' (I've literally had nurses queueing up for a try in the past) to look forward to.
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
The situation with my father seems to have calmed down somewhat, with the rehab unit admitting he's gone far beyond where they were predicting - the latest I heard was he's progressed to walking up and down the corridor, with one physio helping his leg along and another following with wheelchair. But there's still the problem that they may push him out of the unit at some point in the near future, which is putting my sister under a lot of stress in trying to identify a suitable nursing home that we could access quickly, and not helped by individual members of the unit staff being complete arseholes to her. (Difficult to think of another term for someone who says 'there are people waiting for his bed you know', or 'my staff are scared to talk to you' when she's never said anything to the junior staff). Plus there's the finance side of things, complicated by it not being clear whether he's sufficiently well enough we can get away with a power of attorney, or whether we need to go through the Court of Protection. I had a very useful chat with a fellow bendy friend whose family has been through similar and, even though we could probably do the Lasting Power of Attorney stuff ourselves, that confirmed for me that we really should go through a solicitor because of the potential Court of Protection angle - doing CofP ourselves would cost a minimum of £500 just to submit the paperwork, and possibly well over £1000 if they decide a hearing is required, so it's worth getting the professional input/advice to get it right first time

I had to talk myself out of jumping on a train north on Tuesday, and went and booked myself a doctor's appointment instead. I'm going to be no help if I'm out of play from my own health issues. I've pretty much concluded the ongoing shoulder issues are a torn rotator cuff, which my bendy friend tells me is a bendy rite of passage - yeah, right, one I could do without, thank you very much! But she's right in saying I need to see about getting it treated, and to arrange things so that it isn't under the stress of me using crutches all the time - which is why I booked a double appointment with the GP so I can say 'shoulder's buggered, 1) I need it fixed, 2) I need a wheelchair so I have options, so 3) we need another try at a wheelchair assessment'.

And just to make everything even more perfect, I triggered a major backache while talking to my bendy friend on the phone - sat for too long, so, while the pain is now gone, I've had about 5 hours of sleep since Tuesday, and my body is at the 'why is the world spinning, make it stop!' stage of exhaustion. So I think I'm going to go and send off the short story I've been working on, and then I'm going to try and have a snooze.

And the way life's going at the minute. I'll no sooner get to sleep then the phone will go with {heavy foreign accent}'Hello, this is help department of Microsoft, there is problem with your computer and we need you to....'{/heavy foreign accent}
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
Fun day yesterday being fed and entertained with fannish conversation chez [personal profile] kaberett, first time I've been introduced to anyone as 'And this is @WTBDavidG' :) Good to put face to screen-name for a bunch of dreamwidthy folks.

Spent all 5 and a half hours sitting in [personal profile] kaberett's wheelchair, long enough to be able to say 'no, this isn't quite set up right for me' - I suspect I'm maybe an couple of centimetres longer in the leg, so the footplate is slightly too high - 'but it's still the closest seat to comfortable I've found in 20 years'. Chances of me holding an upright posture in any other chair for that length of time are just about zero. So definitely worth pursuing.

Continued experimenting with wearing AFOs (ankle braces) if I'm going to be on my feet a long time (or even just potentially), bendy ankles definitely appreciate the extra support, though it slows me down enough that getting onto escalators in the Tube is now somewhat marginal. Of course the idea is to switch to a 'chair for that kind of thing anyway, so lifts will become mostly mandatory.

Four words to strike fear into the heart of any rail traveller: 'Rail replacement bus service' - fortunately only between Chatham and Rochester, which is just about 5 minutes, and not a problem on the way to London, but coming back, when I was backache-y and really not wanting to be on my feet, let's just say it's a good thing they aren't trying to run in a brewery. Unfortunately didn't manage to get any reading done on the train because, running late to get out the house, I picked up the uncharged Kindle rather than the Kindle Fire I'd purposefully charged overnight *headdesk*

Because I wasn't watching my posture when I got home, I managed to turn a niggly backache I picked up on the train into one that's lasted nearly 24 hours now, which should hopefully drive home the posture message, fortunately I managed to find my electric heat pad (best Christmas present ever!) before it got out of control.

Backache plus that pleasantly stuffed feeling that comes from having been very well fed mean it's been a sluggish sort of day, mostly spent flat on my back in bed, but a pleasant one nonetheless.

Going Dark

Sep. 10th, 2014 05:20 pm
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
I'm headed up to my folks in south west Durham tomorrow (Thursday) for a couple of weeks, which is something of an internet dead zone, so any chance I get to get online is likely to be intermittent and probably not conducive to DWing. So if I go suddenly silent that's from stepping back out of the 21stC, not anything dire.

Plans while I'm up there:
Celebrate my birthday with family
Sit down for some serious editing work on my work-in-progress urban fantasy, which needs to lose around a third of its wordcount.
Catch up on some of the books sitting waiting to be read on my kindle

Hopefully to be avoided:
Family, especially sister dearest, pitching a paddy over my asking for a referral to wheelchair services.
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Crutches)
  Or rather convincing my GP I need a wheelchair assessment from Wheelchair Services as a first step towards getting a wheelchair that actually meets my need as someone with HMS and fairly severe seating issues.

I have an appointment on Tuesday, which almost certainly means I'll get the older, somewhat lazy doctor with fixed ideas rather than the younger one with more modern, flexible attitudes (who mostly does Mondays and Fridays). The advantage is that she's known me for 25 years, the disadvantage is that she's known me through 25 years of misdiagnoses and I'm fairly certain she doesn't know what my actual diagnosis is. I'm not even certain my diagnosis is in my medical records as that came out of the Pain Clinic rather than rheumatology or ortho,  I'll have to dig out the pain clinic letters and see what they said.

So, problem: convince an old-fashioned, lazy doctor on the verge of retirement that a wheelchair is a good thing.

Points to be made:
I'm doing this whatever happens, but I'd prefer to do it with the support of the specialists
I'm prepared to fund a suitable wheelchair myself (ouch!), because the chance of getting the appropriate set-up via Wheelchair Services is likely nil.
I'm already walking better because of the pain clinic, this has nothing to do with 'giving up walking'
Walking better is just showing all the things I've given up doing and still can't do, such as going in to London
I tried out a chair for 5 days at Worldcon, 5*14 hour days, no negative effects, normally a single seven hour day, or less, on my feet is likely to put me in bed for the next day or more.
Trying out Kaberett's chair convinced me that I need a properly fitted solution on a rigid (or fold to rigid) chair, not just a cheap folding manual. It was possibly the most comfortable I've been in 25 years.
Getting a chair may be a necessary precursor to getting back to work. 
My arms are increasingly an issue. I now have parasthesia in my left arm almost 50% of the time, my right shoulder has started to sublux regularly, using crutches may mean I'm walking, but stresses my arms and shoulders. A wheelchair gives options, creates the ability to alternate between crutches and chair and just basically creates a back-up plan.

Am I missing anything obvious? All suggestions gratefully received.


davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
David Gillon

September 2017

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