Or: It Was A Dark And Stormy Night...
It's been another week of "tread-carefully-and-keep-your-eyes-on-your-feet-when-out-walking"...
Storm Malik passed by here last weekend, with various unforeseen consequences in tow. While out walking yesterday (watching my feet, so only one photo), I was trying to start writing this blog post in my head; but for some reason my thoughts went to an old nursery rhyme/folk tale. When I got back home, I went online to check if it's the same in English. I found that in English it's called The Old Woman and Her Pig. It took me a while to find it, because in the Swedish version, there's no pig involved! Here, it starts and ends instead with a boy who refused to go to school. Verbally, ours is also snappier* (see below). Otherwise it's basically the same - describing a chain of events with one thing leading to another (which is why I came to think of it in the first place).
...And as soon as the cat had lapped up the milk, the cat began to kill the rat; the rat began to gnaw the rope; the rope began to hang the butcher; the butcher began to kill the ox; the ox began to drink the water; the water began to quench the fire; the fire began to burn the stick; the stick began to beat the dog; the dog began to bite the pig...
*In Swedish though, it's more like this (and should be read very fast): "cat on the rat, rat on the rope, rope on the ox, ox on the water, water on the fire, fire on the stick, stick on the dog, dog on the boy, and the boy to school!"
[Swedish: "katten på råttan, råttan på repet, repet på oxen, oxen på vattnet, vattnet på elden, elden på riset, riset på pojken, och pojken till skolan"]
Anyway, applying this pattern of consequences to my week, it went something like this:
In the night between Saturday and Sunday, while I was sleeping, Storm Malik caused a power outage in my area of town. The power outage (or the power coming back on again) caused damage to the motor of an electrically adjustable backrest that I've had mounted on my bed for nearly 16 years (technical aid originally prescribed for a complicated situation with surgery on top of other pain problems at the time). When the power came back on, the motor started giving off a strange and very loud noise, which woke me up. At first I assumed the noise must come from some machine outside (like a snow plow). When I realized where it did come from, I hurried to pull the plug out - feeling rather scared! It wasn't until a bit later, when a newsflash on my tablet informed me that there had been a power outage during the night, that the whole thing began to make some sort of sense at all. (I also learned the power had come back on around the time when I woke up.)
As it was Sunday, there wasn't anything further I could do about it that day (except start pondering the consequences). Thankfully no other appliances had broken down. (I had to restart my TV cable box, but it let me do that without protests.)
On Monday, I called the primary health care rehab unit; and in the afternoon, an occupational therapist called me back. She was very nice, but since we were new to each other, 20+ years of explanations (medical history) were needed (phew). At the end she said that she would call the technical aids centre, and they'd get back to me.
On Tuesday, the same occ. therapist called again and told me the tech guys had told her they would not repair the backrest because it was too old. And what with current rules and regulations, and my needs having changed compared to 16 years ago, she also could not prescribe me a new one. I had anticipated as much, so did not argue with that, but said that in that case, I needed help to get rid of the thing. And perhaps some advice about simpler alternatives.
So on Thursday, the OT made a house call to demount the Thingy from my bed - a procedure requiring acrobatics (getting down on the floor and wriggling in under the bed) that I (still) wouldn't dare try now - even if on the whole, I am more mobile today than I was in 2006. (On the other hand, I'm 16 years older. And, as I keep telling people, the older one gets, things are rarely as simple as just stating that one is "better" or "worse" compared to 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 years ago...) The OT managed the necessary acrobatics, though. So in that respect, all went smoothly - and just now, I'm feeling mostly grateful to have got rid of the no longer helpful contraption. (Actually I think that even if they'd manage to repair it, I'd now have been scared of a repeat experience!)
However, I now have to kind of re-learn some movement patterns. (If someone asked you on the phone - like the OT did me - "How do you get out of bed?" - would you be able to describe the exact procedure from lying flat down in your bed to finding yourself standing next to it?) And I also need to figure out the right combination of pillows etc needed now for comfortable daytime rest, and for example reading. I had an old bed wedge pillow down in my storage room (from way back before the electric thingy), but I think I may need a higher one. Nowadays the internet is full of stuff like that, only a click away - the problem is just to decide what design, size, shape, angle, height, weight etc etc might work best for me at the moment. (I'd prefer if I could walk into a shop and try them out!)
So the next consequence is that I've spent so much time googling backrests this week that now all my devices (laptop, tablet, phone) are full of 'cookies' from all kinds of places selling various rehab stuff. (From the Big A to specialized smaller websites.) In turn with the consequence that where/what ever else I go or do online now (playing games, using Facebook etc), ads for technical aids keep popping up every two minutes. Not only wedge pillows and backrests (that I've already looked at a dozen times), but a million other kinds of "senior" and medical stuff as well... from walkers to pill poppers and compression stockings (and all claiming to be the best of its kind).
I did of course also discuss pillow/backrest alternatives with the occ. therapist. But decided to give it a bit of time to figure out what I think might serve me best, and at a reasonable price. (Reading customer reviews may also be worth while. For example, there was one pillow that looked good size-wise, but I found reviews mentioning that it had a bad smell...)