What if

I am an avid news watcher so I was surprised that with so much coverage of the flooding down south, that although we have seen the odd elderly person being assisted out of there homes, there had been no mention other than in passing, that families where in Bed and Breakfast, hotels or with friends. In fact it was only when talking to insurance companies that covering of costs and so on, that I had heard any mention of the care for people short term. What struck me today was although it is a nightmare for all, what happens to those who’s homes have been specially adapted for their needs, for them it isn’t just a case of finding a roof to cover them, it’s about so much more. I simply hadn’t thought about it at all, in fact, ever. I suppose it depends on how far their home was adapted, and what could be moved with them, but I am left wondering how many would land up in hospital, simply because there is no where else that can supply their needs, until there home could be dried out and made fit for them to move back into. I doubt any of us really think about those “what if?”, What if you were flooded out, if there was a fire or anything that meant you couldn’t live there for a few months, how would you survive and adapt to living where your insurance company puts you? I know that none of us like to think about anything happening to our homes but with failing health I suddenly realise that as time goes on the “What if” will get harder and harder to deal with. I don’t have to think about one side of that question, mentally I would be a MESS. I know everyone would be, but with my inability to manage change in my environment, well I think I would be at the point of having to be forced into a new place to live, the logic bit just doesn’t work for me. I doubt it would kill me to move but the whole idea makes me go cold inside as I really don’t know if I would be able to adapt with anything close to ease. Right now there are limited adaptations, so I guess that is a side issue just now, but it does make you think, as just what would happen to you.

I did once sit here and tried to work out how I would get out of the house if I were here alone. There was only on reason I could think of where it would be required and that was fire and I quickly realised that all I could do would be to unlock the front door and wait for help. The stair well is stone so there should be no fire out there but depending on where the fire was in the building it could be a double edged sword. What I found strangest about thinking through the possibilities of escape was the ease with which I just accepted that there was no easy escape route and my fate would be in the hands of others. So much of your life once your mobility has gone is really in the hands of strangers, from the delivery guy with the shopping to the ambulance man who carries you in and out when ever needed, but like everyone else in the world you should have things like escape plans and so on, mine appears to either be called Adam or fate. It doesn’t matter now what “what if” I can think of, that is the reality of my life now, what ever happens to me that I can’t deal with, come down to Adam or fate. Yes I can use a phone and I could carry it with me, but just having it doesn’t mean that calling the emergency services would be the end of it, if I’ve say broken my leg and I couldn’t get off the floor, well with Victorian storm doors, braced with iron bars, no one is getting into our home without the main emergency service, Adam.

Despite being avid documentary watcher, who have seen disaster after disaster, somehow since I have been housebound we have never talked about how we would deal with any of the possible “What ifs” there are, that could happen to us. I guess may be we have enough negatives in our life already without looking at the possible others that might or might not happen, or may be we have both just accepted that without thought most are clear what the results will be. I used to have escape routes, plans for every place I spent any length of time in, I always knew how I would rescue my family, now I couldn’t rescue myself. I am though one of the very lucky ones as I know I have my own personal rescue service and I feel really sorry for anyone out there who doesn’t have their own personal ‘Adam’, if you don’t well do me a favour sit down right now and plan out those “What ifs” and find a true answer to all of them.

5 thoughts on “What if

  1. This is a very good point P. My friend’s elderly mother, who is getting forgetful, has found herself locked in her house this week with the bolts across the door and her house keys nowhere to be found. No one could get in to her, even with a spare set of keys because the door was bolted from the inside. In an emergency, the emergency services would have to break the door down and while she was taken off to hospital, the house would be insecure. However, asking her to leave off the bolt is out of the question, because she would feel insecure. What is the answer ? I don’t know. As more and more of us live alone with declining health, this is becoming more of a problem.

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  2. MY FRIENDS MUM PULLED IN THE GARAGE LAST NITE..LEFT MOTOR RUNNING.FORGETS…DEMENTIA.CM GAS FILLED HOME.SHE DIED.WEEK AFTER MY FRST BCK SURG IN 97 R LANDLORD CHNGED LOCKS.STOLE ALL WE OWNED.HOMELESS 18 MONTHS.ILLNESS IS AWFUL.HUGS PAM

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  3. we all know that disability is the silent illness we dont make good images of being helped out of floods, fire or plague its always some lovely grey haired old lovely that is chosen for that. Media spin at its peak! It does bring up an important fact though that we should all have a little what if plan I have to admit that since I have moved house several times in recent years I have always had to adjust my plans just in case those what ifs should ever occur. It is something we all need to do

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  4. I’m new to your blog, and very glad I’ve found you. Chronic progressive illness sucks. I’ve got several, and although I still have use of my legs, thank God, I’m not sure how long that will be, and my arms and hands get weaker and more painful by the day. So I’m doing as much as I can while I have time to do it.

    Are you still strong enough to scootch down the stairs on your bum? If there were a rope with handles fixed by the door, could you haul yourself upright enough to open the door? Adrenaline works wonders in a pinch.

    An elderly gentleman I know fell off his stairs (no railing, very architectural) and broke his leg on the stone floor (it shouldn’t happen to anyone!). His private nurse came to work, but left her key and couldn’t get in, but heard his cries for help and called MDA. The only window that is not security barred is in the 3 story house is in the upstairs bedroom. This is about one story up from the neighbor’s summer kitchen. Somehow MDA not only got up there, but trundled him out the upstairs window on a backboard with ropes! All this because the only door is the front door, and it’s a serious security door, the type that you need a key to unlock from the inside as well as the outside. So even MDA could not get out the door.

    After this, he went to live with his son and I moved in, and changed the lock to one that didn’t need a key on the inside. I never could convince them to put a railing on the stairs, so I often went down them on my bum! Getting up them was another story.

    Speaking of stories, thank you so much for telling yours. Though I am not physically housebound at this point, I don’t interact with people except in cyberspace, so it’s always very special to find someone who is so deeply sincere in her sharing of such a difficult life as you have.

    Blessings,
    Laura

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    • I haven’t had that sort of strength for a long time. I even find my wheelchair a bit too much for me and that’s in the house where surfaces are flat. It’s odd but you really do become used to it. I get the odd pang, but in general, I am perfectly happy where I am.

      My one fear, is either a serious accident when Adam isn’t here, or a fire. Our flat too has storm doors, even though we are on the second floor. There would be no way, anyone could get through them, if I couldn’t open them for them, but I try not to dwell on it.

      Thank you for joining my story and I hope you will find much here, you will connect with and enjoy 🙂

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