I know that I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had managed to not just find to my surprise grab rails that I liked the look of, but I had actually got around to buying them. I had been looking on and off for rails for the bathroom, but I wasn’t going to buy anything, if, I didn’t like the way they looked. The standard plain white straight bars have always been offensive, they shout disabled in a fashion that grates to my soul. As I have said often, this is our home, not a hospital. The bars I had chosen, have a chrome finish so that they fit with everything else in the room. They also have an appealing “s” shape that makes them flow, rather and abrupt starts and stops, even though they don’t touch each other. There was, of course, one other problem to cover, getting them installed.
Adam has always been a highly reluctant DIY’er, and experience has taught us that the walls in this house, weren’t designed with anything being attached to them, at least not with ease. Victorian wall construction was creative, to say the least. They believed strongly in what wasn’t to be seen, didn’t matter, hence the fact that the materials used, have no consistency. In just a two inch space, you can go from a brick made of steel to one that crumbles away at your very touch. Add to that, that the strength of plaster varies from blown, to stable with no change in appearance or sound change when knocked, they make even hanging a picture a nightmare. Our personal tool box does contain a drill, just not one with the power to actually make holes where we want them, rather it only manages to put them where the walls comply. I did the only thing that I could, I turned to the web to find someone with not just the tools, but the will to get the job done quickly and cleanly. To my surprise, I managed to find several possibilities, not to my surprise, the best quote that I received, meant that my initial expenditure of £45 to buy the rails was now doubled, by getting them fitted. This is the unfortunate part of being disabled. If you aren’t willing to take the deeply unpleasant NHS offerings, you are going to have to find the money to pay. It’s not that I am looking for charity, but the costs of just living in your own home, start to mount up. I also think that the NHS are missing a trick, one that could help to supply them with a little more cash. They have the buying power to purchase in bulk, they could offer a range of choices, from free, upwards. Such a service wouldn’t only mean an income for them, but it would remove the stress that I’m sure results for many. Getting something as simple as grab rails right, matters.
My new fixture in the bathroom don’t only look good to me, and to Adam, they somehow manage to not look like grab rails, more part of a normal everyday space. Beyond that, the positioning that I have chosen for them means that they feel instinctive.
I just want to point out, out bathroom walls are cream, the gloss peach, and the toilet is white, not varying shades of yellow and orange, but this is the best picture Adam managed to take.
I don’t even have to think about using them, I find my hands naturally taking hold and willingly taking the load, something I have never experienced in a so-called “Disabled toilet”. I have found myself often been faced with a selection of awkwardly shaped objects, many that I couldn’t even reach and didn’t assist me in any way. By finding the right shape and putting them in places that work for me, not the OT’s of this world, I now have a room that I at last feel safe in. On top of that, Adam has even said that he, at last, feels relaxed about my being in the bathroom too. Yesterday he admitted, that even when he is at home, he has been sat on the edge of his seat, waiting to come to my rescue. He admitted that he had heard banging and clanging that he was sure was me falling or just being in difficulty and not knowing if he should or shouldn’t come to my aid. I also admitted that what he had heard, was probably totally correct, I just hid it, so he didn’t worry. They may have cost us a bit more than I expected to pay, but right now, I believe that they were more than worth it.
I freely admit, that I now feel far more positive about the whole idea of aids in our home. They are something that I have fought against for a long time, simply because of my personal experience of them. I have found myself in hospital on numerous occasions and when there being faced with things that weren’t only deeply ugly, but actually caused as many problems as they were supposed to help with. Finding something as simple as three pieces of steel that actually do what I want, has changed all of that. From here on in, I am going to blank out all the useless ugly things from my mind and I will search for what I want and need, not what I am offered, as there is a huge difference.
I don’t think that many appreciate the mental shift that it takes, to start putting such things into your home is huge. It is in many ways a public admission, that you are disabled. Yes, I know that anyone entering our home can see that straight away, as I am in a wheelchair, but wheelchairs can be temporary, bars screwed to the wall, aren’t. So far, everything had a temporary feel, such as the mattress elevator, it can be dismantled and taken away, as can the perching stool and so on. I know that three bars, doesn’t sound like much to many, but to me, it is like not just haveing disabled stamped on my forehead, but having it tattooed there. It is the final step, one there is no going back from, and I feel far more at ease about accepting.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 19/04/2014 – Longevity, blessing or curse
There has once again been a lot of discussion on TV about the age people retire and how we receive or not, our pensions. Yesterday the government proposed a scheme that would tell all of us at retirement our life expectancy so that we can plan just how we are going to use the pension pot we have and how to be sure that it will last our lives, the TV channels have gone nuts about it! You would think that they had suggested that if you live past that point, you will be forcibly extinguished, not that they are proposed a truly useful system to help you make plans for your future life. I have never understood why people just don’t want to know how long they have to live, it is something that I have always wanted to know, even when I was fitter and slightly healthier I wanted to know. It isn’t that I am in a hurry to die, it is actually the…..