to do when a new amputee comes home for the first time...
: This information was kindly offered by the 'family' who belong
to the Heather Mills McCartney forum. They are all veteran amputees
at some level. They are scattered throughout the globe and have
been invaluable to me, and many others. Best bunch of PWD's I have
come across in a long time. Thank you guys, for taking the time
out to share your experiences. Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing?
read the Disclaimer on the Home Page. And if you are the care-giver
(or as Ed puts it - the designated body slave), try to get most
of this done BEFORE your loved one comes home.
refresh your browser quickly, we update regularly.
* Portable ramps
can be used if stairs are a problem.
* Anti skid mats
for the floor of the shower.
* Enough room in
the bedroom to get around.
* No mats at all
anywhere in sight.
* Remove stupid
bits of furniture which are totally unneccessary which constantly
get in the way.
* Fantastic food
nothing like what they give you in hospital/rehab
* No rugs or mats
or highly polished floors.
* Make sure there's
enough room for a wheelchair turning circle.
* Make sure people
put the shoes, boots, clothes, bags away & that they don't leave
them lying in the middle of the floor - teenagers & husbands
are usually major culprits!
* Bars/rails around
the toilet & raised seat if needed.
* Grab rail (just
a small one) near the bath. OT's recommend bath boards & bath
seats - they work for some, but I've never found them much good.
* Shower head that
you can move to a lower position.
* Light-weight bed
* I can't use full
length PJ's as my legs get all lost & tied up in them - I'm
AK & BK - shorts would be better.
* You need to be
able to at least make yourself a warm drink, so make sure that a
kettle...etc., is within easy reach.
* The controls to
any TV DVD player...etc., are left within easy reach.
* Keys (to anything)
are left within easy reach.
* Make sure there's
enough credit in the mobile/cell phone & keep it with you -
even if you don't fall, it'll make you feel more at ease.
* Train any household
pets to run away from you, when you shout the word 'MOVE'
* and, as Mel said...
Fantastic food nothing like what they give you in hospital/rehab
• A way to
get in and out of the house. Whether this is a team of others to
carry / aide you, or an in place ramp or a mechanical lift.
the main door, the door to sleeping and bathroom facilities are
wide enough to accommodate the wheelchair (if being used).
facilities such as a commode (‘cause you haven’t figured
out how to be that normal yet and you’ve been pooping for
months on such a device)
• A system
such as a bath chair or a shower configuration for body cleansing.
• A big comfy
place set up so that you can plop yourself into while you start
to figure out the rest of your life.
• A soon
to be body servant (wife, friend or husband) until you figure out
how to do things yourself.
installation of the odd grab bar – stop and really think about
where you want it before installing them. If you don’t, sure
as crap, you’ll be ripping it out in a week or two to put
it in another place ‘cause then you realize that’s where
you need it for now.
Train the humans
you live with. I still find water on the floor after one of them
has had a shower. And they move things and then tell me they will
put them back in a minute, which turns into a half hour.
I am an LBK and
relatively able so I feel that any alterations are a waste of time.
sense and telling teenagers over and over again to not walk away
with the remote or the phone, has left me slightly non-plussed.
I get so frustrated
that when I hobble to the loo the remote is moved, a channel is
put on I hate or is too loud. I sit down and notice, why don't I
ever notice before I am sat, that it has disappeared again. At the
end of a long day I am tired and ratty. So its not a case of 'darling
can you find the remote/phone' but more like 'get the bleep
bleep bleep now before i hit you with my sticks'.
last word by Inspirational Ed...
THE NEW AMPS AT HOME
These are items
that I came to believe in through actual experiences. I believe
they hold much truth. Again, these are from a leg amp point of view.
released form the hospital and are now “allowed’ to
go home. The euphoria of this moment is short lived. The reality
of life is about to set in………slowly at first……gaining
momentum until it almost crushes you.
This is “natural”.
Being surrounded with all that was familiar in your new altered
state is boggling.
To start the battle
of dealing with this, I found the few following actions (self imposed
or otherwise) to be a benefit to me:
start to refrain from others doing stuff for you. They are not in
your altered state – you are – and you are the minority.
urine bottle. You’ve been hauling this puppy around long enough.
It’s time to pee like a real man.
commode thing only in a washroom dedicated to your sole use and
start NOW on figuring out how to live with out it. I remember I
was so bad while in the hospital that I was buggered if my “favourite”
wasn’t around where I left it!!! Get on with poopin’
and peein’ the human way!!!!
•Get out in
public as soon and as much as possible. You may as well start getting
use to the stares etc. They go away after awhile as you evolve but
for now they are wicked. Get use to it otherwise you will end up
as a bigger “cripple” than you think you are.
•Go to the
mall and check out the HC stalls. Sure as crap they will not be
“what you are familiar with” and you need to study them
for future use otherwise you will become a prisoner of your own
bathroom. Of course – don’t do this IF you “have
help but never, never expect it. Sympathy in others only lasts a
while – not forever.
you are faced with a situation………study it…….have
a plan……..try it……………if
it works – fine…………if it doesn’t………study
it again. NEVER say I cant do it……………….and
if you do say it…..just do it anyway.
These are points
I believe in………..that I have lived through…………….that
I still use today.