Saturday, 3 January 2009

Polly Come Quick - It Broke

Cast your mind back all the way to new years eve. As the country prepared to party and light overly loud fireworks Polly and I, exhausted from and at the whim of a week of temporary carers, prepared for a reasonably early night. Carlotta and Abby arrived and got in each others way but somehow got me ready for bed. But then the familiar cry went out, “Polly, Polly, quick. Come!”

The electrically operated bed was stuck at a peculiar angle The head end was raised some 4 feet in the air while the foot end was only at about 18 inches. “It's stuck Polly. Broken,” wailed Carlotta dramatically. And stuck it was. The foot end would go up and down as normal but the head end would only go up. By the time we had established this and levelled the bed up the mattress was nearly 5 feet in the air. It looked like one of those beds kids have so they can fit a desk in underneath for homework. But instead of a desk was a vast array of cables, chargers, multi-plug sockets and numerous suitcases.

Polly jiggled wires and connections in the hope we could lower the bed to a sensible height but to no avail. “It looks like your mum has got her wish,” I muttered. Years ago Pam had suggested Polly and I get bunk beds to save space in our then small bedroom. “It looks like we've had a row,” observed Polly, viewing the huge gap between her half of the bed and mine. “What a great way to start the new year.”

The most immediate problem was how the heck I was going to get into the thing. The hoist can only raise me so high. While Abby and Carlotta stood back out the way Polly and I considered our options. I could sleep in the wheelchair or maybe dangling in the sling like a baby in a bouncer. Neither option appealed. We settled for lowering the foot end as far as it would go and sliding me on to the bed which was now tilted like a ski jump and then raising the foot end as quickly as possible before I slid down the bed and off the end like a Paralympic Eddie the eagle.

Later, after the carers had gone, and I lay with my head close to the ceiling, Polly returned to the bedroom to continue fiddling for loose wires. Suddenly the bed descended to a more normal height and we were able to celebrate the new year together rather than on separate levels.

One day a repair man will arrive, suck air through his teeth, and declare we have an intermittent fault. I expect to spend much of 2009 sleeping 'nearer my God to thee.'