Tuesday, 15 June 2010

And So To Bed

I'm writing this at 10.30pm which is well past my bedtime. Things were going so well. It had been a busy and fun weekend; we'd had the local carnival on Saturday where the boys had gone on the Ghost Train and climbed inside inflatable plastic balls to roll around a huge paddling pool. We'd watched reluctant birds of prey take part in a falconry display like sulky teenagers begrudgingly performing their party piece at the increasingly irate behest of their parent. We'd watched marching bands and cheerleaders put on displays helped and hindered by an intermittent fault on the PA. All jolly good fun. On Sunday the boys and I watched Polly run a 10k race around and around our local park which took up 65 minutes and 31 seconds of a sunny morning. The race was billed as a fun run which conjures up images of people dressed as Buzz Lightyear jogging alongside groups of firemen chained together waving buckets to collect coins for kittens stuck up trees. Forget that. This turned out to be an excuse for the local running club to put themselves through their paces under race conditions. There was a lot of Lycra on display. The male winner whizzed home in just 31 minutes and 39 seconds. Polly came in a very respectable mere 15 minutes after the fastest female.

Now the reason I tell you all this so past my bedtime is because I am awaiting an engineer to come and repair the hoist in the bedroom. The carers had come as usual to lay me down to rest and we were at the final stage of hoisting me from the wheelchair into the bed. The hoist, after some coaxing, lifted me airborne and over to the bed. What it would not do was to lower me down on to the aforementioned bed. I was left hovering like a fatigued Thunderbirds puppet two feet above my mattress. No amount of button pressing had any effect. The emergency release cord had mysteriously disappeared so I had no alternative but to dangle helplessly while Polly and the carers tried turning the power on and off and swinging me around a bit in an attempt to unstick whatever was stuck. After a few minutes I was beginning to feel distinctly uncomfortable, scrunched up in the sling as if I was a particularly large and unappealing fisherman's catch of the day.

Eventually, just at the point where I was considering having the straps of the sling cut through so as to allow me to tumble down on to the bed with a hope that the resulting dislocation of joints wouldn't be too painful, I had a brainwave. My super-duper wheelchair is capable of raising up several feet in the air. By carefully moving the hoist and therefore myself over the chair and by me performing a kind of wriggling contortionist act as the carers eased the sling off around me I would only need to fall inches. With a defiance of health and safety and with a bodily dexterity that would surely have earned me a place in the semi-finals of Britain's Got Talent I fell gracefully in to my risen wheelchair seat. Meanwhile Polly rang the emergency engineer.

The next day. . .

Well, the engineer came at 11.00pm, cheerfully declaring that he had had one foot in the bath when his supervisor rang. Apparently a previous engineer had fitted the strap back to front causing the whole kit and caboodle to get tangled up. It took him 20 minutes to undo the mess. It took Polly a further 20 minutes to transfer me to bed on her own, the carers having long since departed.

At least the emergency engineer turned up quickly and fixed the problem efficiently and without a fuss, unlike another company who have a contract to maintain my wheelchair. More details forthwith.

Until next time.