My Fall From Grace, and How I Got Up

This weekend I was patient lifted into my around the house power wheelchair. The sling from the patient lift remained under me. I sit on the sling.  It is like a grownup swing in a playground.

My Favorite Power Wheelchair

The power chair by Golden Technologies is my favorite power wheelchair.  It maneuvers well, it is easy to steer, and it easily makes it though all the doorway passages in my house.  It does not have a seat belt.  However, in the past, I have never fallen out of the seat until this weekend.

Eat Lunch

I finished eating lunch in the kitchen. All was well at that time or so I thought.

Front of the Cushion

After years of wear, the seat on the wheelchair lost its front cushion.  I had used the power wheelchair in this condition about ten times without incident.

Seat Me Right

Apparently, unless I am seated just right, with my back against the back of the chair, I will start to slide off the chair.  The leather like or vinyl covering on the cushion is grippy.  However the plastic underneath is smooth.  This allows for the seated person to side off the chair.  This is apparently what happened to me.

Set up the new Dustbuster

I had set up a new Dustbuster like vacuum in the kitchen and I returned to my bedroom.

Adjust Lift Chair

I adjusted my lift chair so that it was not so far forward, but I was not in the lift chair.

I Start to Slide.

I could feel myself slowly starting to slide off the power wheelchair.  I called for help as soon as I could, but it was too late.  My aid tried to patient lift me out of the chair.  As the patient lift went up, I slid further out of the sling and out of the power wheelchair.

The slow fall

It was a slow fall and I did not break any bones, however my leg hurt a lot.  I was on the floor.  People with Multiple Sclerosis sometimes suffer from extreme spasticity, and bend the knee can really hurt.  I had my aid straighten out my leg and leaving it straight on the floor relieved the pain.

Go figure?

But now I had to figure out how to get up and get into bed.  This is what I came up with.  Rather than call the police, the police in my neighborhood are really nice, I had my aide remove the patient lift to the other side of the room.  This cleared my legs.

Rock and roll on the floor

I was on the floor and the sling could be detached from the patient lift.  I turned from side to side so that the sling could be placed under me.  After the sling was properly positioned under me, I rolled myself face up.

Bring it all back

I had my aide bring back the patient lift.  The patient lift can not go to the floor, but it doesn’t have to.  It has chains and the two long chains make it to the floor.  The long chains are attached with hooks about at my knees.  I have a baclofin pump.  Baclofin is a muscle relaxer, which means I have virtually no trunk support. I am a paraplegic, but my arms still function.

Grab the chains

I grabbed the chains attached to the sling by my knees and pulled myself up to a sitting position.  Since I was in a sitting position, sitting upright, the shorter chains for the sling no longer needed to reach the floor.  The sling could be picked up off the floor, and the short chains could be attached to the sling behind my back.

Start and stop

My aide could begin to lift my up with the patient lift but then had to stop.  My legs were under the patient lift, and the patient lift had to be moved back so that my legs were clear of the patient lift.  This had to be done slowly.

Make sure my legs are clear of the patient lift.

It also had to be done a couple of times to make sure that my legs were fully clear of the patient lift. Once my legs were no longer under the patient lift, and were fully clear of the patient lift, I was lifted up with the patient lift and placed in bed.

Good things come slowly

This took some time, but it got me back into bed.  All was well.


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