So our Christmas went a little differently than planned for this year. Unfortunately my mom fell leaving my house to go to my sister's on Christmas Day. As she lay on the ground we weren't sure how bad it was or what to do. It didn't take long however to realize that it was worse than we thought. As we waited for the ambulance to arrive we slipped a mat under mom, covered her with blankets and put pillows under her head and leg. I have to say that she maintained a great attitude the entire time! Look, she is even smiling!
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After five (yes, 5) hours in the emergency room, several x-rays, and even a cast, mom returned home to share the news that she had broken her ankle and her lower leg...not the big bone in the lower leg, the smaller one (we found out later that she actually has three breaks!). But still, it's her leg! She was told surgery would be required within about a week. And still, she continued to maintain a positive attitude! This is also where she shared that she wanted to go home for the surgery.
Now, after just watching my mom struggle into my house on crutches I just knew this wasn't going to work. She had also twisted her other ankle and could not put all her weight on it. I just couldn't picure her using the crutches up in the Adirondacks on ice and snow! But where on earth could I locate a wheelchair at 8:00 PM Christmas Day night?
I sent out a personal 'Wheelchair Needed' post on facebook and so many friends responded with ideas and even offers for wheelchairs. See how social media can be beneficial? Anyway, the big problem was that mom and dad were leaving at 7 AM the next morning. Mom, with her amazing positive attitude, was still following through with her original plans to visit my sister and her fiance in Riverhead, then take the Orient Ferry to New London and visit my Aunt Terri in New Hampshire! A broken leg and ankle was not going to stop my mom - go mom! But I needed to get her a wheelchair because the crutches were not happening.
Well, here's a FREE shoutout to the 24 hour CVS in West Islip and the young lady who answered the phone. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! She was extremely patient with my distress and after putting me on hold several times, she finaly located a portable wheelchair that could be purchased. My husband and I immediately drove there and it was absolutely perfect!
This small, foldable, portable wheelchair was a Godsend. It's easy to fold and unfold, fits in any car, and simple to push around on any terrain. There were only a few small problems that, with my mom's independance and positive attitude, needed to be resolved.
The first was the brakes. They were difficult for mom to reach so my cousin Billy in New Hampshire cut a small PVC tube she uses to reach back, slip over the lever, and put the brakes on. We call this apparatus the "Billy Club" in honor of my cousin Billy who invented it (with my dad's help!). Once she had the Billy Club, now it needed to be transported around with her so I just 'crocheted' a small base and holder strap that allows it to be hung on the front of the chair. Easy access for mom to put it in and take it out. So simple!
The only other big problem was the 3 steps into my parents' house in the Adirondacks. A ramp that folds sideways solved it. It's actually two pieces of a snowmobile ramp that my parents already had. We just affixed it to the porch and fold it open to get the wheelchair down or up it. Since it is for snowmobiles it has a slip 'proof' surface. Perfect! All problems solved!
After all of that my mom jokingly said that she had seen a lot of wheelchairs where the women have little holders for their phones and things and I immediately said, "I can do that!" It took less than an hour to crochet up a perfect little tablet holder and sew it onto the arm of the chair. Of course it is permanent, but I was in a rush. Feel free to alter this simple creation in any way!
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I wish everyone a safe, happy, and healthy New Year in 2017!
Welcome! I'm Kathie, an educated, happily married mother and step-mother to four adult children. I wholeheartedly believe in creating and living a simpler, happier, and healthier life in this stressful and modern world! I work at creating a simpler life in ways that are as economically wise and environmentally conscious as possible. Please join me on my journey:-)