Friday, October 13, 2006


Thank you again to those who continue to write in.  Your comments are encouraging and a reminder that Mike is being prayed for and thought of often.  

Mike has his own wheelchair!  Though its arrival was much anticipated, Mike had gotten used to his loaner chair and had to adjust to a “new” chair all over again.  This chair has two sets of wheels.  One set has a smoother tread and is great for smooth surfaces and the other wheels are more like bicycle tires and great for outdoors.  Imagine my surprise the other day when Mike changed his wheels while still in his wheelchair! He held on to the couch and balanced the wheelchair while changing the wheel…takes guts and a good sense of balance!

Next on the agenda is taking his driver’s test.  Somehow we thought this was going to be a quick and easy process but the delays continue.  Sometime next week, Mike hopes to test drive an Uplander.  Because Mike will also have a power chair, the vehicle will have to have a ramp so he can wheel into the vehicle.  He will lock his wheelchair in and then transfer to a swivel driver’s seat.  One observation – I’ve mentioned before that we now pay much more attention to wheelchair parking!  When you have a vehicle that has a side ramp, you need at least 10 feet beside your vehicle.  Most handicapped parking stalls are not wide enough and if someone parks too close to your vehicle, you are stuck waiting for that person to leave before you can get into your van!  

We have been trying to speed up Mike’s morning routine.  Some things can’t be rushed but others will get easier over time.  Once we get possession of the new house, we will be renovating his bathroom.  We plan to put in a wheel-in shower so that he will not have to transfer to a tub bench.  It will be a “major” reno but worth it!

Things are settling into a comfortable routine.  Though the days are relatively quiet, most evenings and weekends are spent getting Matthew’s house ready for the market and once we get possession of the new house, we will be madly getting that house ready for Mike.  I’m starting to wonder if there is life beyond house renovations!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bringing you up to speed...

More transitions for us as we moved from one apartment suite to another.  We were quite spoiled by an accommodating staff and found things to be somewhat different at the new apartment.  Not only were we given a different suite than was promised, Neil ended up changing the shower head to a hand held shower by himself since no one seemed to have the proper tools to do the job!  We also had to have Mike’s adjustable bed moved from one apartment to the other and the crew moving the bed broke a wire so the bed would not work!  Naturally this happened at 4:30 on Friday afternoon so nothing could be done until Monday morning.  Fortunately Neil is also an “electrician” as well as a “plumber” so he was able to remedy the problem before Mike went to bed.  Mike still hasn’t received some of his equipment including his custom wheelchair so we “patiently” await their arrival.  Emotions seem to run close to the surface and it’s sometimes difficult not to let them overwhelm us at times.

Mike is still unable to wear a shoe on the foot with skin grafting.  The pressure sore on his heel has healed(!) but there is one spot on the top of his foot that remains open.  It is small but simply refuses to close up which means we have to be so careful with transfers, showers, etc.  There is always the risk of infection and it is difficult to keep the foot protected.  This is one part of his recovery that has been frustratingly slow.

Having shared some of our struggles, I must also add some of the highlights.  Last week Grandpa took Mike out to explore the world of vehicle modifications! For the first time Mike seemed excited about getting a retrofit van and was eager to get started on the process.  Because of the wrong fax number, the motor vehicle branch had not received Mike’s medical report until today (even though it had been sent 3 times!) so we should be able to set up his road test very quickly.  Once Mike has passed the test, we’ll be on our way!  It could still take months for everything to come together but it will mean much more independence for Mike.

Last night I was reading in bed before going to sleep.  Mike came into the room, “hopped” onto the bed and we lay there talking just like we used to in the “olden” days.  And just like we used to, we eventually had to kick Mike out because our mornings start much earlier than his!  These are golden moments and I wouldn’t trade them for anything!