Things were going so well-then Grandma fell

I have several ideas for posts for this site, but my grandmother took two falls, about a week apart; the second one resulted in a broken hip. Dealing with the fall out (Pun intended, I need humor wherever I can find it right now!) has really knocked the words right out of me. We won’t be going anywhere real soon, although we do hope she will recover back to or at least close to pre-fall levels of mobility given time and therapy.

The night before she broke her hip I was preparing a post about going Thanksgiving grocery shopping. An employee at Fred Meyer took this picture of us shopping.

We had so much fun that day. She pushed the little cart and I pushed her. The cart was heavy: we got everything, including a 20 lb turkey and 10 lb of potatoes and she pushed it all. It was like being hit with a bucket of ice water when we got the call the next morning that she had fallen.

My other excuse for not posting this fall is that I took a trip to China to see my son and the preparation for the trip and getting back in the swing of things after I returned home took a lot of energy. You can see some about the trip and other things on my personal blog:

It seems like being knocked for a loop and figuring out how to pull things back together is a part of living with the elderly and handicapped.

Time for sharing (use the comment box to respond)

  • How do you take care of yourself at times when it seems like everyone and everything are expecting you to give 100% to fixing their problems?
  • How do you deal with the red tape…and the people who seem to be creating obstacles in the name of “helping”?

Accessibility: getting through the door

Every situation and every person is different. What are the particular challenges you have faced with accessing buildings?

I have learned that the word “accessibility” means different things to different people. The ADA provides guidelines for design. You might think that would be enough. I used to, and even was a bit put out about how onerous the guidelines could be on institutions like churches and small businesses. Continue reading “Accessibility: getting through the door”

Lessons learned part 2: Somewhere to lay our heads

This is the second post of lessons I learned from our trip to California, The story begins… and the first set of lessons is in the post: Lessons learned part 1: Flying Lessons.

Two airport/rental car notes:

  1. Travel with a pocket knife to cut the zip-tie off the walker. (Keep it close to the surface of your packed bag.)
  2. We got a mid-sized car. This was a good move: a smaller car might have done, but it was nice to have a little margin for getting the walker/wheelchair combo in and out of the trunk.

Lesson #1: The biggest lesson I learned is this: do not use a booking agency.

As mentioned in The story begins… the hotel did not have a room that matched the description I was sold. How could I be so stupid? Continue reading “Lessons learned part 2: Somewhere to lay our heads”

Lessons learned part 1: Flying lessons

This is a continuation from the post: The story begins…

The most important lesson: The day ended well, believe it or not; I did something right!

It ended well because I made the choice, even though I was tired and she was stiff (she had slept on the plane so she wasn’t tired), to take us out to dinner at one of our old favorite spots, Sherman’s deli, which has outdoor seating, and we had good food, accompanied by good memories on a beautiful warm evening. The challenges of the day faded into the background, drowned out by making a pleasant new memory to join those old ones.

Flying lessons:

Heading to the Sky with someone who is mobility impaired isn’t a cake walk.

Lesson #1: I didn’t know it, but different airports handle the wheel chair assist differently. Coming home Grandma was left in the wheel chair and we were able to go outside and enjoy the warm day while we were waiting. If she had needed to do so she could have used the restroom. At SeaTac they move the person into a seat and take off with the chair. In the future I will find out ahead of time how the airport handles it and see if we can borrow or rent the airport chair, or, worst case, bring our own walker/wheelchair combo (Duet by Drive) to the gate and gate check it, so we aren’t stranded. Continue reading “Lessons learned part 1: Flying lessons”

The story begins…

The following is a post from my personal blog:

I need to try and figure out yesterday. It was kind of like a maze dream…Dungeons and Dragons with a travel theme.

I traveled to California with my Grandmother. Hitches in the git-along seemed to be the order of the day. Continue reading “The story begins…”