Following my hospital admission a few weeks back, my doctor decided it was time my all round care was sorted. For instance, I had never been referred to an Occupational Therapist, Dietician, Pysio and Psychologist before. Apparently this should be the protocall for any Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferer as it is important that all aspects of your lifestyle are considered. I was happy with this, don't get me wrong, however it's more appointments and time spent at hospitals but greatly appreciate that my doctor is trying to help.
The Occupational Therapist is the consultant I wish to discuss today. A very nice lady visited me in hospital to discuss how my condition affects me at home and what help I thought I needed to improve my situation. I had never really considered this before, I have been struggling on with simple things like opening jars, turning on taps and the one that most gets my goat... getting in and out of the bath. Now, when I am at my worst climbing in and out of the bath is like climbing everest. I cannot bend my knees to sit and my arms haven't been strong enough to take my weight and lower me in. (I'm sure you're picturing a comical situation in which I launch myself into the water like a pro diver).
When I mentioned this to her, she informed me it is a common problem for many of her patients who do not have a shower at home (see my step dad was going to fit a shower about 10 years ago but has never quite got round to it). The next step was to refer me to social services (a scary thought for me as I felt like I was being pushed further into the care system but if they could help I suppose I could get on board).
The nice lady came to see me from social services last week to discuss the bath diving situation and came up with some great ideas about how they could help to combat it. She informed me they could provide funding to have a bath lift that I could use at home when I needed help (in the past my sister has pretty much fractured her shoulder when trying to lift me in and out... bless her).
I asked what exactly a bath lift was and what she described can only resemble an inflatible lilo like you would find at a swimming pool. Hmmm, I thought, sounds like fun! They came round to demonstrate it (on a dry run) the other day and it does exactly what it says on the tin. You inflate the seat so that it is level with the bath side, swing yourself over and then deflate it so you are at normal seated level for the bath. Excellent! It's like I have my very own waterpark ride at home! I'm sure this will provide hours of fun for my family.... not that they won't take it seriously!