Sunday, October 23, 2011

Meet Frederick

I'm Frederick!  (Only in burgundy.)
But, ancient Greece and ancient Rome - people did not happen to believe that creativity came from human beings back then, OK? People believed that creativity was this divine attendant spirit that came to human beings from some distant and unknowable source, for distant and unknowable reasons.
Elizabeth Gilbert

One of the problems in caregiving my father rests solely on two directions: up and down. He can walk with a walker once he achieves “up” and dives like a scuba diver as he attempts to master “down.” Needless to say offering assistance can sometimes hurt the caregiver (I have the Advil to prove it!)

As we were going through the discharge process at the Rehab Center, I asked for a doctor's order for a lift/recliner. The doctor said, “No problem.” On THE day of discharge, I asked for said order and the nurse told me that the “Physical Therapy Department” claimed he didn't need one. Huh? When did you do the home evaluation? Did I miss something? The reason Dad got up so easily for them was because each room contained a LIFT RECLINER!!!

When he came home (24 hours before my mother's arrival) “up” and “down” hurt like the dickens. Dad gave it all he had but the settee in the living room (kinda like a love seat) cut off the circulation to his legs making “up” almost impossible and “down” the equvalent of landing on concrete.

Our G.P. came to the rescue by approving the lift/recliner. Great! Now to get the necessary paperwork done. The necessary paperwork took almost a month! Back and forth between the medical equipment company and the doctor. By then Dad had gone from anger to deep depression over the current state of affairs. “When is this chair coming?” “Why is it takiing so long?” Reassurance notwithstanding, desperation took its toll on both of us.

When the approval finally came through, the company told me to bring Dad down to their showroom to be measured for the chair. Ummm, measured for the chair? I asked what they meant by “measured for the chair.” The customer service representative told me each chair had to be custom-made involving another month of wait, frustration and desperation.

Admittedly, I hit the roof. I had been played by bureaucracy, an ill-informed Physical Therapy Department, and now a nit-wit. Sorry, but that's where I was at the time. I asked to speak with whomever signed paychecks at this joint and was put in touch wth the General Manager who apologized for the delay as there had been an insurance mix-up. My father's physical therapist told me all that they needed to know was Dad's height & weight. Period. Donde the chair. Color did not matter to me at all. Martha Stewart might get picky about aethetics, I'm not. I wanted a chair with a new working motor and didn't give a fig if the blessed thing had pink polka dots. My dad needed the chair. My elbow needed the chair. My back really needed the chair.

Three days and two trucks later (lift gate broke on the first truck. Seriously!) Frederick arrived. I named it Frederick after my late-husband who helped me with all life's heavy lifting and comforted me during our lives together.  It come from www.goldentech,com and a life-saver. This piece of human or other worldly creativity holds a hallowed place in our living room. From the kitchen, I can hear my father making himself more comfortable as I hear the sweet purr of the motor. Frederick is good. We'll keep Frederick!

As for the criminal settee, it enjoyed a night out on the curb before getting a ride to the landfill. Not one picker stopped to snatch it. Bad settee!

Carpe diem!

[Apprehensive note: I can't find a manual crank on this baby. What happens this winter if Dad's all comfy reclined and the power goes out? Oy!]

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