My intent today was to write only about tonight’s local (Northern Virginia) Fundraiser. And, I will. Before I do this, though, I have to share how the day began. It was quite a scare.
To move Ryan from various pieces of equipment to others (e.g., wheelchair, bed, shower chair, HBOT, exercise table, etc.) we use what is called a “sling”. It fits behind him and wraps around each leg. Then the straps from it are attached to a lift that eases him out up and down, while allowing me to wheel him around. Here’s an archived picture of Ryan, showing what it looks like.
The sling you see in the photo is our “back-up” sling. We only use it when our preferred sling is soiled and being laundered. The one we like is mesh. It allows air flow to reach his skin. Problem is, it is getting old and in need of replacing soon. I actually put it on his Wish List two days ago! As it turns out, we need it sooner than I thought.
What you cannot see from the photo above is the opening around his butt, allowing the needed space to go to the bathroom. This was what I was doing with him when things got scary.
One thing I NEVER do is leave him unattended. No matter how safe things seem.
As I was cleaning him up after a bowel movement I positioned myself behind and below him, like I always do. Imagine that if I lowered him he would wind up in my lap, with both of us looking forward. Anyhow, I had just finished washing him and wash reaching down to get his tubes of lotion. He has hemorrhoids now, so this adds to the time.
Even though I position myself below Ryan, when I look away I place a hand on him. It makes it extremely challanging to get the creams squeezed from the tubes (one-handed), but it’s a safety precaution I self-imposed. Good thing I did.
I felt Ryan coming down… fast. So fast, in fact, that I didn’t even have time to look up and see what was happening.
The next thing I knew was he was on my lap with his head resting against my chest. I still don’t know how I did it, but somehow I had my arms wrapped around his armpits. I could feel I controlled the fall and my body offered him a soft landing. It hurt me, but Ryan was no worse for it.
I must have yelled something because Sue was out of bed and there before I noticed. It was like she appeared out of nowhere (which usually works against me, but was helpful in this situation). She was able to help slide Ryan off me, unpinning me. We secured him in the sling and lifted him into the air.
One thing I learned is failure is always looming, yet security usually involves some sort redundency. In keeping him safe, it was multiple safety measures. The equipment failure (sling) can happen at any time.
Here’s the good news about all this… Ryan is so limber that he was able to squeeze through the slings opening. Literally, he had to completely fold his body at the hips, like a high-diver performing a jackknife. I remember at time, not so long ago, that he couldn’t even partially sit up.
I learned late this week that a local business is holding a fundraiser for Ryan tonight in northern Virginia (Leesburg). It only runs between 6pm and 9pm, so don’t be late (or early, for that matter). I worry that the word hasn’t reached many people, but any help with our expenses is much appreciated. Please stop by if you live in the area. I’ll be there and would love to see everyone (and toss back a few!). Here is the link to the event.