22. Spasm: The Invisible Puppeteer’s Tricks (2): During My Self-Transfer

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22.1    Hip Swinging Dance

My self-transfer from manual wheelchair to bed
is like performing a stationary
bouncing and hip swinging dance.

Wheelchair closest to bed.
Right wheel diagonally to mattress.601_19_ ff_till_sang_mediumplus
Feet firmly on the floor.
Right hand gripping onto mattress edge.
Left fist on wheelchair seat cushion.

Leaning my upper body forward,
I lift up my buttocks
from the cushioned wheelchair seat,
just in front of the wheel,Transfer_wheelchair
to swing them towards the mattress.

Suddenly,
before my transfer is completed,
he stiffens my right leg,
and throws my left leg up,
nearly ejecting me out of the wheelchair.

My hip swinging dance
has become a front kick dance.

Has he become impatient or aggressive?
Or is he helping me to dance?

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22.2  Monkey Bars of Different Heights 

My toilet to wheelchair self-transfersMpppTrnsfrPersptv2 Step 1 (2)
is going uphill sideways.

Wheelchair besides toilet bowl.
Right hand on handrail on the wall.
Left hand on wheel and rim.
Feet firmly on the floor
between wheelchair and toilet bowl.

I lift my buttocks off the soft, padded toilet seat,
move them over the wheel,
aiming at the lined wheelchair seat.

Suddenly,Japanesehighschoolgirlonmonkeybars-dec19-2014
he straightens my lifeless legs,
glides the heels forward on the floor,
leaving my long arms
hanging on monkey bars of different heights.
He nearly glides my body
down onto the floor
in front of the toilet bowl.

Is he trying to make me perform
some tricky hip hop dance?

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The Invisible Puppeteer’s unpredictable tricks.

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Wheelchair to Bed Transfer. Picture taken, with permission, from
http://www.spinalistips.se/tips-transfer-from-wheelchair-to-bed-en-601.html

Wheelchair to Bed Transfer. Picture is ‘developed by the University of Washington Center for Technology and Disability Studies and reproduced here with their permission’, taken from
http://www.msktc.org/sci/factsheets/safe-transfer-technique

Wheelchair beside Toilet. Picture by K A Tan of Penang, Malaysia,
copyright free, taken from his Blog at
http://wapenang.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/how-to-design-toilet-wc-for-disabled.html

A Girl on Monkey Bars. Photo by Nesnad.
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International, 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license. via-http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Japanesehighschoolgirlonmonkeybars-dec19-2014.jpg

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18. In a House not Built for a Wheelchair User

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After three months in hospital, I returned home
to a house not built for a wheelchair user.
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Even at snail speed,
my manual wheelchair can’t scale upWheelchairRampAt2500AugustineBlvd
the steep driveway.
At its top, the wheelchair
can just squeeze into
the small front porch
but can’t hop over the threshold.
Now I make a grand entrance
up a custom made ramp
through the garage into the hallway.450px-Roraima_Rampa

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Suddenly,
my home has become a strange land:
In the kitchen I enjoyed creating new dishes,
wall mounted cupboards have become summits;
floor standing cupboards, deep
underground caves;
bench top, a high plateau;
cook top, a land of fire hazards;
kitchen tap, unreachable water source;
wall sockets, tantalizersEntradaCuevaConejar
at the furthest corner.
All inaccessible now.

Gasherbrum2

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The top shelves of book cases, food cupboard, airing cupboard, and
walk-in wardrobe are
Himalayas summits
only for carers to reach.
I keep my basic essentials
in the lower base camps.

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The elegant hexagonal sitting room has become
an overcrowded furniture showroom,
to allow more space in the frequently used dining area,
surrounded by reachable racks, drawers, and table tops.

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The cozy ensuite the wheelchair can barely squeeze in.
The shower cubicle I can no longer hop into.
I transfer onto a specially made cushioned chair
securely placed across the bathtub,Wheelyboat_at_the_Corbet_Lough,_near_Banbridge_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1400565
to shower into it,
holding onto a handrail on the wall,
like sitting in a stationary boat.
But I have to disembark later
to use a shower commode
in the modified ensuite.

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All of the taps in the bathroom and kitchen
need longer handles and spouts.
The toilet has handrails installed on the walls
to help me make a stand up transfer
between wheelchair and toilet seat.

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From the hospital’s pressure reduction mattress
back to my firm chiropractic mattress
is a shock to my painful neuropathic buttocks, legs and back.
Thick, soft, medical grade sheep skin rugs
now feature 
among pillows for popping up my back
when I sleep on my side.
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In a house not built for a wheelchair user,
I can still go down a ramp
out into the backyard garden pergola,
early in the morning,
to practice deep breathing and meditation,
amidst birds singing, yodeling, whistling, twittering, chirping,
and the murmuring of the distant traffic.

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Korea-Minhwa-Hwajodo-flowers_and_birds-01

'Birds_and_Flowers'_by_Imanaka_Soyu,_Taisho_period,_LACMA_I


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A Wheelchair Ramp. Photo: author unknown.
CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License,  via Wikimedia Commons –
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WheelchairRampAt2500AugustineBlvd.jpg#/media/File:WheelchairRampAt2500AugustineBlvd.jpg

La Rampa, Mount Roraima, Venezuela. Photo by Portodaspartes.
CCA 2.0 Generic License, via Wikimedia Commons –
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Roraima_Rampa.jpg

Entrance to Cave Conejar, Spain. (Entrada de la Cueva de El Conejar, en Cáceres, Extremadura (España)).
Photo by Mario Modesto.  CC A-SA 3.0 Unported License
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:EntradaCuevaConejar.jpg

Gasherbrum II, Camp at elevation 5900 m, Karakoram, Pakistan.
Photo by Olaf Rieck. CC A-SA license.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gasherbrum2.jpg

A Wheelyboat. Photo by Albert Bridge.
CC A-SA 2.0 License,  via Wikimedia Commons –
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wheelyboat_at_the_Corbet_Lough,_near_Banbridge_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1400565.jpg

‘Hwajodo’ (Flowers and Birds), a genre painting of Minhwa (Korea folk painting), Joseon Dynasty,  Korea.
Author Anonymous. Public Domain work of art,  via Wikimedia Commons
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Korea-Minhwa-Hwajodo-flowers_and_birds-01.jpg

‘Birds and Flowers’ by Imanaka Soyu of Taisho period, Japan.
CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication License,  via Wikimedia Commons –
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27Birds_and_Flowers%27_by_Imanaka_Soyu,_Taisho_period,_LACMA_I.JPG