Me? I’m attempting to go through our journey and countdown 31 things I used to have to do for Danny, that I don’t have to anymore. This exercise has already taken me down roads I haven’t traveled in my mind in quite some time. It has, and will allow me to be reminded just how far we really have come since August 16, 2005.
28. Weight Shifts
Since Danny’s injury, we’ve had three (wheel)chairs. The first was an Invacare Tilt-in-Space chair.
From the top down-a head rest with “wings” that folded in/out and Velcro strap held Danny’s head from falling forward, a Velcro chest strap and seat belt kept him from slipping out of the chair, the right armrest was a half desk and the left armrest had Velcro straps for his arm, and toe straps kept his feet firmly on the foot rests. We had to push him everywhere, which at a mere 158lbs., wasn’t such an issue.
Clipped onto his chest strap was a timer and every 30 minutes, it would go off. This indicated it was time for a weight shift. Danny’s tilt-in-space made it very easy to do. With the squeeze of two levers by the handlebars, we would tilt Danny back as far as the chair would allow, thus giving his butt a much needed break.
Imagine sitting completely still, never shifting your weight; how badly would your butt hurt? Exactly! I find this happens to me at work. All the sudden, my body tells me I need to stand up and walk around the office.
Weight shifts are not only for discomfort reasons, but also are more importantly used to prevent pressure sores.
I’m happy and proud to report that Danny never had any pressure sores, and you could count on that timer going off every 30 minutes religiously.
Now, we don’t have to do weight shifts; Danny can do them himself. Whether he uses his arms to lift his butt off his seat or when he transfers in/out of the car, Danny can handle it on his own. And, there is no need for a timer because Danny knows when he needs to move about and finds ways to do this.
I know it may seem simple-not having to do weight shifts-, but at that time, Danny required full time care and so did Corbin. Loida and I were always on duty and in many ways, we still are, but at that time, any one less thing we had to do was a blessing.
I’ll share more on the early days of Danny’s recovery throughout the month.