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We Have Our Van!

Finally after two long weeks of going back and forth and back and forth with the loan  agent, we got approved for the full van loan. As the person who sold us the van said, “I’ve bought houses in less time than it’s taking to get this loan approved!”  If the seller and I had not continuously pushed things to move along and offered assistance, I might still be waiting on the van. I finally called a dealer and pleaded that they send the retail value for a conversion kit to the loan officer and it finally went through.  Then they even agreed that the van value was more than what was being asked!  Go figure.
I can’t say enough nice things about the seller though.  What an angel.  He was so incredibly patient and helpful throughout this entire process.  I feel like I made a new friend.  He was such a man of integrity and honor.  It seems rare to find someone like that when you’re buying something as expensive as a car.  We were truly blessed and once again, we see God’s hand in making our prayers come true.
We got the van Thursday night.  I walked around being oriented to it by the seller in the dark with a flashlight.  Would you believe I had never driven it in all this time? In fact, all I have done so far is move it around the yard. I have insurance on it but still need to go to DMV tomorrow to get the title and tags straight. I can’t wait till I can open the door and just have Lynn drive inside.  How exciting that’s going to be!
When you can’t travel safely either due to your vehicle or due to being able to get in/out of your vehicle, your world becomes very small.  Currently the only time Lynn leaves the house was to go to the doctor.  I’m hoping now he will also be able to return to church.  He won’t be able to use his power wheelchair there because the elevator to the sanctuary is too small for it but when he’s feeling well, I may be able to transfer him to a transport chair so he can once again attend.  That would be awesome.
We were also blessed today with the delivery of the patient lift we ordered.  It is so much easier to use the hoyer lift we had.  The rep from Adaptive Solutions in Lynchburg brought it to our house today, assembled it and showed us how to use it.  He was very nice and you could tell he really wanted to provide helpful solutions to his customers.  He was full of information about resources and things to check out that might be helpful.  The Maximove he brought us is so easy to manuever and I can even put the sling on Lynn while he’s in his wheelchair and remove it without any help.  I don’t know why insurance companies can’t see that to have a safe way to move patients around is so much smarter!
We have had a very busy day today.  First Lynn’s physical therapist was here. I ran to the grocery store while they were busy.  Immediately after I got back, the Adaptive Solutions rep was here.  Then the home health company came and picked up the other lift.  Meanwhile a rep for the Hayek ventilator came by to see how that was going, Lynn’s son came to exercise him, and finally our chiropractor came to adjust us both!  Whew, I’m tired just thinking of it all.  I was going to go to DMV after the chiropractor left but Lynn was just too tired for me to leave him home alone long enough to go.  I’ll go in the morning when he’s fresher.  By the way, between all these visits and then immediately afterward till about 10 pm tonight, I worked my regular job. Busy life….
So…we close this week with many blessings and much thanksgiving over God meeting our needs and carrying us through the tough times.  Once again we managed to adapt to life’s curve balls and hit a home run.  We are truly a blessed couple…

The world still doesn't understand disabilities

 

Would you believe I still don’t have the loan settled for our van?  I know God will provide and this van will be ours but it has been so very frustrating dealing with the loan company this week.  Here’s the issue:
The seller is asking about $7000 more than the blue book value for a 2005 Uplander.  The loan company’s policy is that they will not loan more than 125% of the blue book value.  Can you figure out why there’s a difference in price?  Of course!  It’s a wheelchair converted van! Duh!  It’s not a regular van that is equivalent to the basic 2005 Uplander blue book value.  It’s a van that has had $20,000+ of work done to it so that someone in a wheelchair can use it. Therefore, an additional $7000 is extremely reasonable as an additional cost above the blue book value.  However, the fact that this is a specialized van does not seem to figure into the equation.  The loan officer is very sympathetic.  She was once a nurse and understands the need for the van and the fact that they are very expensive but rules are rules–there has to be a way to determine a “reasonable” value for the van and that’s the blue book value.  I’ve suggested that she contact companies that actually do conversion van work so hopefully she will but today was Veteran’s Day and they were closed so I’m not sure what is going on with the loan.  It’s just so frustrating that rules get in the way that do not take into consideration the needs of the disabled.
If dealing with the loan company was not enough this week, I’m also struggling with the insurance company regarding a patient lift I want to buy. When Lynn was in the hospital, I learned to use a device called a Maximove.  It was so easy to manage.  It has electronic controls and allows you to be at the patient’s side as you adjust him from lying to sitting and then slowly adjust his position as he’s placed into a chair or location.  It’s easy to use, very stable, and much safer than the hydrolytic lifts the insurance companies want you to use.  Hydrolytic, manual lifts require that you stand near the pump and/or release value as you use the

patientlyft i aluminium
Image via Wikipedia

device.  Although that’s not that far from the patient, it doesn’t allow you to be right there with them.  It’s also difficult to get the patient adjusted because you can’t change their position while they are in the sling.  I’ve tried the one we have now that has been approved and I never can get Lynn comfortably settled into his wheelchair. Usually he ends up on his spine or twisted. It looks like the insurance company would realize that if it’s not as easy and as safe to use, the caregiver is not going to use it and eventually the wear and tear on their body will cause the insurance company to have two people submitting claims instead of one.  Go figure…
I wonder if the people making the rules for insurance and loans would implement as many barriers to caregivers if they became one themselves.  Maybe it would help if they “walked a mile in my shoes.”

My back hurts…

Caregivers are at great risk for back injuries due to not using proper body mechanics in moving family members correctly.
 

Actually, it’s my side.  I tried a patient lift, but it didn’t work with Lynn’s wheelchair.  I know the one that I would like to get–it’s a modified version of what we used in the hospital–but it’s over $3000 because it’s not provided by our insurance company.  So I lift Lynn myself.  He now weighs 215 lbs.  That’s a lot to lift.  I’m no small person either. I weigh about 180 lbs, which is probably part of the problem.  If I were in shape and lost about 50 lbs., I would have more energy and more flexibility, however; as my doctor explained, losing weight is difficult when you’re under a lot of stress.  My body thinks it needs to store fat so that I’ll have the necessary energy to fight off what’s causing the stress.


I also admit I have no will power right now.  To think about counting calories or watching portions is just more than I can face.  I eat to keep up the energy, and I grab what’s easy.  I try to keep sweets out of the house, but I snack on nuts and bars and whatever I can find that I can eat while I work. I’ve looked at weight loss ads, but I’m afraid of that plus I have a lot of sensitivities to foods of it’s just too much to think about right now.


I know I also need to exercise.  I sometimes get in a few  minutes of stretching to help my muscle spasms but to even carve out 30 minutes means either reducing sleep time or work time and if I reduce work time, I have to take vacation time and I need to store that up in case he gets sick and goes into the hospital again. What a roller coaster!


I worry though about these spasms I’m having so often from lifting.  I know one day I’ll probably pull something that won’t go back and then what will we do?  I’ll have no one to take care of either of us. Then what?  I have long-term care insurance to cover me, but Lynn already had MS when I had the opportunity to get it, so he wasn’t qualified.  Just one more thing to leave in God’s hands because I can’t worry about it right now.


For now, it’s 11:00 p.m.  I finished working at 10:30 and put a pre-made meal from a friend in the oven for dinner.  Thank the good Lord (and Amelia) for those meals.  I don’t know what I would do without them.  I’ve had some Advil and Lynn’s in his powerchair attached to his peddler for the night. Think I’ll go have something to eat…