Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Moving Day

Today was the big move with a few surprises. We got Joel into House 5 and it was a bit daunting for him but he will settle in. It's just that in his previous house it was very quiet and where he has moved to there are 6 clients and it is run a little more like a 'family'. What we didn't realise is that when you shift house you also have a change of OT and Physio. Now that ain't all bad but he was responding very well to the last ones, so it's just something more to adjust to. Yesterday, because he isn't allowed to use his wheelchair in the complex, he had to walk a heck of a lot more than he had all the rest of the days put together. Now he is complaining of very sore joints in his left knee and ankle...can you please pray that this doesn't become a set back to his walking.

The psychologist gave him a test this morning to check his reading and responses to certain social situations by watching, and then answering questions to, some short movie clips. She wasn't surprised that he scored 100% in recognising sarcasm and come backs!

We took Joel out this afternoon up to Westgate Shopping Centre. I got the job of pushing him round and he had been given a gift voucher for a cd store. This gave us both a little insight into what some people have to deal with on a daily basis. Firstly to push a wheelchair into some stores is almost impossible. The above mentioned cd music store was an interesting obstacle course... just to get in I pushed some of their displays sideways. After some tight maneuvers that would have gone down a treat in Top Gear, and some umming and ahhing by Joel, a selection was made. With a cunning 3 point turn I managed to position Joel next to the counter and he put on his best 'look at me I am sick' face...and proceeded to get a 5 dollar reduction in the price of the cd! After getting him out with some dexterous backing maneuvers, Joel announces to the 3 of us that he has learnt a new trick. He reckoned that if we continued to shop he would say, "excuse me but could you give me 50% off this item coz I'm sick and don't have long to live". Arrhhh...Joel! Pushed him in the shade to a well known coffee franchise just to find the footpath narrows to the point that a wheelchair can't pass! Quick wheelie out onto the road...you get the picture. Then the ladies headed to a craft shop... yuk... so us men went for a trek elsewhere. Now this is what I found interesting...we went into 5 different shops where normally you would be harassed by sales people, but all we got was a quick quiet 'hello' and then they would turn their heads and look busy doing nothing! It was that obvious and I would never have known this had I not seen it and felt it for Joel. Which of course left me with some questions: do those who use wheelchairs all the time have to put up with this... and do we treat them the same as anyone else or do we also turn?

4 comments:

MelC said...

Hey some good questions there. We used to provide respite care for a 10 year old who couldn't walk at all without splints on his legs and his walking frame - he regularly used to ask for discounts in shops or to have things given to him - he must have looked too cheeky and not sick enough because he never got them - but maybe Kiwi's are more tender hearted...

Rena said...

Yep, all I can say is that 'welcome to my world'! So much of the world is wheelchair unfriendly! Go hard Joel, you are doing so well.

Lillybeth Melmoth said...

Perhaps the looking away was because most of us are taught not to give 'too much' attention to the obviously dis-abled...you know what I mean...not to stare, but it backfires and we neglect the person and appear uncaring or put-off. :-(

Anonymous said...

You are not alone in these observations Kevin/Cheryl, when my Dad was ill and wheelchair bound I had similar experiences but I also noticed that the particular life experience made me more aware of people parking in wheelchair carparks when they didnt need them etc. At the same time it brings you into contact with some amazing compassionate people. We learn and we grow. Keep up the good work Joel. We are thinking of you. Lynley, Brett, Anthony & Craig

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