Thursday, March 5, 2009

Has Spring Arrived?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Finally it appears as if we will be getting rid of the snow after all a forcast of 13°C for tomorrow will definitely help. The NCC is closing the canal tonight at 11 PM another sign that spring is just around the corner.
Personally I can't wait until I can go outside instead of being cooped up in a condo all day. I have everything I need yet let me tell you once the snow disappears I'll be out there for certain. This will also be the first spring and summer where we have the Van and that should make a big difference, it already has made a difference even though we have used it sparingly throughout the winter.

I don't have anything new to report when it comes to MS which is good in one way and yet on the other hand it would be nice if something new came out. I'm not holding my breath on that one, they have medication to treat relapsing remitting MS yet the medications are not really that effective something else is definitely required.
Went to the optometrist to get my eyes checked out also saw my M.D. to have some forms filled out. It's difficult for them since they don't come into contact with MS patients that frequently yet I got my form sent it in and I haven't heard anything back from the licensing bureau, that's okay I'm driving the van and things are going very well.
I will be taking it in next week to have the seatbelts looked at by a mobility technician because my O.T found some areas of concern. To give you an idea it's pretty hard to have your seatbelt resting on your basin or hips when you have arms on each side of your wheelchair. They interfere with the proper placement of the belt and keep it away from you, hopefully he will find something to make things a bit safer.

With regards to P.A.D I received a call from our contractor yesterday telling me that all the parts are in. Construction is scheduled to begin on Monday, March 23 finally it's only been three years. Luckily when I had the condo built I designed it making it as accessible as I could, thank God since I don't know what I would've done if we had to wait three years before getting the required work done. The grant totals $16,000 which sounds like a lot of money yet believe me you do not go very far with that. Our condo is to a large extent already accessible all the light switches and thermostats are lower the AC outlets higher. A portion of the kitchen countertop is 32 inches high instead of the standard 34, all doors are 36 inches wide we have one and a half washrooms the largest has a wheelchair accessible shower, accessible sink and there are grab bars everywhere. You would think that where all these modifications I'd be able to do with $16,000 well here is a breakdown of what will be done.

My toilet will be raised, even though it's a handicapped version which is higher it's still not high enough so will be raised by approximately 5 inches. I'm having two support arms installed one on each side of the toilet which will make the transfers to my chair easier not to mention safer. The main door to our condo will be replaced with a 36 inch wide door and an electric opener will be installed. Finally one electric door opener will be installed on the first door that serves as the main entrance to our building, making my life easier since the wind and in the winter the cold makes it impossible for me to open. That's it that's all we are at $15,800 and I have spent enough on my own initially that this will suffice for the time being.

Throughout the whole process I have learned much about the program itself, how it functions the numerous improvements which could be made to make the program more efficient to better serve the city or municipality from a financial perspective as well as making the program easier for the patient or person requiring the modifications.
Hopefully I will be able to share my experiences and possibly bring change to some of the flaws in the system. Problem is who do you speak with that has an open mind with no personal vested interest?

Finally as I opened my blog I saw this little note on the side that asked if MS was fatal. If you read the small print I guarantee you that statistically our life expectancy is reported as being almost the same as for someone without MS varying only by 10% or so. That figure most likely encompasses all forms of MS everything from benign to primary progressive. Throughout the years I've known enough friends who have passed away to tell you that depending on what form of the disease you have it can kill you however it will do so in a way which allows the medical community to classify your death as they see fit. As an example if you are diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis and after 15 or 20 years find yourself bedridden to the point where you develop bed sores which become infected or you catch pneumonia due to a compromised immune system and you die. As a doctor I'd say you have your pick of what to choose as a cause of death, but no MS does not kill yeah right tell that to someone who hasn't lost the friends I have.

And have a great day

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