Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's here, crappy weather snow tires and all.

Changing the page on the calendar so we might as well change the background to better reflect what we will be seeing during the next several months. It had to come it was just a question of time, here's hoping this winter will be similar to last years it was not cold for an extended period of time and it seemed to go by rather quickly.

October is my month the one I dread and this year it appears as if I've come out unscathed mind you I still have the chair and everything else associated with what I had before yet at least if I lost anything it's not much and I can handle that.

On Thursday my wife leaves for Mexico with some of her friends for one week as I head out to my favorite resort" being sarcastic" our respite care facility Yahoo! This time I'm prepared at least I should be with my computer, the Internet, cell phone, television, DVD player, MP3 player, radio, wireless headset to name a few LOL. Figured if she was going on holidays for one week there is no way I was going to spend the like I did the last time and hopefully this time they will give me a room in a wing with people I can have a conversation with that would be nice.

My next post will probably originate from my room in solitary confinement.
Can't you feel the excitement the anticipation in my tone.
Really I mustn't complain they treat me well and it will certainly provide my spouse with a much-needed vacation from this inescapable nightmare.

Take care


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Better days to come

There are days when things work rather well there are other days when you wonder how on earth you can keep going, today was one of those days. I'd like to write volumes to let you know how it feels yet if you have MS I'd be repeating myself besides I really don't feel like writing at all.

Tomorrow has to be a better day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Customer Service

We are wrapping up preparations for me to spend a week in December at our respite care facility. Yesterday a nurse visit to evaluate and discuss my requirements so everything is set. All I have to do is show up on the specified date at 10 AM which is their check-in time. This time I'll be better prepared as I know what to expect, I'll be bringing a TV with a built-in DVD player, a radio, my cell phone, laptop computer and finally my Internet Key which is what I'd like to talk about even though it's not directly related to MS.

Customer Service, have we lost it entirely? It seems to me we've gone from "thank you for calling ABC company how can I help you" progressing to "thank you for calling ABC company please hold the line we will be with you as soon as possible" and who can forget "thank you for calling ABC company all of our agents are busy your call is important to us please do not hang up to maintain your call priority" and finally today's version "thank you for calling ABC company we are currently experiencing higher than normal call volumes all of our customer service agents are currently helping other customers please hold the line to maintain your calling priority,
estimated wait time is currently 50 minutes"

Of course each message is followed by the most boring music anyone could possibly find yet you keep holding you have faith they won't let you down!

Here's my experience, there is no WiFi a telephone line costs $100 per month rental so I thought why not purchase one of these newfangled Internet keys on a pay-as-you-go service plan that way I would have access to the Internet, my e-mails etc. the idea seemed simple enough. I purchased the key from a retail outlet understanding that I had to activate it myself through the company's website, couldn't see a problem doing that after all it's a fairly simple procedure however the company's computer system was having some difficulties and I ended up speaking with a customer service agent.

In a nutshell I ended up on a monthly service plan providing me with much more than I required feature wise, a simple phone call would surely rectify the situation. LOL

I placed three calls to this company which shall remain nameless however their Internet Key is a red if that gives you any clue. Each time I called I was on hold for no less than 60 minutes which may have included being bounced from one department to another as no one really knew who I should talk to. On my final call I waited 70 minutes at which point the phone line disconnected! Needless to say I was a tad upset, called the company yet this time selected "customer wishes to make changes or cancel their contract" from their telephone prompt. It took less then five minutes and I was speaking with a live person.

If only companies realized how important providing good customer service is to their current customers they perhaps would strive to get it right. I can tell you that I certainly will not be recommending this product to anyone I know, not because the product didn't work it did yet the support component is not there and for that reason alone the product to me is worthless.

In the end with the monthly plan and hassle I would've been better off renting the telephone line for $100.

Customer service appears to have gone the way of the dodo bird.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Falling has to be one of my greatest fears, not the act of falling itself as I do not resist and try to prevent the inevitable thus when I do fall my injuries are limited to bruising sore muscles aches and pains, you get the idea. This morning I had an appointment to get my wheelchair fixed not that it was broken yet the technician who saw it last noticed a few bearings needing replacement, this morning's appointment was to replace these.
Everything went well at home as I was getting ready to take the transport bus to and from the repair facility.

Just to be on the safe side I thought I'd go to the washroom before leaving. I'm not certain exactly what happened, positioning myself as usual for my transfer I stood up standing straight solid then without notice my legs buckled and I found myself in the most painful position I'd been in for as long as I can remember. Actually wedged between the bathtub and the toilet a space of less than 1 foot there I was my entire body weight resting on two legs. as a result I could feel each muscle, tendon or what have you in each leg being stretched to their limit it was very painful, no matter what I tried I could not move out of this position I tried my hardest but to no avail.

Fortunately I was able to reach my cell and call a friend who lives on the second floor of our building, I only had to say I required some help, he was at my door within seconds. If he had not been there my only other option would have been 911 I hate to even imagine what kind of shape I would have been in by the time they arrived.

In the past when I fell I was able to move myself on the floor to reach an electric bath chair which I converted to a lift, I would position myself near the lift and use my arms to lift and sit on the seat which would raise me up to a height where I could transfer. That was in the past now if I fall that's where I stay it is no longer possible for me to move myself any distance to speak of so in this case my neighbor brought the lift chair and positioned it behind me where after several attempts I was able to find the strength to lift myself onto this seat and raise myself at which point I was capable of transferring laterally onto my electric chair.

The whole experience was painful and frustrating yet I was able to compose myself in time to catch the good old STO "paratransit" bus.

I got there and transferred onto a loaner chair going for a coffee and muffin within the same building while the repairs are performed. After all of that trouble the technician informed me they had received the wrong parts and had to reorder them something they discovered only when they tried replacing the old parts. My chair is working fine, they apparently ordered the parts on an emergency basis yet I can guarantee that I won't be in that much of a hurry to have them replaced next time around.

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