teal's Blog

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fire dept escapades



i've never had any experience with the fire department in my life, till i was post stroke, my count is now up to three.....


the first time, i was at one of my pt evaluations, id scheduled paratransit foe later than i needed to go back home, so decided to wheel to the supermarket a block over and pick up a few things.... well, it sounded like a good idea... until i was on my way around to the store entrance on the sidewalk, someone had moved a trash container onto the sidewalk;but it looked like i had enough room to go next to it, i was wrong.... the left front wheel of the power chair came off the curb, the chair tipped sideways and dumped me into the parking lot - so i'm thinking "what do i do now?" a couple of people in the parking lot rushed over to help - it was nice of them;but i wish people would ask, or at least listen before jumping in..... they grabbed my arms and tried to stand me up - now why would anyone assume that someone who fell out of a wheelchair and couldn't get up on their own could be just lifted to a standing position and they'd be able to stand on their own ??? anyway, when i started screaming cause they'd tried to stand me on a turned under weak foot, they finally got the message that "no,no, leave me, i cant stand" somehow wasn't clear enough to them to convey..... someone in the store, meanwhile had called the fire dept... in case sitting on my butt in a parking lot wasn't embarrassing enough, here comes a full size fire truck, as well as a smaller one, sirens blaring - anyone around who hadn't noticed me, yet, sure did now... the firemen themselves were great, fast and efficient - i was sitting on the pavement and they lifted me in that position, one took mt left thigh, one my right and a third got me under the arms, and they just lifted me up and plopped me onto the chair - the guy on my arms kept commenting that "she has zero muscle tone on this one side" i guess that made it harder to get a grip and was his way of hurrying them up.... they kept asking if i was sure i didn't need transport to the hospital and i insisted not, wasn't until they left that i remembered i was on coumadin so probably should've said yes;but everything was fine, and id already exceeded my strangers staring at me quota....


second time was one morning at 3 am, i went to get up and get a drink and the brakes were loose on the chair, so when my butt hit the seat, it rolled back and i landed on the floor.... i grabbed my cell phone from the table right in front of me, and called 911, the dispatcher probably thought i was bonkers.... "hi i'm ok, its not a rush or a real emergency;but i fell on the floor and need help getting back into my wheelchair; but i don't want to keep them from something important, just when they have time and can they come to the back door, ill see if i can get it open and if not its a better one to break" i'm hoping she chalked it up to being 3 am.... i did manage to roll, wiggle, etc and get to the back door, unlock it and open it a few inches - heaven forbid i have to replace a broken door, just cause i'm stuck on the floor, lol - this time one guy got me up on his own, he put a beach towel around me under my arms and lifted with the held together ends in front till i was high enough to get back on the chair - very interesting....


the third time had the potential for more major embarrassment... my toilet seat was coming loose and i had a friend planning on coming to fix it the next day... instead it decides to break loose while in use, it was like sledding, it shot straight out and onto the floor, with me still on it... so, since it was mid afternoon, i figured that instead of calling 911, i could call a friend who worked nearby and have her bring a friend to help; but while i was rolling around on the floor trying first to get dressed and then to get to my cell, i rolled onto and accidently sent off my "i've fallen and i cant get up" button, so i just changed direction, opened the back door again and waited, this time i got police fire dept and ambulance - the policewoman and ambulance left and the two firemen lifted me (one per arm) up to the chair while i pushed with my good leg... then, the incredibly nice fireman, took the time to switch the unbroken seat from the bathroom i cant get the chair in, into the one i use


so thats my current history with the fire dept, as nice as they've been, i'm sincerely hoping to never having to call them again, wish me luck, lol



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