Transferable skills

A transfer board joining a bed and a wheelchair.

Today I learned how to transfer myself from the bed to a wheelchair using a long, skinny plastic board as a bridge. I did this three times successfully, with very little help actually. But it was exhausting.

For 12 weeks my pelvis can not carry any weight at all. Those 12 weeks will give the plate used to treat my diastasis symphysis pubis time to heal. My pelvic separation has been treated with a plate and six locking screws.

Each time I transition from the bed to my wheelchair or the chair to the toilet I have to do it without putting my feet on the floor. I realized today, however, that is it basically an instinct to brace with your feet.

Hillary, the physical therapist who visited me this morning, was patient and kind. She explained what would happen and stood near me to be sure I wouldn’t fall. But I did the work myself. There are six steps to the process:

  1. Be sure the wheelchair’s arm is removed and it is locked in place as close to the bed as possible.
  2. Position myself sitting at the edge of the bed.
  3. Tilt myself to the right and nudge the transfer board under my bum.
  4. Make sure the other end of the board is solidly on the chair.
  5. Lift up with my arms, shifting myself toward the chair.
  6. Remove the board once I’m securely in place.

Hillary put in an order for my wheelchair that we will rent, for a transfer board and for a visit or two by a home health care nurse who can evaluate our place and make sure we have everything we need for me to be as independent as possible.

Tomorrow I will learn to transfer to a commode and they can remove my catheter. An occupational therapist will teach me how to get my pants down without using my legs. Right now I can’t really imagine how that’s going to work, but I know I will do it. Once I can do that then I will have met the requirements for discharge.

But I probably won’t be leaving until at least Monday. Dr. Sojka discovered during surgery that my bones are soft. He got an endocrinologist involved and today I had blood taken for testing and a series of x-rays of my arms and legs. I don’t have a diagnosis related to my bones yet. All I know so far is the softness of my bones caused Dr. Sojka to have to use locking screws to keep my plate in place. Those locking screws will make my pelvis more rigid than he had planned and there is a chance the plate and screws would need to be removed in the future.

This was a curve ball, for sure, but if there is something going on that needs to be fixed I am glad to be in a place that can fix it. I was told today to expect testing at the osteoporosis center before being discharged and my nurse told me that some of the blood tests had to be sent away for analysis. She wasn’t able to say if I would be here until all the results were in. I hope we will learn a lot more tomorrow.

One thought on “Transferable skills

  1. Not enough vitamin D? Soft bones is crazy to think about at your age! I hope it is nothing and that vitamins can fix that issue! Thinking of you!! Gentle HUGS

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