My Monastic Chamber

I had a visit last week from my occupational therapist (OT) whose job is to make sure I have everything I need to be as safe and independent at home as I can be.

Over the last year or so I’ve been experiencing chronic pain and fatigue. This has been having an increasing impact on how much help I need to do everyday tasks like transferring from my wheelchair, going to the toilet, or getting to sleep at night. It was these everyday tasks that my OT assessed and she’s suggested some new equipment for me to try as a result. And it all arrived today!

I’ve got new transfer boards to help me move from my chair more easily and reduce the lifting my support workers need to do, a commode chair that wheels over the toilet to make things easier in the night, and a new bed.

The bed was the only piece of equipment that I wasn’t sure about. When she first suggested it I was very reluctant to give it a try. It’s fully adjustable, and at the touch of a button I can move it right down to the floor, or right up in the air so a support worker can help me without bending over. My head and legs can be raised too, and the whole bed even tips at an angle.

This is all obviously brilliant and means I can get into a comfortable position much more easily. I can also move myself with minimal effort, saving crucial energy. But what worried me was that it was a single bed.

I was concerned that having a single bed would feel like going back to being a child, that I wasn’t grown-up, that I was less of a woman, and that it would be harder to share it with other people. Leftwing Idiot and my OT listened to my concerns and talked them through with me gently and patiently and eventually I agreed to give it a try.

I knew as soon as I got in and tried it out that it was going to make me much more comfortable at night, Innes jumped in with me to prove that cuddling was still possible, and it means there’s loads more space in my room.

I love my new bed! Now it’s here I’ve stopped worrying about its size and instead I’m blown away by how great it is – although I have been jokingly calling the bedroom my “monastic chamber”. Last night I had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in ages and when Leftwing Idiot left this evening I was able to raise myself up to his height to give him a goodbye hug.

Another hidden benefit of having a single bed is that children’s bed sheets come in much more interesting and fun designs.

The OT called me earlier to find out how I was getting on with the new equipment and I she let out a laugh as I described how much I loved it all – especially the bed.

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