We have a new Elephant in the Room, Mr B and I.
Okay, it’s not exactly an elephant. It doesn’t have a trunk,
for starters, or floppy ears or great galumphing legs. I do like that word - galumphing - I must try to use it more often though it’s not the easiest word to introduce in regular conversations. Still, that’s no excuse for not attempting it.
Our “elephant” is the hospital bed, delivered yesterday by an employee from the National Resources Centre who had the thankless task of putting it together in
our living room. Perspiration? Bless him, it flowed. Did he always have to cope alone? I asked solicitously. It seemed quite a job for one person. I felt like offering to help but I was pretty sure I would be more hindrance than help. I always think it is
A Good Thing to know one’s own limitations.
A Good Thing - that’s how the nurses, doctors and other health professionals describe the hospital bed.
It will do wonders (they say) for Mr B’s sleep, his legs and other parts of his anatomy. It has a mattress, moreover, which keeps taking in air and gently expressing it. I can hear it now, as I type this, blowing in and out like a small whale. But (thankfully)
without the spout.
Now all I need is to manage the procedure of getting Mr B safely into bed at the end of each day and out of it at the start of each new day,
preferably without injuring either of us in the process. I watched a few YouTube videos which made it look pretty easy until it occurred to me that the model patient in the video was (i) small in stature and (ii) remarkably compliant. Neither of which adjective
would generally apply to Mr B. I decided to wait for the occupational therapist to call. All I needed, I reasoned, was some practical training.
She arrived today
but was quick to assess the situation, deciding we required more equipment to manage the transfers easily. None of the equipment was in use in the YouTube video, presumably because the small, compliant, model patient didn’t need it. I will never understand
why advertisements, leaflet illustrations, and explanatory videos never actually depict reality but rather an idealised version of Life With Challenges. Take advertisements for stair lifts - the smiling models always look as if they would be perfectly capable
of taking the stairs two at a time.
So now we wait. On Friday morning, the additional equipment will arrive, on Friday afternoon the sweet occupational therapist
will visit us once more. Fingers crossed, progress will be made.
In the meantime, the bed sits there, unused, where our two seater sofa used to be. Last week,
to make room for the elephant, our lovely neighbours, Matt and Jackie, moved the sofa out into the garage. It was a socially distanced move, I hasten to add - I pushed the sofa as far as the patio doors and our neighbours did the heavy work. Bless them.
When people talk of the “elephant in the room” it is, of course, a reference to something very obvious which nobody likes to mention. Like our hospital bed which
is, let’s face it, pretty obvious and somewhat (dare I say it?) out of place in our living room. My Little Sister suggests I disguise it with a throw or two which is (as always the case with my sister’s ideas) a very good suggestion - but makes
me laugh at the thought of visitors (whenever we may be allowed the luxury of them) taking a seat on the bed, thinking it to be a sofa, and finding themselves heaving up and down as the air mattress struts its stuff. Not a good move, I have always thought
(like, never) to make your guests feel sea-sick...
I know how to tackle this situation. I just need to welcome the hospital bed into our living room with the equivalent
of open arms. I need to be whole-heartedly pleased at its presence. Maybe I should give it a name?
Like, say, Dumbo....?