Just before 8am I here a polite knock on my door, which is great news because it means my carer is here right on time to cook my breakfast! My carer –Matt- lets himself in with the key I gave him and I get out of bed to greet him.
Matt asks me how I am and asks me what I’d like help with first. “Breakfast!” I tell him as always. He reminds me what I’ve got in the cupboard, and offers to take me to the shops if there’s nothing I fancy.
Matt makes me a bacon and egg sandwich and a cup of tea as specified and starts the washing up while I eat.
After breakfast is finished, I need some help having a shower as I’m not very dextrous with my left arm and washing and drying all over is a bit of a struggle.
Matt asks me what I would like to wear today and reminds me that we need to do some laundry soon as I’m running low on socks. Matt hands me the clothes I asked for and I get dressed while Matt fills in his care log detailing what he’s done this morning. I get into my wheelchair and Matt helps me by putting on my socks and shoes which would’ve taken me much longer by myself.
I want to do a few things in town while I’ve got assistance. As we’re getting ready to go out Matt looks outside and tells me the weather is looking a bit iffy and suggests a coat. Before we’re out the door he asks me if I’ve got my keys and bank cards on me. I nearly forgot!
I’m taking my motorised chair, so Matt gets a break from pushing today, but he’ll soon have his hands full carrying my shopping! Matt asks where I’m planning to go and after I tell him he suggests the best way to get there without hitting any curbs in my chair. I like Matt’s alternative suggestion of taking the scenic route through the park, so off we go.
Matt double and triple checks the front door as we leave, because sometimes it doesn’t shut properly. I’m getting it fixed soon though.
On the way into town, Matt keeps an eye out for traffic as we cross the roads because I can’t see over the tops of parked cars.
At the shops, Matt helps me by handing me items I can’t reach myself. He carries my basket for me, leaving my hands free to drive my chair. At the checkout I ask Matt to help me reaching the card-reader for payment. He hands it to me and as always he turns away politely while I type in my PIN.
Matt offers to carry my bags for me and we’re off again but I’m going to need a quick pit-stop at the toilets. Disabled toilets are always really difficult for me to manoeuvre in, but Matt helps me by holding the door and putting the seat down for me. Who leaves the seat up in a disabled toilet!
I’m strong enough to transfer myself from my wheelchair to the toilet and back again, but it’s very difficult to pull up your trousers when you’re using your arms to hold yourself up, so I’m glad to have Matt’s help again. While I’m transferring one of my shoes slips off so I need help with that too. All finished, Matt looks out for other people as I reverse back out of the toilet.
While we’re still in town it starts to rain and so I figure now is a good time to get some lunch. I tell Matt what I’d like to eat and Matt tells me the names of a few different places nearby that I could go to. I ask Matt to cut up my food for me, making it much easier for me to eat using just one hand. I also get Matt to open those fiddly little packets of ketchup which I struggle with.
On the way home I stop off at the supermarket to get some ingredients for dinner later. While we’re there Matt reminds me that I’ve run out of eggs.
Back home Matt helps me out of my coat and I check my emails while he updates his care log again. Matt offers to make a drink and I decide a cup of tea would really hit the spot.
Matt asks me what I’ve got planned for this evening, but I’m not sure yet. Matt checks his diary and tells me it’s cheap night at the cinema and also the cards club I go to is meeting tonight. He also asks me if I’ve watched the dvd’s I bought the other day and I tell him I haven’t yet.
I decide to go my cards club. I’m still full up from lunch so I tell Matt I’m going to skip dinner and maybe get a snack when we get back.
At cards club I get Matt to move some chairs around so I can get up to the table. I’m in my manual chair this evening as my motorised chair is too big to manoeuvre around the clubs meeting room, so Matt’s driving! I get Matt to hold my cards for me and shuffle the deck as I really can’t shuffle and holding the cards gets awkward. Luckily the other players don’t mind. It’s also fortunate that Matt has got a really good ‘poker face’ so he doesn’t give anything away while he’s looking at my cards!
Matt actually made me a stand for the cards so I wouldn’t have to hold them, it’s brilliant, but I’ve misplaced it and we didn’t get time to do a thorough search for it before we left!
Victorious from a successful night of winning at cards I return home. I made a couple of new friends this evening, it was great fun.
Back home again, I’ve barely got my coat off before Matt spots the card holder I lost, it’s under the tv stand! I’ve no idea how it got there, but Matt reaches it out for me.
I thought I’d only want a snack this evening, but I’m feeling pretty hungry now, so I tell Matt I’ve changed my mind and I really fancy a full dinner. ‘No problem.’ He tells me and asks me what I’d like. He reminds me what I’ve got in the cupboard again, and offers some options.
Matt helps me put on a dvd and then he’s off to the kitchen to make the spaghetti bolognaise I asked for exactly the way I like it. The smell of it cooking makes me even more hungry, but it’s not long before it’s cooked and it tastes every bit as good as I’d imagined.
Matt cleans up after himself in the kitchen, washes my plate and updates his care log again. It’s 8pm already, the time we agreed Matt would finish. Before he goes he asks me if I need anything else.
I can’t think of anything. Matt can see I’m deep in thought though. He tells me he doesn’t mind staying a bit later if there’s anything I need.
I could really do with another cup of tea I tell him. Matt smiles, and before you know it I’ve got my tea.
‘See you Friday.’ Matt says to me on his way out. ‘Same time?’
‘No make it 10!’ I tell him. ‘I fancy a lie-in!’