Transport Problems

My toothache is now just a dull ache, rather than a sharp, unbearable pain. This has meant my mood has improved a bit and I’m coping slightly better.

I’m still panicking over things though. On Wednesday I have a pre-assessment appointment at the hospital for the operation to remove my bad tooth (which is scheduled for 2nd December). It’s been bothering me for a year now, and it’s at times making me suicidal when the pain gets unbearable. It definitely needs to come out, as soon as possible. The problem is I can’t get suitable transport to (and more importantly from) the appointment. At the moment I can sit in my wheelchair for about 10 minutes before I start getting increased pain and my muscles start failing me. If I try to remain sitting in my wheelchair, I flop over at the middle because my back just won’t keep me upright anymore. I also lose the ability to move my limbs. This happened on Thursday when I went to see the GP- a local appointment for about 30 minutes including travel time. Johan had to drag me up the stairs, causing us both a lot of pain and danger (as I kept slipping and my leg jerked, nearly kicking Johan down the stairs). I’m still nowhere near close to recovered from it. We both know we can’t repeat that, as there’s too much of a risk of one or both of us getting seriously hurt.

The normal patient transport ambulance requires me to sit up in my wheelchair for the entire journey. Not only that, it will go around the world picking up passengers before getting to the hospital, so what is a 20-30 minute journey by taxi will take at least an hour. The appointment itself is meant to last an hour, according to the letter. Then there’s the travelling back, plus any waiting time (which can be hours). I can’t sit up that long. Ideally, I’d travel lying down, which would mean I might even manage sitting up for most of the appointment, but apparently that’s not possible. Instead, I will be getting a taxi and lying down in the back of that, as well as is possible while wearing a seatbelt. Which is fine- I’ll get there, have the appointment and ask if there’s a floor somewhere I can lie down on if I need it (I have lost all embarrassment at lying on the floor). Then I’ll get a taxi back.

Here’s the problem. I can get to the front door, but I won’t be able to get up the stairs. Dragging is not an option. Johan says I’m not allowed to sleep at the bottom of the stairs (and we do share them with our next door neighbour, so it’s not fair on them). Any form of lifting will require more people and equipment we don’t have. So I’ll be stuck. My question is this: who do we contact when this happens? Is it social services? Is it someone else? I know the ambulance service have a carry chair that will get me up the stairs (though they hate doing it as the staircase is very steep), but I don’t think it’s an emergency as such so I wouldn’t know how to contact them. My GP is the one who told me I can’t have suitable transport.

Any suggestions on who to contact (either before or when it happens) are welcome.

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