A fortnight ago I pulled my back lifting my disabled daughter, Elin. It was very painful at first and then it became super annoying, since I couldn't easily move around and obviously this had an impact on what I could do with Elin day to day. Thanks to an enthusiastic osteopath who seemed like he was trying to murder me at first by basically jumping on my semi naked torso, making my back sound like a bag of popping candy, it's actually a lot better than it was. However I've had to finally admit what people have been trying to tell me for ages. I need to start using Elin's hoist.
I have a total and completely irrational hatred of the hoist. A hatred which far exceeds any feelings about other specialist inanimate objects that are necessary in our lives now that Elin is almost nine. Until now it's just been dangling in the corner of Elin's room like an evil science fiction-esque spider, which I avoid eye contact with. In the past I have felt like Sigourney Weaver in Alien on catching sight of it, I'd break out into a sweat, try and duck from view and if I'd owned a gun I'm pretty sure my reflexes would have involuntarily whipped it out and blasted its stupid, ugly horrible head off. It was because looking at it was like staring down the barrel of our future with Elin, a future I wasn't ready to accept. It was too clinical, too impersonal a way of moving her. It was a barrier between us. I wanted to be able to carry her forever.
Part of my issue with the evil hoist is that it reminded me so much of hospital wards and old folks' homes, like the one Elin's grandad lived in during his final few years with us. This was not something I wanted to associate with my baby. No way, I didn't want the hoist for her. (Seriously irrational given she has been using a wheelchair and other mobility equipment such as her standing frame for the whole of her little life). I would never have chosen to use it. But choice is something I have learned to relinquish to a degree in our funny topsy turvey world. It doesn't matter whether I want to use it or not, I have to. Elin needs it, I need it. I'm no good to Elin with a damaged back after all. It's time to stop procrastinating and start using. The hoist must become part of our lives. I have to concede at this point that at least we HAVE a hoist, many families may not.
I should be, and actually am, grateful that we have the option. Also, as sure as I am of my hatred of the hoist I am equally sure that like everything else, acceptance will reluctantly follow regular usage. I know that soon, I will wonder what we did without it or why I was so scared of using it in the first place. One day I may even be singing the praises of the hoist. I am told Elin loves it in school and have seen her laughing in it with my own eyes, so there's a strong possibility that hoisting can actually be something fun we do together. Like a sort of indoor swing maybe ☺ The evil spider may become a beloved pet. I just need to be a bit more Lieutenant Ripley about it, toughen up and crack on.
After all, that's what Elin's doing. Like so much else in my life I think I need to take my inspiration from her on this one.