Sunday, September 20, 2009

Up, Up and Away!!

Friday, I took Mom for an appointment at the doctor's office. Now, ordinarily this wouldn't be "blog-worthy", but you need to put that in perspective with how we went to the doctors. As you know Mom lives at Chandler's Wharf condo complex on Commercial St. in Portland. Since this complex was built before the law on handicapped accessibility, she has to walk a long way, and two flights of stairs to get to the car. Usually though, we can drive up the ramp to her door, and away we go! However, for at least the fourth time (by my count) the association has ripped up the mezzanine to fix the bricks. So for the next month, Chandler's Wharf has become "The Big Dig".
Getting to the car, (going down) Mom was able to do fine, with just a couple breaks to catch her breath--it was getting back up that would be much more taxing on Mom. The complex manager had assured Mom that they were aware of her (and other residents) needs and had arranged an "elevator". Think of that word VERY loosely! The attendant at the guard house couldn't have been nicer, and after only one phone call to another attendant to get the details right, we were on our way! I think I'll let the pictures speak for themselves! This is how we do elevators in Maine--we are hardy stock!
Step 1: Climb the easily accessible stairs

Step 2: Enter our well appointed "car":

Step 3: Wait for the kind attendant to make a quick cell phone call to find out "How the Hell this thing works"

Step 4: Arrive at your destination--first floor "Ladies hats, lingerie, fine perfumes and Unit 310"

Step 5: Right this way! Please watch your step exiting the vehicle!

Now, that's how we get it done in Maine!! Just think--only a month of this!!
Mom, you're going to be mad at me, but you're a darn good sport!


  1. What you didn't hear was the attendant,John,lean over to me and whispher how afraid he was of heights. This was as he opened the "hole"in the 2nd floor fence that we had to go thru.As I went to step of this BORAX elavator John said again how afraid of hghts. he was.Don,t think you heard any of this Nancy.Of course, John being the size of a Patriot,s linebacker, he looks fearless.My other fear was our over-all weight , since the 3 of us weren't Light=weights.

  2. Having experienced this along with Kit's Gram, I can tell you that she is truly a trooper. I was scared to death - for real! Doesn't quite fit with the "luxury condo on the ocean" - I have seen state housing do a better job. As much as I enjoy spending time with her, I'm not sure I will be volunteering for any appointment trips until the "big dig" is over : )

  3. The last comment was from Erin Doty...she was actually the first one to have the opportunity to accommpany Mom on the elevator ride from hell:-)

  4. seems the other alternative is to dive and swim. either way very exciting. good view? marion

  5. From an Occupational Therapist's perspective that is a very ingenious way to get your mom from A to B. And I don't know how to say this, but the safety factor would NOT pass an OT or PT test! Where is the elevator certificate for that thing!
    What a brave woman, I wouldn't get on that thing if you had a gun to my head. Glad you took the photos.
    -Crystal the OT with Cheryl your sister

  6. That is the best story ever!! Maine gets a bad rap at times....remember Aunt Alice, your condo is all about "location, location, location" !!! This would be a realtor's nightmare if they caught wind of this!

    Love, Kathy

  7. Hey, Crystal... the second comment is from Erin Doty, who is also an OT. She was with Mom the first day they put her on this "elevator" and was the one who let us know...we had been told it was a "chair lift". I have called Alpha I and also requested a W/C as an accommodation but on top of the craziness of the "elevator" itself, they built seven STEPS to get up to it...duh!

  8. This post is a riot ! Now do you wan't the PT prospective ? Guess who !!!