Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Wheel Chair Accessible?

We are building a 'Beach House' in Anchorage, Alaska. In Alaska t
they call a second house a 'cabin' but in Virginia it is a 'Beach House'. So I call it a 'Beach House'.

Because my husband may be 77 and I 73 when we live in the house year round, I paid extra money to make a downstairs flex room and bathroom wheel chair accessible with a tall toilet and grab bars in the shower.

Of course the need for such a thing seemed so far off... Until

I was assigned Jury Duty to coincide with the 2018 Alaska trip and completed the necessary paperwork and phone calls to postpone it until after the trip. This Tuesday, after the trip, I attempted to report to Jury Duty at the Courthouse in Leesburg (VA) . Walking at a fast pace and intent on looking for a sign for ‘Loudoun County Circuit Court’, I failed to notice that my curbless pathway on the courthouse grounds suddenly gained a curb. And I tumbled off the curb. Two female employees offered to call medics but I assured them that I could stand up. I hobbled to the main door and lined up to pass through security. I knew no cell phones were allowed and kept mine in the car,  but nothing was said on the website about iPads and plastic knitting needles. 

    “No iPad if it has a camera, but you can place it in the locker on the wall. Plastic knitting needles are okay.” 

But the wall locker was too small for the iPad. 

“Do I have time to walk back to my car and store the iPad?” 


UhOh! The car was 1/4 mile away and I was hardly able to walk a few yards inside the courthouse door! 
Unable to think of an alternative, I hobbled to the car to store the iPad and back to the courthouse - at least 1/2 mile!

The security guard was very nice and said they wanted to write up an accident report - not to worry about making it in time for Jury Duty. I sat on a bench and a woman came to take my information. Meanwhile, a baseball size lump formed on my left ankle and I could not bend my right knee. Glaring at my ankle, she quickly phoned the medics who arrived in about 2 minutes with a stretcher. Off to the ER at Cornwall.

The fractured bones are in the left foot (calcaneus and navicular) and right knee (patella) - and that leaves me totally immobile. My current bathroom is not wheelchair accessible and there is not a raised toilet or grab bars in the shower.  But thank God I did not meet that sneaky curb before the Alaska trip.