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  1. #1
    Senior Member martha's Avatar
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    Where do you put things?

    This may sound ridiculously simple to some of you, but I've been struggling for 2 and a half years to find a solution. I've moved more furniture in that time than any Atlas Moving Guy. Basically, my husband is in what was our master bedroom, so it's moderately large. There is the hospital bed and a double bed for when I sleep in there, dresser, TV, etc. The problem -- how do you put things within his reach while he's in bed without having the place look like a disaster area or a bad storage room in a county hospital? At first I tried a 5 shelf bookcase against the wall, his bed alongside it and all the "stuff" on the shelfs. Very unattractive and hospital looking. And he kept dropping things down into the black hole that would have been the bottom shelf. Tried cute baskets for various things lined up on a "sofa" type table beside his bed. Disaster. Looks bad, he's constanty dropping things, not really enough room and he can't really reach everything. There are bedside tables on either side of the bed with drawers but he really can't reach anything in the drawers. So, where do you put cath kits, alarm clocks, dozens of pill bottles, wet wipes, grooming aids, tv remotes, telephone, reachers, etc.? And this doesn't even get into the fact that he dresses in bed and the clothes aren't near. I know this isn't a major issue like a health issue, but for someone who used to be a neat freak, it's finally about worn me down. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
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    Martha, you've stumped us! I confess to looking hopefully at this thread every twenty minutes . . .surely somebody out there is better at this than we are.

    We should post photos of our bedroom/storage arrangements. Mine would make you laugh out loud, I promise.

    kate

  3. #3
    Martha, I am just wondering why your husband needs so much right next to his bed? You mentioned he dresses himself, so he is pretty functional? (quad or para?)
    Does he stay in bed much of the day, for extended periods of time?
    Can you maybe prioritize those things he definitely can not do without next to his bed?

    he has a bedside table w/drawers. Why not manageable? Difficulty opening or grabbing things out of it?

    If not drawers, a bag hung against table or bed (rail?) to hold cath kits/wet wipes.

    What grooming aids does he need while in bed? Can he groom after getting up into chair?

    Pill bottles can become a mess, so unless he needs to take them in the middle of the night, can they be put somewhere else? (or perhaps all the bottles within a small basket with a handle so he can easily grab them when needed).

    Just some thoughts I had right now, but can you provide some more info regarding what he specifically need? I know than I'm like a hoarder sometimes and that I can clutter up closets and my apt with stuff I never use but think I may someday, so have "just in case". This can cause much disorganization and clutter.

  4. #4
    Martha - Can't remember what level hubbie is , it would help to know what his functionality is.

    Here's our set up for Matt, who's a C4-5, functioning C6 -

    -Hospital bed w/ tilt table at bedside (all the catalogs have 'em now, made of wood so they don't look like 'hospital' tables), which holds his drink with a long straw, intercom for nighttime, and touch light he can turn off.

    -In his bedroom he also has his stimmaster, EasyStand, big cabinet for TV/stereo/VCR, and a desk beside that for computer and books.

    All supplies, meds, etc are kept in the bathroom or in a closet. We got one of those 'pill minders' and once a week we put a week's supply of pills in each compartment, then he just has to keep out that day's supply. The rest of the meds are in a plastic bin in a drawer in a little plastic thingie we got at Target. This also holds all other meds, ointments, creams, etc; all urology supplies; and all wound care supplies. X-tra stuff is kept on the top shelves in the closet. He's got another little 'thingie' in the closet where we keep all the 'therapy' things he uses - splints, therabands, weights, etc.

    ? - Does he still need the hospital bed? Or is it something that's used more for convenience?

    Just some ideas, maybe you could modify for your situation. And - doesn't have to be major, life or death health issues we discuss here, girlfriend! Anything goes!

    _____________
    Tough times don't last - tough people do.

  5. #5
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    Ken and I went the hospital bed route plus a full for awhile. It was too crowded in the room (14x14). we now have two twin adjustable beds side by side, with a king cover. we have the beds like that because of the spasms he has some nights plus it is convenient for him to sit up and read etc. at night we pull up a hospital bedside table that has a touch lamp and a heat lamp on it. other than that, because of his level of break, the rest is where I need it. the post by marmalady covered the important stuff. the biggest improvement for Ken was the beds and the touch light. We have weaned off of a lot of stuff over the years. Ken only takes meds as needed which thankfully is infrequently.

  6. #6
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    Just remembered, after reading chick's post, bed, bath and beyond has cloth bedside pocket hanger thingies like you use in your car for magazines etc.

  7. #7
    Senior Member martha's Avatar
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    Chick, I'm sure you're right and there are things that he may consider mandatory that really aren't. He is very functional, but has trouble rolling over to reach things and for instance rolling over to reach down over the edge of the bed into a drawer. The idea is for him to be able to get what he might need in the middle of the night without me having to get up (so call me lazy) and similarly with dressing.

    Jackie, he's "only" T-3 complete but a fairly big guy and has arthritis so isn't as mobile as another T-3 might be. As I said, he doesn't roll easily and sitting from a prone position is virtually impossible for him without the help of being able to elevate the head of the bed. He also needs the hospital bed for elevating to dress and reach for things. Plus he sleeps with his head somewhat elevated.

    Stuff he thinks he needs within reach -- reading lamp, tv remote, telephone, two alarm clocks (set to different times for cathing and meds at night), water, cath kits, wet wipes, waste basket, reacher, mirror, regular meds (I keep trying to get him to use one of those organizers and we've tried some, but they just don't seem to fit the schedule or whatever), meds he uses sporadically as needed that wouldn't be in an organizer anyway, several creams, ointments, etc. that he has to use morning and night for different problems. I think that's everything except the grooming stuff.

    On the grooming situation, our house has very limited storage and closet space. His w/c won't fit into the dressing room so that isn't an option but I suppose I could come up with something so that things like Q-Tips and combs and brushes etc. wouldn't have to be right by the bed. I'll work on that.

    I know the higher injuries have it so much harder, but I still don't want to get up at midnight, 4 and 8 to fetch cath kits and meds, etc. Sorry if it sounds like whining -- wasn't meant to. Just extremely curious how everyone makes their house look like a regular home and still has room for all of the extraneous b.s. needed for this friggin' SCI.

    Even worse than me, he HATES the idea of the bedroom looking like a hospital room.

    Thanks for the ideas and help.

  8. #8
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    martha, god isn't all the equiptmnt storage a bitch? jim uses a hospital type bed also. for bedside i got the rolling three drawer carts at target, that way it can be close to bed, but i can move around for ease with cares. they might be a little low, but there are some that can stack. that was huge when i figured that out, and when we travel i just throw the whole things in the back of the van. one drawer- bowel supplies, one drawer-meds, etc. another thing that i thought of, but haven't gotten to yet is making a cloth thingie to hang over siderail with pocket for remote,etc. the constant search for storage and ready access can be frustrating, neccesitating at least one glass of wine per object! they should make mobiles with shelves. debra

  9. #9
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    oh, just thought of something--how about one of those lights that clamp on to desks, only clamp it to headboard instead, can adjust, i think they are called architects lites. make up cloth organizers with pockets for pill bottles, another for urinary supplies, they could lay next to him. velcro small travel alarms to headboard. once i settle jim in bed, he knows it has to be important to ake me, i could turn into a shrew!!! velcro really helps. at radio shack they have remote light switches pretty cheap-i put vecro on the back and put them in doorways,headboard.
    hey, i just learned how to do a paragraph indentation, wow!!!!! but resist capitals for some reason. for the night monitor we use just a baby monitor, and i hang it on a hook on the back of the headboard.

  10. #10
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    oh my god i'm on a roll!! how about those units that have multiple drawers, you could , whoops HE could set up one with night supplies and one with grooming supplies. each could be switched out on a overbed table. in fact you could put velcro on bottom of each to prevent it sliding off the table. he could set himself up befor he goes to bed and after he gets up switch it out.

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