>The thing with dealing with Emma’s, especially us crippled Emma’s, is that sometimes we like to have falls.
Falls when transferring are particularly popular and a not uncommon subcategory of that type of fall is the one where the Emma lands on the footplates of the wheelchair. Sometimes this is due to missing the seat of the wheelchair, other times its a simple loss of balance/trip/whatever and hit the ground or similar fall. Either circumstance has the same results. When this happens with the Quickie manual wheelchair this causes particular problems due to the presence of ankle straps on the footplates. This is due to the bolt/screw/thing thats a bit spike like which holds the inside edge of the strap in place and seriously adds to the “ow” factor when landed on.
When an Emma has a fall it is necessary to get them up again. Most Emma’s have learnt how to do this without help or with minimal help only. Thus, the main instructions fall into two possibilities.
If the Emma is conscious and talking await instructions and then most importantly follow them. This may require a period of calming down if the Emma is crying as can occasionally occur. Again, many Emma’s have learnt to deal with the situation before having an emotional reaction but this is not always possible.
Instructions given may not appear to make sense to you however trying to do other than as asked can and usually will make the situation worse. It also causes frustration in the Emma which isn’t a pretty sight.
Emmas generally find it useful if someone checks on them approximately five minutes after the situation is resolved. The “Do then deal” mentality they have learned means that an opportunity to stop being the strong one should they need it and have someone to lean on emotionally is very useful at this time. A hug may be administered at this point too should it be needed.
Should the Emma be unconscious or otherwise first aid or an ambulance should be arranged. Also should there be a lot of blood an ambulance should be arranged which may be contrary to the given instructions. This is the only circumstance in which the instructions given by the Emma can be ignored safely.
I fell at sailing tonight and although I am able to get myself up and talk others through what they need to do to help me it was difficult as my instructions confused others. Basically I landed on my footplate and said I would pull myself up on my arms but would need someone to move my chair out from under me at that time. They preferred to try to move it more under me and try to get me back in that way. They were worried I’d get wet (we were at the edge of the water). Which actually was the last thing on my mind – I had to get up off the ground and I was already wet enough that I was planning to change. I really wished at that point that they’d been given an instruction sheet on “How to help an Emma up off of the floor”
The way I get myself up is to get on the ground, roll so I’m lying on my front then move to all fours and with someone steadying my wheelchair if available move my arms from the ground to the seat of my chair then pull/push myself to my feet and twist so I’m the right way round then sit.
When I was younger I could do the same thing without a piece of furniture to help. I learned to do that when I was about four and at nursery school. I’m told that I was so excited that the next time I saw my physio was at nursery and I told her “I’ve learnt to pick myself up” and immediately threw myself on the floor to show her.