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asthma, damp, wheelchairs, guide dog I think I need help/ I accidental taught my guide dog to work w

CharlotteN27CharlotteN27 Member Posts: 16 Connected
Okay so I need help. 
So we know I can't see Guide Dog Layla kinder gives that away. right?

well I also have asthma (really bad asthma) and a heart condition. (and a chest infection). the chest infection has damaged my lungs. (yay) and we keep worrying that if I get too high a fever I will need a valve in my heart replaced as it is already not working properly. (joy) 
so all this means that right now I can not really walk and breath for any length of time. in fact standing hurts my chest. this has meant in the past my blood oxygen gets so low while i cough that i faint. (joy) I get chest infections a lot. second one in three weeks. and this one is resistant to the first antibiotics I was given. (well... F***) 
So when I was in the hospital yesterday they put me in a wheel chair. This was fine as I have been in a wheel chair with layla walking next to me a few times now. Every single time she is amazing and acts as if nothing is wrong. turning with it smoothly and even judging gaps for our added width. I even felt her try and find the lift, doors, the desk etc. which would have gone better if the person driving did not stop before we could finish the turn. (also if they would not have driven me in to a wall twice!) the only thing she got confused by was when someone tried to wheel me backwards. 
What we found at the hospital is that my lungs have been damaged and need time to recover. 
The damp in my new flat is suspected to be the culprit for this chest infection. Waiting for the social housing people that own my flat to fix this or move me. but until then my lungs are not going to get much better. 
My doctor thinks I should reduce the number of days a week I work from 5 to 3. To let my lungs get some rest. 

So here is my question. Considering my breathing is getting worse and even with drugs and treatments it may not get better any time soon and considering the fact i am going slightly crazy sitting inside for more then a few hours. should I get a wheel chair so I am not house bound when I can not walk and breath? Should I enforce Layla's wheelchair work?
Or have I gone complacently mad as I have only been out to go to hospital for the last few days?
If so can I learn to use a self propelled wheel chair? (I live on my own so one that has to be pushed by someone ells is not a good idea). 
where would I get one from?
Dose any one have recommendations on what type of wheel chair?
I have a small flat so should I get one that folds?
how do I afford one with less money coming in?
what do I do about Layla's harness handle ?
we use a really long handle which is fine normally but yesterday it made her walk away from the wheelchair slightly. though it did stop her crabing (bending to the right when you want to go strait) so that is a plus as that had gotten really ad after she was attacked by a dog in august but since working her yesterday with the chair she stopped doing that completely as she could not do it with the chair. (not the Orthodox way of stopping this problem I know. )
should we just stick with the one we have as it sort of works or try and make/get an adapted on so she walks closer to the wheelchair again? (when I have been in a wheel chair with her just on the lead she gets closer to it) 

Replies

  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi @CharlotteN27,

    Lovely to meet you and Layla! Fabulous picture by the way.

    There's lots to consider here. I'm sorry about the deterioration in your health and that you've been advised to cut your working hours down. If you need to talk about benefit entitlements to help with your reduced hours I'm happy to look at this with you.
    With regards to your housing situation, it sounds awful that the damp is affecting you in this way. Has the housing association managed to establish what is causing the damp and how it can be fixed? I've known damp cases to take an incredibly long time to resolve, particularly in blocks of flats. Do you know if any of your neighbours are having problems with damp too? It's clear that the damp is impacting on your health quite a lot. Shelter has some really good information about damp and mould and what your landlord should be doing to investigate and repair the problem. If the problem is severe enough and it's impacting on your health to a dangerous extent then I would probably look to make a case that you're moved into alternative accommodation as a priority. What I would add though is that unless the property is assessed as a category one housing hazard, it can be really difficult to get a quick move. 

    You might benefit from having an Occupational Therapist's assessment at home too if you haven't already had one. 

    I'm not able to answer your questions relating to Layla but http://www.guidedogs.org.uk might be able to help you with this?

    I'm not an expert when it comes to types of wheelchairs either but hopefully someone will come along with some recommendations. There is also the option of a wheelchair being provided by the NHS and there's some good information about this on the NHS Choices website.

    I hope this has been a little bit helpful and I wish you and Layla all the very best!

    Best wishes
    Debbie
  • WheelyRachelWheelyRachel Member Posts: 67 Courageous
    Hello, sorry to hear all that is happing to you health and housing wise. 
    Re the dog I've an medical alert cross asstance dog and keep adding to her skills. So no it will not be an issue to have a dual trained dog. Speak to the charity your got your dog from I'm sure they can help you.

    for the wheelchair and being you've lung damage a manual chair might be to strenuous when out doors. You might want to consigned a power assistanced manual chair to make it easier when out side. 
    The motoability scheme will be able to advice you on this.
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