The only problem with the title of this blog is – as everyone with a mobility issue or who lives with someone with a mobility issue knows – love can’t lift you up where you belong. In Miss Z’s case, someone who loves her has instead been lugging her up a flight of stairs to where she belongs, and then back down the stairs again later.
We live in a “Queenslander” style house, which means it is raised up. Although previous owners have converted underneath into additional bedrooms and an office, most of the living space is upstairs. Until now, Miss Z has had her bedroom downstairs (to be close to us) but spends her days upstairs in the living areas of the house. This has meant that we need to carry her up and down stairs.
Miss Z is now 5 1/2 years old and weighs 23kg (50lbs) and no matter how much we love her, it is getting harder and harder to carry her up and down the stairs. And it is becoming less and less safe for everyone.
This comes as no surprise – we’ve known this day has been coming for a long time. Our initial hopes at a “quick fix” that might resolve the stair issue were a flop. After a lot of discussion (some of it quite emotional), a lot of advice from occupational therapists, builders and equipment providers, and a lot of planning, we have decided to install a small lift (elevator for those of you in the US). It will start in the garage and office closet and go up into what is now a walk-in wardrobe in our spare upstairs bedroom – which will be converted into Miss Z’s new bedroom.
Making major modifications to our house is both scary and exciting. Scary because it involves significant amounts of money and exciting because it could transform the way Miss Z accesses the house.
The lift is manufactured in Europe, so although we made the big decision to do it several months ago, it is only now arriving in Australia. In the coming weeks, construction is scheduled to start.
I will update the blog on our progress. However, in the meantime, please keep your fingers crossed for us!