Had a trip to the VA ER Friday due to bad abdominal pains and got a speeding ticket on the way. The officer feigned deafness to my plight and made me sit there twenty extra minutes as she wrote a huge ticket. I honestly thought I had an inflamed appendix and the docs thought the same until Xrays showed normal old constipation due to the rat poison I need to take for the blood clot. I felt foolish as all heck, but the nurse at the Union grove VA clinic is the one that told me to go. So feeling like hell all weekend and looking at a huge fine, I wasn't looking forward to much of a week, that's when I got the email.
"Hey Huck, we want to come over Tuesday night and install the hoist." Wow, great news. You guys know I use a chair and live alone. What you don't know is that this progressive problem has made me weaker due to the ongoing nerve damage, and that weakness has made getting back into my chair alone a pretty much impossible effort. I had an idea about the beginning of January to adapt an old parachute harness to a Harbor Freight hoist and make a personal lift. The VA had already shot down a lift in my house because I live alone and they demand a second person to operate it and the liftee to be wrapped in a lift harness like a cocoon. Can't have anyone being independent ya know. Gosh they made noises of the house needed a track from the bedroom to the bath and all sorts of foolishness with the end cost of several thousands of dollars. Foolishness.
My idea was to redo an old parachute harness so I could put it on alone, and then lift myself with the hoist control and up into my chair. The HF hoist ran 140 due to my friends thinking we needed something heavy duty. uh, I weigh 190, don't need something that will lift an automobile engine... But what the heck, let em run with it. Mary is a rigger and she dug out old hardware and designed the harness with grab handles on the clip fasteners so I can pop them fairly easily. Seth mounted the hoist tonight where I told him and WHAMMO! We have a launch! Total cost for all materials was $180.00. Naturally if I paid for labor, I'd have put out a lot more, but this is SWEET. So what is the latest the VA says? "Oh, no one has ever done this! Take lots of pictures there is a need and you could sell a lot of them." Uhhhhhhh right. I'll probably put it all out in the public domain and let someone with much deeper pockets claim the design. I never wanted to be rich or famous, just want to keep my quality of life up. With this new hoist and harness it has been raised a good deal.