Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What Does It Take To Make A Toothbrush Holder For An Old Quad?

Funny you should ask, because I want to tell you what happened to me today when I went to get my six-year-old toothbrush splint replaced as it was beginning to fall apart.

First of all, I was to be at the outpatient hand clinic in the 2800 Building of the Abbott Northwestern Hospital complex. My attendant, Danyell, parked right in front of the building. My instincts kicked in and I hurriedly rushed to the outpatient clinic in the Sister Kenny building. Where I was told I was in the wrong building and I had to go back to 2800. That clinic is for inpatient patients and the 2800 Building is for outpatient hand therapy.

My original appointment was set for 12 noon. I got to the clinic with about five minutes to spare. They got me checked in and quickly assigned me to Teresa who helped me form the basic splint. That is the black part of this following picture.

After almost an hour with Teresa and forming the basic splint, I went back to the correct clinic in the Sister Kenny building and re-met a longtime acquaintance, Christina. She and I went on a great Odyssey over the next few hours! We went to the Occupational Therapy Department I have been in as a patient and visitor for many years. Christina did what she could, but we ran into a problem with riveting the straps to the split. The therapy department no longer has the capability to rivet; so, I mentioned the idea of going down to the maintenance department and see if they could help us. Eureka, we were greeted by several SEIU Healthcare MN members who took us back into their woodshop to see if they could help us get the straps riveted onto the splint.

It was about 1:45 and one of them said they punched out at 2 o'clock. A couple of them said I'll go punch out, but I'll be right back. They looked in every box they could find for the exact rivet I needed. That is when Jim went and got his own little rivet gun box with the exact rivet and four union members stayed for another half hour to get my splints made to fit on the splint. When they finished, I thanked them profusely and Christina and I were off to her clinic to finish the project.

The finished product looks like this:

The image from the other side looks like this:

As always, click on the image to make it larger. I am not sure what the final cost of a split like this will be; however, I can assure you it is in the hundreds of dollars range if not more than a four-digit number!

We were running late and Danyell's shift was way past 2:30 PM. When I got to the van, she was patiently waiting for me, as it was now just about 3 o'clock. She asked me if my blood draw went okay? That is when it hit me, I needed to go back to the main hospital lab and get my blood drawn. I was so proud of myself and finally getting my work done for the day, I forgot I needed to get a blood draw because another infection is starting and my doctor wants to check all of my blood levels.

I got back to the van and it was almost 3:30! The problem was besides her running on overtime was I had an appointment with my friend Mike Ross at 2:30 to help me fix my computer. I finally was able to call him and he had been sitting in my driveway for the last half hour! We had a discussion about what was going on and he agreed to come by tomorrow or the next day when I am here. He is my savior when it comes to keeping my computer running. He has been ever since we were friends in college in Berkeley in the 1974-'75 school year.

Back to my original point in writing this post was to show how creative problem-solvers and people who are committed to their work get things done. All in all I had a fun day despite everything that took longer than expected! Writing this post even went longer than I expected.

I look forward to your comments.




Colleen,patrick said...

Well, sure glad you got it done anyway. Looks quite a bit bigger than the last one?..glad Danyell is do patientJust giving everyone fair warning . . . �� Many accounts are being hacked. The profile picture and your name are used to create a new face book account. And then they want your friends to add them, your friends think it's you and accept. From this moment, the pirates can write what they want under your name!
I want you to know I have NO plans to open a new account, so please do not agree to a 2nd invitation from me.
Copy this message on your wall so that all your friends will be warned.
Do not forward or press share. Hold your thumb down on the text until the word "copy" then paste to your status.DONT KNOW WHAT ALL THIS IS ABOUT---It just showed up!

Janet said...

Looks good! I know how complicated adapting equipment is. I have helped adapt many things for my students in my teaching career. When something is adapted and it works right it feels great!

Jean said...

Sounds like a full day Mike. Glad it all worked out. Hope the infection is no longer present.

Victoria Patrick said...

I'm really glad that people are using their brain power to come up with adaptations to meet different needs. But why do things like this have to cost so much? Glad you're able to brush your teeth more easily now.

Lisa said...

As usual I love your writing. I'm glad you got your new splint.

Bobbi said...

You ran into some pretty amazing people that day Mike.

Earl said...

And then there are those other health care pros, the nurses, who have to go on strike for reasonable benefits. That's just sad. Like the people you ran into, they to are the caring face of the health care system. Happy for you!