What price dry feet?

We got a quote yesterday to extend the roof overhang on the house by 22 sq.m so that I can get Christopher’s wheelchair from the front door to the carport and back when it is raining without getting wet (or, when it has BEEN raining, without getting wet wheels).

Looks as though we are going to have to keep getting wet, and I am going to have to keep putting down towels in the house for wet tracks on the floor. Before I tell you the amount quoted, let me remind you that quadriplegia is expensive.

1. To go for a walk: $5,000 (Meywalk walker)
2. To get around the house: $5,000 (manual wheelchair)
3. To get in and out of the car to go for a drive: $26,000 (ramp modification)
4. To have a bath: $24,000 (ceiling hoist & raise/lower bathtub)
5. To be able to open your own front door: $9,000 (electric door)
6. To…well, you get the point.
7. And the Big One. To have someone hang about all the time to literally keep you alive: $40/hr every hour for however many years you want to keep on living after your father/carer shuffles off his mortal coil! (about $350,000 per year) I’d better not die.

I was embarrassed and felt guilty when we pursued litigation on Christopher’s behalf a few years ago following the admission by the hospital that his cerebral palsy was the result of their negligence. The amounts being claimed by his lawyers seemed obscene at first blush – millions of dollars? Surely not. After all, until that time, we had lived happily, and by careful choice, on the smell of an oily rag, and preferred it that way.
The amount decided upon by the court seemed nicely balanced and fair. Perhaps it was. All I know is, Christopher would need an amount orders of magnitude greater than you or I would to ever be considered comfortable, let alone rich.

Now, in order to enjoy the simple convenience of dry feet/wheels: $20,000

We will put up with wet feet/wheels.


~ by Garry on May 18, 2011.

5 Responses to “What price dry feet?”

  1. Garry how the hell can it cost $20000 to add that bit of roof to the existing area????? I think that the builder has too much work on and doesn’t want the job !!!!! Can you get some other quotes ? even from over here. My only regret is that I’ve passed the stage of DIY with the help of some friends. Sadly your listing of Christophers day to day expenses including yours, to enjoy what we take for granted is not widely known or understood . Our love as always to you all. LGG & Pa.

  2. well I don’t know. The builder has done work here before and I have always thought of him as honest. And he actually is looking for work at the moment. Part of the cost is for certification which I suppose is wise with roofing.

    I am trying to be ‘big’ about it because, after all it is only really a relatively minor inconvenience compared to other issues we deal with every day; on the other hand, nothing gets me in a worse mood than having to track through wet areas and into the house. With winter coming on things are drying out so I might be able to revisit the whole question next wet season and come up with a creative alternative.

  3. Who am I kidding? Lots of things get me into a bad mood these days. What is it? Male menopause? Am I just a grumpy old man? Or have I always been a grumpy old man? Don’t really know for sure, but I spend a fair chunk of my meagre energy these days lifting myself out of some funk or another.
    I seriously doubt that a 22sq. M. roof extension is the answer to that! 🙂

    • re a creative alternative.maybe when we drop in in June we can open a bottle of red or something and look at the possibility of nailing up a big tarp or a series of umbrellas. Just joking about the umbrella.Quite serious about the red. Always in our thoughts,LGG&Pa

  4. Well certainly a bottle of something smooth should help the creative process. I have begun to think about a less costly alternative for the roof – a bit more substantial than tarps but surely a lot less expensive.

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