Sunday was a day of sorting more boxes, a task that seems to be going on forever. I swear that as I get to the end of a box the `bringer of stuff to sort` seems to magic more stuff. On the plus side though, we have managed to dispose of a lot of stuff that we no longer need and toys that are no longer played with, games consoles that are no longer used and clothes that the kids have grown out of. It really is incredible how much stuff you have that you don’t need when you sort through things. My Mother in Law came over and cooked us all a beautiful roast dinner. There is only her in her house and so she will not cook a roast just for herself, so she will invite us to her house or she comes to ours, a lovely traditional roast dinner with the family. That was the best bit about Sunday, the rest of the day was more sorting, I’m so going to miss it when all of the boxes are finished…..or not.
On Monday I started practicing getting on and off of a cot bed. I will be sleeping on one when I go away for Op Nightingale at the end of this week and so I thought best to see how I get on. I have been getting stronger over the last few months and feel now that I could be able to manage bigger transfers. We took the blocks out from the legs of the sofa that raise it up by six inches enabling me to use the sofa. The blocks are now used to raise the cot bed to a more manageable height for me. For the evening I decided to sleep on the cot bed to see how I would get on. Cot beds are not bad for comfort but I have to be careful of pressure sores and so I put a sleeping bag on the bed for me to sleep on, then I have a sheet which I lie on and also prevents the sleeping bag from moving off of the bed. Getting from the wheelchair to the bed is easy, if you lose control of the transfer you only fall as far as the bed so transferring from chair to bed is easy. Because I am closer to the floor on the cot bed than on my bed, it is easier for me to ready the bed for me to sleep. In no time at all I was laying down having covered myself with an unzipped sleeping bad and a blanket, now all that remained was to see if I would sleep OK.
I woke on Tuesday morning having had a fantastic nights sleep, (as did my Wife as she had the whole of our bed to herself!), the night had gone very well but now I needed to see how my normal daily routine would work out. Dressing was actually easier on the cot bed than on my bed. Because the cot bed is lower to the floor than my bed I am able to lean further forward without over balancing and risking my falling face first on to the floor. This makes putting my socks and shoes on a little easier. It is however much harder to roll around to pull my trousers up as it is not as wide as a normal bed, so there are pros and cons to both. In the evening Darren drove me over to TA, Gerry was not in and so I had to ask if Darren would mind, which he didn’t. After first parade I had to go and see the Doctor, the time had come for me to have a medical. The Doc and I went in to one of the rooms on the ground floor of the TA Centre to make it easier for me. With both of us in the room the Doc explained to me that questions would be asked for me to answer and that she would need to fill a form in. She then had to make some notes on me for a report. I had to tell her of the injuries that I had sustained as a result of my accident. I began to list the injuries giving the Doc time to write them down, I had not finished the list when she put her pen down, looked me in the eye and said “And how exactly are you still alive?” We continued with the rest of the medical interview and then she explained to me what would happen. I will have to sit a medical board in the future which is when I will be either kept but probably in a training role or medically discharged. It is out of my and my superiors hands now, it is the waiting game I am now playing until I receive orders to sit before the medical board, as long as it is sitting because I’m screwed if they want me to stand! I spent the rest of the evening making notes for more lesson plans for the recruit training. My aim now is to ensure there is structure in place, with lesson plans which will be labelled for each part of the training the recruits are on. This way, any senior rifleman or NCO will be able to go to the office and pull from the filing cabinet the relevant folder and revise the recruits on the lessons they have just covered. This is something that I will ensure is in place before my medical board in case I am discharged. At least if I succeed in putting this in place and I am discharged, the recruits, or Soldiers Under Training (SUT’s), will have planned revision covering the lessons and skills that they have learnt before the next part of their training. I want to try to have some of our SUT’s coming back to the Company at the end of their training having won the `Best recruit` award. I love my Company, I`m passionate about it being the best and that our SUT’s are the best they can be. This can only be achieved by teaching them in a way that they fully understand, by thinking outside of the box if needs be. To show them respect for turning up and continuing their training and gain their respect by teaching them well. Unless you put the time in to ensuring that they have revision that will really make them think, and practice so that they feel that they have done well then they will simply become bored and not continue their training, this then results in them returning their uniform and you lose a member. I want to make sure that this does not happen. It should keep me busy until my med board.