05 May 2008

travel travel move move

MONDAY, MAY 05, 2008 04:00 PM, EDT
A ho-hum recount of travel, locaton, and living arrangements...

Sunday was travel day. It's 8-9h of driving to get from Carlinville to Detroit; add flat tire, stops for gas/food, and an hour lost to the change of time zones, and it becomes a solid day's journey. I watched Juno in the car. Weee. Arrival was about 10pm Eastern, and unpacking was another few hours.

The parents and I are staying in the international guest housing facility on the Detroit Medical Center campus (think a little apartment building, a little hotel). I don't have a camera handy, so here is a merely literal brief description of the place. We have a second-floor suite consisting of a bedroom, bathroom, and living room/kitchen separated by a little bar-ish counter deal. There are TVs in both main rooms, random furniture items, and a few closets strewn about. Both main rooms also have giant windows on the east wall. Though we were told it would not be, the bathroom is thoroughly accessible, aka "roll-in" - no dividers at all. Yay! Showers are nice. Overall, it's a slick little pad. Size is difficult to convey; if we use the length of a typical bed as our measurement, the living room and bedroom are a little less than two beds by two beds each, while the bath and kitchen area are a bit larger than one by one. For the Harriett-familiar, main rooms are slightly smaller than suite shared spaces, and bath and kitchen are each about the size of my HH bathroom. Ugh. Did I mention I have a hard time grasping spatial characteristics?

Almost every feature of the suite itself has been quite clearly designed with accessibility in mind. The bathroom is obvious: it's completely tiled minus the ceiling, there is a corner for the shower with a movable bench, it has bars on the wall all around... I can even get to the sink, albeit sideways. Elsewhere, the kitchen area is wheelchair-height, and the bar/counter/kitchen separator is low enough and only protrudes on one side. The most clever trick is placing an open closet in the bedroom by the bedroom <-> living room door, such that the door swings into the front of the closet, out of the way of chair travel. Unfortunately, there is still at least one obvious problem in accessible suite design - the main suite door is completely manual, cramped for space, and operated from the outside with a normal key. So, I still need someone to let me in or out. Oops!

The entire international guest housing building has nine floors. I don't know what the address is yet, but of course we get mail n such. There is a lounge on the first floor with vending machines and continental breakfast in the mornings. This lounge is also the keeper of our good friend, Mr. Wireless Internet. Mr. I is also reachable down the hall on the second floor. Thus, I am not connected in my room, but can be at any time without even leaving the floor. While this is not quite the 'net IV I long for, it is quite sufficient. To round it out, there are: some hotel-style services such as regular quasi-housekeeping, a lot of space for kids on the first floor (day care?), laundry somewhere in the building, and parking for residents right outside.

The Detroit Medical Center (DMC) campus area is enormous, intertwined with Wayne State University here in basically downtown Detroit. The Center for Spinal Cord Injury Recovery (CSCIR) is located on the second floor of the Brasza Outpatient and Fitness Center in the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM). Sounds fancy, possibly adventurous to get from home to therapy and back? Bah! It's maybe a block from housing to the RIM, and not even on the street. I love it. There are some big buildings on the way at least, but I don't have to romp through the city to go to therapy. It's eerily like going to class...

Descriptions of the CSCIR later. That's all here. Next up, first therapy session details.

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