You've probably heard the Premier Care Walk-in Bath commercial on television, and how it helped a man named Jim to regain his dignity.
The commercial shows a white-haired woman assisting her elderly husband, Jim, out of a car, up the stairs and, later, out of a bathtub. She says, "When Jim's mobility became so restricted, I could help him with a lot of things, but what I couldn't help him regain was his dignity. He wanted to be able to do everything himself, like getting in and out of the bathtub. That's when Jim's physical therapist recommended a Premier Care Walk-in Bath." In all three scenes, Jim is leaning heavily on his wife for support, as if his legs can barely hold him up.
But when Jim's wife buys him a Premier Care Walk-in Bathtub, he suddenly becomes fully mobile, stepping into the tub like a 20 year-old, which is quite a miraculous recovery, in my opinion.
The commercial ends with both of them smiling into the camera, and she says, "Thank you, Premier Care. Your walk-in bath was just what we needed."
I heard the storm raging outside before Len opened the front door to leave for work at 6 o'clock. There was no yard light to illuminate the front stoop and driveway, because the last storm ripped it right out of its socket and dashed it to pieces. Consequently, it was pitch-dark when Len opened the door; he had a travel mug of steaming tea in one hand and his briefcase in the other.
Seconds later, I was folding a blanket when I heard a thump and a shout outside. I opened the front storm door and felt a spray of sleet hit my face. The wind yanked at the door and the ice crackled under my sock feet. "Len?" I called into the darkness.
A groan issued from the bottom of the steps.
"Where are you?" I stepped out, pushed the storm door shut behind me, felt the freezing wind and sleet on my bare arms, and grasped the stair rail, which was sheathed in ice. I guessed he had to be down there somewhere, but he was wearing black pants, black boots, a black parka, a black cap, and he was carrying a black briefcase. I found him at the bottom, wrapped around the newel post, his travel mug still clasped in his hand, a froth of tea oozing from under the lid.
"Are you all right? Are you injured?" (Why do people ask such foolish questions when someone is hurt?) His only reply was a groan. Meanwhile, the wind and sleet rippled under my short-sleeved blouse, and my sock feet were sticking to the ice. If it weren't for the adrenaline, I might have thought it was cold.
"Let me lie still a minute," he moaned, so I crawled around in search of his briefcase and found it in a snow bank. He managed to get to his knees and pull himself up. When he was able to stand, I handed him the briefcase and the tea, opened the car door, and helped him into the car. "When you back up," I directed, "give her plenty of gas, there's a snowdrift behind the car."
Last I saw, there were two headlight beams stabbing the darkness as he drove away. It was 6 a.m.
We ordered a bathtub recently, but it isn't a Premier Care. It's a complete unit: floor to ceiling, but comes in three pieces to facilitate installation. It has integrated shelves, a towel bar, textured bottom and a roof cap. We didn't intend to install it right away, but the washing machine, which is in the bathroom, sprang a leak and had to be taken to the basement for repair. Once the washing machine was out of the way, it seemed only right to install the new tub while the plumbing was exposed.
It took a lot more work to install the new tub than it took to remove the steel, harvest-gold tub Maysie Decker must have had installed four decades ago. As far as I'm concerned, the unit's brand new appearance (with its new brushed nickel faucets) is every bit as nice as the Premier Care Walk-in; probably more so.
With Len's mobility suddenly so restricted because of his fall, he still wants to be able to do everything himself, like getting in and out of the bathtub. So I'm hoping next time he steps into our new integrated bathroom unit, he'll enjoy the same miraculous return to mobility that Jim did when he stepped into the Premier Care tub. After all, it's all about regaining his dignity.