Category Archives: Wheelchair & Mobility Accessories

Some More New Life Hacks

I have added two more “workarounds” for my Firefly (wheelchair) – a cup holder and an iPad/phone holder.

IMG_2249I found out that – for some reason – these things “especially designed” for wheelchairs cost a damn fortune. And there’s almost no choice anyway. So I found alternatives.

The cup holder I found is for prams and pushchairs – it’s a Go Baby Grow cup holder for parents to put on their stroller/pram, and it comes with extra hooks to tie to your push/wheelchair, which are very handy. They were a fraction of the price of the only specific wheelchair cup holder I could find here, and I even got it on one of Amazon Lightening Sale deals.

It’s hot and cold drink safe, easy to put on, and having the extra hooks ended up being really quite useful, when tied to my back push-handles.

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IMG_2252There’s also my iPad/Phone holder: That was on a lightening deal and cost about 10% of what specially made wheelchair ones cost.

This is an iPad arm stand mainly made for tables, but can be utilised with a number of things… and in my case it’s also a wheelchair. I have it clamped to the front, on the side leg, and it doens’t really overbalance or anything when you’ve put it on properly.

It’s been great and makes a big difference to using my phone or iPad, both in the house and when out and about. It’s both out of the way, easily available, and makes the device easily usable. It’s a stable product and the clamp is easy to use and holds in-situ well. I’m very pleased with it, and its an excellent life hack for the wheelchair.

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Thinking outside the box is really important when it comes to living outside the normal rules and you have wheels instead of feet.

Annoyingly, it turns out that walking people make things for wheeling people, then greatly overcharge because they just can. Finding any alternatives can be hard – and sometimes there just aren’t any. But other times, there are a lot more options if you look elsewhere.

Keep an open mind and allow some innovation, and never think the status-quo is all there is out there… Learn to look beyond it and you can get some great ideas! 🙂


Reflex Runaway…

Coped with today by running away to Liverpool for the day.

How else does anyone cope with what happened?? I was in a tizz, all over the place, unable to cope, or even process, what just happened when that guy called to tell me the appointment had been cancelled and rescheduled… So my mother took me to Liverpool.

It’s a comfort zone for me – the closest I can get to feeling like I’m “home” without actually going all the way to London… I’m a City Mouse, and speciafically a London Mouse. I am lost without it. going to Liverpool is the closest I can get to it, and because its almost as familiar and comforting to me as London is, and has been a place of great comfort since I was a youngster, it was a sensible place to abscond to today.

img_0877This was the first time I had been out on a rather long excursion with my new chariot. She’s called Firefly, by the way… After the ship on the show of the same name. It did not start off well , but when we did finally manage to make it to the L1, it went Ok – until we had to leave, of course…

Liverpool city centre and the L1 is pretty wheelchair/ mobility friendly, and it was so easy to wheel around there in my new chair. I mainly went to Superdrug (I desperately need to dye my hair and needed hair dye…!), where I got some great lipstick shades from Maybeline, and to Lush to get my favourite healing foundation, Jackie Oates, and the most amazing shower gel, It’s Raining Men.

After a few minutes of looking at phones for my mother at Carphone Warhouse, we then head back to the L1 to meet with my sister. She’s not feeling too clever, at around five months pregnant and it’s maybe 20ºc outside… So she’s feeling the weight and size of the little Kitten inside her, bless her. We end up going to Pizza Express and eating there. I had gluten free vegan pizza (including artichokes, asparagus, red onion, and vegan cheese – it was so nice!) and a small glass of wine to help with the buzzing in my hands.

The weather was glorious, it was nice there, my sister was there, I was eating food in a restaurant that wasn’t going to half-kill me, and finally something good was happening on this day…!

Now all of that was a nice time. Then it all went weird again when we went back to the car and my mother attempted to pay. The machines wouldn’t work, and it took ages to get it sorted.  By this time it was 19:43 on my phone, and the place closed at 8:00pm.

Then when we got out we ended up going to wrong way, and eventually went back home via Speke (and John Lennon airport, where I saw no planes! 😲🙄) and Runcorn. On the journey, mam selected a way home I wasn’t comfortable with, so I got very aggitated, because of the state I was in, and I couldn’t stop being tizzy about the PIP appointment. It was now once again hanging over my head at a time it was supposed to have been over with and aggravating just about everything.

By the time I got home, I was in quite an aggitated state. After a couple of big panic attacks, and readjusting to being home, I decided to do my dance DVD to burn the anxiety of. Smile and Sway is a pretty fun DVD and it’s good for burning off steam whilst enjoying some good dancing, and interesting, fun moves. I felt better after doing this, and that was when I finally managed to get upstairs in a better mood, ready for tomorrow.

img_0879The physio is coming tomorrow (again). Apparently, they’re supposed to have some kind of “plan”… I don’t know what kind, or what I’ll be expected to do. Hopefully, I’ll also have a shower, so on Friday I can dye my hair (whilst watching the Wimbledon Men’s Finals as it’s brewing….!) – but we’ll have to see. What I do hope is there’s going to be something I can do to my legs, which just can’t move on their own, so they’re missing out on so much – it’s not like they can yoga and dance like the could do. And they miss it.

Hopefully, I’ll be up for it and be able to make the most of whatever she says I should to.

So, overall, it turned out pretty OK in the end… But it certainly wasn’t an easy one – and I’m so glad it’s over with now!


Great Expectations…?

I actually have real “Kid on Christmas Eve” type jitters… My new chair is coming tomorrow, and hopefully a whole new world of freedom to accompany it.

I do hope I’m not setting the bar too high for disappointment – it’s quite a common theme with me, after all. However, I suppose I should still hope without being actually bouncy-excited. There’s always that capacity for bad things to happen.

Instead, it will hopefully the start of being given another new chance to embrace opportunities old and new.

From something as simple as a trip to Tesco, to going on holiday somewhere, that chair is going to make a big difference in my life, will offer freedom. I’ll be able to do things and go places in it, and I’ll finally be able to move about and leave the house again.

The last 6 weeks or so has been torturous… and now the end is near. I haven’t slept all night last night, and I haven’t slept since (yet, at least) either. I presume I shall sleep tonight I, quite early. That whole Christmas Eve thing has been in my head since I was quite young – and I mean that idea that the faster you go to sleep, the faster it’s tomorrow. It works backwards too – not sleeping or falling asleep late makes a dreaded next day appear far away.

Well, when I wanted Santa to come I made a point to fall asleep quickly – being unconscious in sleep means that the next day appears only a second later. You wake up and there it is. You’re not at all aware of the 8 or so hours that bypassed during that time.

So that is what I hope to be implementing tonight, and I think that might happen because I’ve behaviourally done such things since I was a child.

I just hope it all goes well (knock on lots and lots of woods).

 

 

 


Better News

The weather is still terrible and the isobars continue to fall… and having checked the weather app, it appears this is expected to continue all the way into July.

Quite typical, really, considering the news I’ve been given today – you know, after the four days of hot weather and nice days we had…

I’m finally getting my chair on Friday (it’s Monday today) – Horrah! The nice lady who had been dealing with this even took the time to say how much she actually liked it (I put some interesting design choices on it) and that all the colours etc went really well and it looked great. So I’m hopeul I shall appreciate it for its practical and aesthetic reasons.

There is a long way to go still to stabilisation, but this is definitely a trophy chievement award along the way.

Three more days until Parole… 😋😎

 

 

 

 


What Am I…?


It feels like it has been a long time since I knew what it meant to be “me”.

What am I now? Not much, it seems.

Curiosity is lost. I have no desire to read or learn – because I just can no retain any information anymore. I feel exhausted just picking up my Kindle, magazines, or iPad for anything other than fooling around with it. I shouldn’t – and quite frankly, I’m not even sure why.

I am immobile and housebound. Under a required house-arrest because the off-the-rack wheelchair makes me so ill it’s insanity itself to even attempt to sit in it anymore.

My strange neuropathic paraesthesia / (numbed?) Fibromyalgia /  Hemiplegic Migraine thing going on, that no one can actually explain, keeps me prisoner in its claws – I can’t walk, sometimes barely crawl, my fingers don’t work very often, and I can feel so terrible (paraesthesia, spasms, feeling like I’ve been filled with cement, brain-fogged, unable to eat or move) that I simply can do nothing but stare at the TV. Not really watch it, just stare at it.

I am badly overweight and struggling to even move, let alone try to be any kind of active. I do try – a lot. But the windows of opportunities are so sporadic, they don’t really count. So I don’t get to do the things I love(d)much anymore – Pilates, Yoga, dancing. I do them as much as I can when I can, and it’s literally quite the relief to be able to do at least something, no matter what it is. Another part of my past that I can touch occasionally, and feel something that brings great comfort and familiarity. There aren’t many of those left now.

I have so little control over limbs and key muscles. There’s no diaphragm, no pelvic floor, very little use of my right leg at the best of times, and on occasion my right arm too. I can barely feel my tummy except in one space in the very centre. I can’t sing, have to use Gown-up Huggies (or lady-pants, as Tena likes to call them), and I am a slave to the weather and air pressure (check your isobars if you feel really rubbish – I just stop working once it dips below 1020mb, and I fall apart and can black out in 1015mb or less).

Dignity is gone. I quite often have to crawl, or worse, be reduced to attempting to “commando crawl” because my arms and legs dont work properly. I need help to clean myself, shower, brush my hair, change, go to the bathroom on bad days. And the Grown-Up Huggies don’t help, either.

I lost the ability to drive. I can no longer cook. I have a robot I was so excited to make sitting around in parts. I have courses I wanted to learn that have sat around gathering dust, after only managing a small handful of them before falling too ill to carry on. I can no longer go horse riding. The list of books and magazines that keep going unread hurt me deeply. I feel like I live in loss and missed opportunity, and it’s quite frankly heartbreaking.

My memory has gone, particularly STM (Short-Term Memory). The long term memory went a long time ago, and has never really returned. There are people, places, things, occurrences that I have no idea about. Today I forgot how a General Election worked when you went to vote. I’ve been voting since I was 18… I hate to count how many polling stations I’ve been to in the subsequent near two decades hence. I should have known it, but I did not. People tell me things and have conversations with me, and I have no idea ten seconds later that it even occurred, let alone what was said. I’ve given up being disturbed by that – it happens too often now… it’s another unfortunate “new norm”.

The small things can really get you. I feel really put out I can’t now go to the cinema, because I can’t use my chair – I’ve spent ages looking forward to seeing the new Wonder Woman movie for months, and now I can no longer go. I feel awful I cannot cook my own food. I can’t even make my own tea, and the hot water dispenser is actually in my room (because once upon I time I actually could).

My ability to play games is sporadic, and I don’t enjoy it half as much as I should, could or would without this rediculous situation that I find myself in. The same goes with conversing with my friends, almost entirely losing my ability to actually speak to anyone – because it’s contra-indicating my ASD something rotten. I can’t fixate on anything but fear anxiety now – so there is no room for my usual crazy obsession about Mass Effect and Dragon Age. This might break my heart more than anything else.

I keep asking myself “What can I do?”… But there doesn’t seem much on an answer. I can sit… sort of. That causes problems in and of itself. I can stare at the TV… which I hate. Sometimes I can hold a conversation. On rarer occasions it might even be intelligent. I sit here thinking… and I struggle to think of anything more. That does not make me feel very good at all…

 

 

I’m waiting – constantly waiting – for it to “get better”. It doesn’t get better. It never get better.

For some reason, so far it’s only become worse. I really wish it would stop doing that.

Right now, it’s just existing in limbo, waiting to see if a new, proper, chair might allow me to have some semblance of an existence, in being that I get some respite from my incarceration here, get some perspective in going some places where I can take myself along. There’s always hope, and I really do hope to god this time I get some respite from all this by being able to “walk” myself about, to go for a “walk”, to make it to places that I can’t go now. Certainly couldn’t go in that other chair.

I’m trying to do good in waiting for it. Trying to get stronger arms and core. It’s not going too well, because despite it being June, no one told the weather, and the isobars and temperatures are through the floor – and we’re being bombarded by gales, rain, and storms. Fun. So far, for the last two weeks, the isobars haven’t risen above maybe 1010 or 1015mb. Next Tuesday (it’s very early Friday morning right now) it threatens to get to at least 1021mb. Hopefully, this time, it’s telling the truth. The last time, it most certainly was not!

If this weather doesn’t improve neither will I. I will still do as much as I can, but it won’t be the same, because the extent it makes me feel utterly terrible to the point of passing out can render it impossible to do anything. It seems so rediculous to be enslaved by something so rediculous, but there it is.

I hope I shall get some sleep sometime tonight – it’s 4:06am and I feel too wired to be able to sleep. I don’t even know why – if I did, that at least would be a start! I guess as an Aspie, that kind of thing is probably always going to elude me, but I do try my best to work it out. I could be anxious – it’s general election night. Or it could come from the fact that mornings can be harrowing after disturbing dreams/nightmares and being awoken badly in the morning – frankly the last two days have been extremely traumatising (no, I’m not kidding nor over-playing it… more like the opposite), and I do not have it in me to even begin to deal with a third day of such things.

Of course, I might not be anxious. It might be from a lack of being able to expel energy, thus never feeling tired. It’s hard to expel energy when you can’t move. It might be from the “pain” – and by that I mean feeling the intense sensations of Paraesthesia, which may as well be pain. It hurts, I suppose, but in a very different way to before, or what I’ve ever been used to before. So I just call it “pain” because it’s a shorthand that other people can easily understand, more metaphorical than literal.

I think the problem is I honestly don’t know if it’s all of them, any of them, or none of them. I wish I did, so I could do something about it. As it stands, I have no idea how to help myself, which is really annoying.