Tag Archives: wheelchair

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! 🙂


Physi-Oh… Lordy…No…

The isobars are on the floor again (1000mb tomorrow, and I’m feeling it…).

img_0896I’m wearing arthritic gloves just to type this. My hands are aching horribly (well, they’re crackling, buzzing and being mini-shocked, like their on that electic ball at the science museum, and “clawing”, but “aching” could be shorthand for it).

My legs are even weaker and buzzing and my back in on another planet of wrong – and my abdomen is in constant spasm.

So, in other words, it’s a normal day for crappy air-pressure day. Naturally.

However, what I had hoped for – when that damn physiotherapist finally turned up – was that I would be able to be taught how to help deal with it. To have massaging exercises, or movements, or just help to deal with these day.

You know what I did get? A frickin’ printout that I could (just about) manage 3 of from it. On a really good day. That were already incorporated into my usual practice on my (fun!) DVDs. They could have just saved her time (and damn salary) and just emailed it to me.

stupid-people-shut-upShe poked a couple of times at my leg, asked me to move whatever I could. Then promptly ignored everything I told her and gave me the most basic printout I think she could find, made for people who could move things. It was for stiff and weakened people, maybe older, maybe who have been a little bedridden. It was not suitable for what I had, which was something for perhapse lower-body paralysis or stroke or MS (which is everything that this emulates, and often all at once…). They clearly have nothing specific to Fibromyalgia or Hemiplegic Migraine. It seems they may not even have something for the others either, which is strange and confusing – and entirely unhelpful.

The worst thing is, if they had come when they were supposed to, six months ago, these may have actually been relevant… a little. But now, that ship really sailed. Off into the distance, beyond the horizon, and far, far away…

I’ve done more for myself – found actually appropriate exercise DVDs and a great YouTube yoga video – all of which are both helpful and fun, all from my chair, with some on the floor. I found better stretchy bands than they were going to give me. I have hand weights. I wanted help going further, going forward, with better things, more intensive things. But… no. Just stuff I’d already covered, if I could do it. God only knows what help people with even more debilitating conditions or paralysis get from these people, they just don’t seem to have a bloody clue.

I don’t know whether it’s severely OCD “Heath & Safety” rules that I don’t know about, or whether they’re just idiots, but they’re really not helpful. Just next time, don’t bother me and email the damn printouts instead…

About the only thing I got that was useful was that she confirmed that it was not safe for me to even attempt to walk (and oh, I am so not making that mistake again now…!) – which will be handy if the PIP thing gets awkward again (but I’m fairly sure there will be no lying this time, at least). Otherwise, I’m not sure what use they are to me…

Carry Me

 

 


Independent Struggles

Second day of stumbling around, attempting to survive on my own under these… unpleasant circumstances. You would think it would be better. Easier.

Yeh… It’s really not.

It’s been worse. Now I’m sitting here, in my chair in the lounge, watching Andy Murray, alone and cold, unable to reach the damned radiator and turn it on (there’s a table I can’t move in the way), wrapped up in my mother’s fluffy dressing gown, I’m regretting being alive…

I’m certainly regretting being ill.

It’s been a nightmare day, and it’s not even over yet… Althouth it feels like it’s been about a week already. I’m in turmoil and frankly traumatised as to how much of the downhill slope I’ve actually gone. This morning, as always, I woke up confused, disorientated, with the only conscious thought emerging of that I was supposed to eat my meds… which were not where they were supposed to be. I was distressed and in pain, barely able to move and yet still attempting to find the medication.

Then the dog starts going bananas because the postman is at the door and the bastard just won’t leave the package and go  so the dog with shut up.

Both of my legs were dead (I could manage some twitches with my left, though… score!) and I couldn’t barely even feel them. I couldn’t get up and the dog wouldn’t listen to me. I was distraught and confused, becoming more and more panicked as I tried to make the noise stop so I might at least find my meds.

My father finally made the dog stop. I finally found my meds. I struggled to take my tea and coffee left for me. My back was burning so much I could barely breathe through it, my hands were numb, and I just about managed to get myself up onto my elbow for the few seconds it took to drink each one. Such a fun start to the day…

I lay there, so upset at the fact it was so difficult to do such simple things as get up and drink tea/coffee, anguished at the confusion and disturbed perception of where I was and even who I was… I was also in a rediculous amount of pain in my back. For company, for something for my mind, I somehow managed to get the TV on, playing live shows over TVPlayer on Amazon Fire TV Stick. It helped. After about an hour or so, I realised I had to go to the bathroom – so at that point I was forced to do something about that.

Unable to really move my legs, I dragged myself up to sitting. I pushed my stuffed baby penguin and favourite little pillow into my canvas tote, added my phone and iPad, then proceeded to put it back around my neck and carry it, dragging myself along to the stairlift, and finally into my chair. I had to take a half-glass of wine to dull some of the pain/paraesthesia in my back, and I had another downstairs – I coulnd’t put oils on; I tried (numb hands and small bottles I can barely hold anyway do not mix, especially when sliding with oils).

At least I made it to the bathroom after that, anyway. That’s definitely something very important!

I managed to place myself in the living room. Watched On Demand TV and helped dog with his paralysing fear of overhead RAF planes going around, until 12pm when the tennis started and the dog was happy again.

So here I sit. Many, many, many hours later. Hands are funny – buzzing, numb-ish, tense, a little spasmy and cramping, with some electric shock-like pain. My back, upper legs and torso are all kinds of not OK, from the beginning of real spasms, to buzzing, to cramping, prickles, and burning. My lower legs and feet don’t really feel like they exist and are freezing to the touch (despite being wrapped in a fluffy dressing gown). I am unable to get dressed on my own, and I realise I left my big cardigan upstairs (not realising I would need it). So I remain cold. Borderline frozen. Just hoping I don’t actually die of hypothermia on contract frostbite whilst I’m down here…

I managed to not throw my food on the floor again, at least. It’s a start… But this day is just so hard… It makes me feel terrible that I just really can’t manage for myself. I’m glad I don’t have to do this tomorrow (my mam is off work), I would not be able to cope. I’m not coping now. My head aches, my muscles and bones ache. The isobars are all the way up, pretty much, so clearly having help makes a huge deal as well..  Even putting things out for me doesn’t really work – it’s not exactly being “independent”, is it?

The fatigue is overwhelming. Not having the correct “care” is hurting me and having a direct impact on my welfare: You know, you just don’t realise what a big impact that makes on you until it’s no longer there anymore! The “new” version of Fibro Flareup is hitting me again… and funnily enough, I don’t really appreciate that, either… Seriously, is this day really not over yet??

 

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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.