A-Z Disability Challenge | W : Wheelchairs

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It is extremely difficult for me to talk about wheelchairs. Last year, the big contervesory was about the death of Stephan Hawking was announced, an artist made this beautiful drawing of him coming out of his wheelchair and basically walking up to heaven. As a disabled woman, I was very conflicted with this, but it wasn’t for the picture per se. It was because I felt like I had to choose between what I’ve always been taught and agreeing with the rest of the disability community.

The big deal wasn’t necessarily about the drawing itself, it was more about how a disabled person relies on their wheelchair to do things, like simple tasks around the house and/or getting out and having drinks with friends. However, everything just exploded into this chaotic thing that I really did not want to be part of at that time. Honestly, I still didn’t want to talk about it again on here, but I am on the letter “W” and there wasn’t anything else I could talk about other than this.

So, I’ll just say that my wheelchair doesn’t give me freedom. There it’s out and I can separate myself from the crap I’ve been feeling all this time.

I do think it allows me to do tasks better but I still feel stuck whenever I am in it. I really feel I am limited in both varieties of wheelchairs, as I’m either too short or too bulky! I have yet to find the perfect fit. Maybe this is what regular woman deal with picking out new heels! The second point I would like to get across is, it’s also all about your state of mind. I think after so long, you adapt to every different setting, and wheelchairs are a part of this too. You might get to do new or lose some beloved challenges while figuring out your surroundings.

Again, I have conflicting feelings about my freedom. I know I can never get away from my limitations. I say this not a sad note though, I like being able to test them anyways. I think this is really healthy! My family might not always agree with that statement, but you know. Honestly I would lastly like to say, I will believe what I want to. I have been doing pretty good on several other subjects throughout the years, I can add this onto the never ending list too! Even if that means keeping it in for a year and a half until I can find a clean way to discuss it on here, that’s what I’ll do.

If you’re in a wheelchair, whether that is full or part time, what are your thoughts on your freedom to be able do all the things you want to do? 

snowflake

A-Z Disability Challenge | Q&A

Howdy!

This post wasn’t really prepared the best. When I officially decided this was what I was going to do, I was overcome with dread because whenever I ask for questions like this, I don’t get anything on anything! This was the case for both Twitter and Instagram (which I figured!) but surprisingly on Facebook I got several interesting ones! They were only from two people but at least they gave me something for this post!

Questions Asked By Brittany:

How many people have you ran over with your wheelchair?

Since I’ve had three of them at different times in my life, I figured it was only right to do an estimate for all of them! Unfortunately, I actually haven’t used my red one a lot, so for once it’s at zero! I feel like once we have a porch and I can freely go places with it, that number will increase but hopefully not as much as the previous chairs because that is just embarrassing!

I was around four years old when I received my first wheelchair, “the purple one” as my family calls it. I used it for the majority of my childhood, until the age of 14 I think. So, I feel like the number is pretty big because I was a sassy little thing and loved to run people over. I’m thinking it might be over 30-40 people. The second was the ugly hot pink chair, which I had from the age 14 to 27, I don’t feel like I ran over a ton more but I feel like it’s no more than 30 people, because once I was out of school, I didn’t like doing it anymore.

How many times have you fallen out of your wheelchair?

Thankfully I have never fallen out of my power chairs before, but with these manual wheelchairs, it’s a totally different story! The chair with the most falls is one I like to call “death trap” because of the amount of times it’s not only scared me, but others who have had watch me fall out of it. Since last February I don’t use it as much unless I am getting my hair washed. Unfortunately, my dad and I can’t throw it into the dumpster yet!

Oh, and I have fallen out of it four or five times! The last few were semi-controlled, as my mom was in the process of transferring me but the brakes never locked so it would roll back a little if you weren’t careful!

Your favorite memory?

This is so difficult to answer because I have a lot of favorite memories, but the two that jumped out at me won out. The first one was of my sister and I being outside at our grandparent’s house when we were little and one of our favorite things to do at the time was dig in the dirt by the porch. For some reason our spot was always by the big tree and one day while we were digging for treasure that came with killing invaders by the technical names of ants and worms, we found this white thing. We seriously thought it was treasure until my nana pointed out that was part of the water sewer pipe to the house. After the discovery we were told to cover it back up and pick another spot. Unfortunately, we were never as lucky in other places as that one!

The next memory is a special one because in my family, we are mostly known for our eating and laughter, but one time while my Aunt Laurie and cousins Amy and Taylor came down from up north, we managed to get everyone involved with playing Frisbee. This had never happened before, but everybody but nana and I went out into the big part of the yard to toss the Frisbee back and forth to each other. It was so much fun to watch everyone risk life and limb basically to never letting it hit the ground! The only reason we stopped was because somebody got a little overzealous and threw it up a little high and it landed on top of the house!

What did you eat for breakfast? 

This was one of the most random question but I can’t leave it out, so I had a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles with a small amount of milk on top, along with a cup of milk with it too.

Questions Asked By Christine

Is there at least one or two inventions you wish you could have that made your life easier?

You know, I am always thinking of things of little inventions–it’s part of being half of my dad because he use to fix houses years ago, but I mostly try to come up with things that I can use around the house.

For example, I have this foam box that my nana got with her Meals On Wheels once a week a few years ago, and we kept two of them after realizing they were the perfect height and light enough to move around for me while in the wheelchair or on the bed. Ever since I have had thoughts about how to make this better, with using something I remember seeing in school, but I have always had hard time explaining the visions in my head so that’s why the majority of the stuff that I think about, stays in the back of my head!

Do you have the high and low of your experience(s) and how do you handle it?

I think everyone has experienced the highs and lows of things, especially ones you have no control over. You usually feel like everything is working against you, but I have learned that everything happens for a reason and God will guide you away or to things that may not make sense at the time but later will be a learning curve for you.

For the past two years, I have been using the “going with the flow” method and it has helped me out a lot with things like overthinking and the feeling of rejection. I think the best thing to remember when things don’t work out, it doesn’t mean that opportunity will never come knocking again. You just may not be ready for it right now. I have always said that I would never write for magazines but I have, because I found several places that talk about subjects that are close to me and that made me change my mind about doing it in the first place!

I hope you have enjoyed the post today and material given by both Brittany and Christine, and I want to say thank you to both of them for sending me really fun and interesting questions. If you have any more for me, leave a comment down below and I will try my best to get back to you soon!

Did I Watch The Winter Paralympics?

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Howdy!

First off, I wanted to ask how everyone is on this lovely morning? I hope you all are enjoying or have enjoyed your Monday, hopefully you had a good day overall. We are now in April, and spring is in the air, but just because our calendar says “spring” it doesn’t that the snow will suddenly go away! If you live in an area that has had these experiences in the month of April, you should know better!

I wanted to talk about something today, as you can tell from the banner above, we’re going to be discussing the Winter Paralympics, but before I answer the question, I wanted to ask if you got a chance to watch any of the sporting events? A family friend of mine had some issues finding a channel that was airing it on her television, so she ended up having to use Google Play to see it, but unfortunately they didn’t have closed captions so I don’t think she could really keep up with it as much. As far as I know, she was the only one close to me who showed some interest in it.

I don’t know who thought about scheduling the Paralympic games in March, but it was the worst idea ever! I knew that they were going to be airing the events back in December, but I also knew the Big East conference was going to start up too, and I also had to add in any of the professional basketball games that were on during those two weeks! As those coming weeks got closer, I realized I had to make a decision about whether or not to watch the Paralympics at all.

I didn’t think I would like it as much as the summer games. So I made a last minute decision and didn’t watch more than like ten minutes of both wheelchair curling and sled hockey. After watching all of the basketball games, I just wanted to have time in the afternoon to relax and if I wanted to watch anything, it could be one of my food shows or a Disney movie. Sometimes when I was actually sleeping good during the week, I was literally recording any of my games that came on at 10:30pm, because I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer!

So did you get to watch the Winter Olympics and/or Paralympics? If you did, could you tell me what were some of your favorite highlights? If this was your first time ever watching the Paralympic games, were you ever surprised by a certain event or athlete? 

snowflake

My Worst Fear

anne

Howdy!

Today’s post is going to be a little interesting. For most people, talking about their worst fears would probably be a bad thing, because of the backlash that could come from family members and/or friends who love to tease them about it at different gatherings and holidays. Honestly, I don’t blame them for wanting to keep quiet about it.

People usually are afraid of “little” things like the ones I mentioned in my fetish and phobia post last month, but I actually have a fear of something that is slowly but surely becoming a “great engineering feat” in the world. Are you confused yet? Let me walk (or in this case, roll) you back to when I was in elementary school in the late 90’s!

I want to say I was probably in second grade when all of my classmates were made to sit out in the middle of the gym floor (except me) while we watched a little movie. Now it wasn’t a cheerful Disney film or anything, this was an educational movie for us kids. I vaguely remember it talking about different careers and what the world would look like with all of the advancing technology people were learning at the time. Surprisingly, this was a very stimulating film for all of us, even if the adults had 80’s styled, big rimmed glasses and denim jumpsuits with big hair to match!

One of the things I actually do remember very well, was the “possibility” of self-driven cars. Now to every single one of my classmates and even some of the teachers, this was pretty cool! There was a scene of a man, seemingly driving this crappy looking orange vehicle with his knees and eating cheese burger with his hands. The car just knew where he wanted to go and it took him there without him ever needing to control the steering wheel and feet controls, and it absolutely terrified me! Funnily enough though, the first thing that everybody says when this pops up on the screen, is “Wow!” Meghan, this is something you could look forward to in the future!” I was both amazed and insulted at that comment, because at the time I wanted to be like everybody else and obviously nobody believed that I could drive my own car without needing all of that!

Now looking back years later and seeing Ford create a self parking car. My worst fears were realized whenever I’d see those commercials on my television, and I have to say it absolutely made me feel like I could throw up everytime it came on my TV and on YouTube!

I should probably explain why I’m afraid of these self-driving cars.

It actually goes back a little bit further in my childhood. I was invited to a birthday party, and the girl’s family lived out in the country and that afternoon as we were leaving, it began to pour down rain–eventually it had turned into a medium size thunderstorm! My mom put me in the car and buckled me in. She went back into the house to call my friend’s mom about how to get there and as it continued to rain down overhead. I seriously thought the car was moving without my mom being in it and pressing on the gas pedal. It was the worst situation I had been in and unfortunately, ever since it happened, I’ve had nightmares of being trapped in an empty car and I am usually rolling down hills or just down the street. Every four months, I have a similar dream of being stuck in a beloved family car without a way of getting out!

I’m getting closer and closer to my thirties and it never fails to me that I can still have that fear. My mom probably doesn’t even remember the incident. and hardly anybody in my family actually knows about this either. I’ve always felt that it’s a stupid little thing that why should I share it? In a way, I’m still asking it as I write this post, but I might get lucky (sorry for your sake!) that other people have the same fear. They might’ve experienced a similar thing during their childhood and it’s played a bigger role in their adult lives. I’ve always wondered if that has something to do with the fact that I’ve never wanted my driver’s licences. I tell people all the time that I can’t be trusted with a car because of my speeding record in my power wheelchair, but maybe this is the real reason for it. I don’t think we’ll ever know the truth about that, but it is an interesting theory to make I think.

So do you have any “weird” phobias that you’d like to share with me? What have you done to try to face and get over them completely?

snowflake

 

Battling Weight Issues As A Disabled Woman

Howdy!

I thought this topic was appropriate since everybody has decided on their new year resolutions. Most people put “lose weight” on their lists because it’s something that is important to them and if they’re tired of looking at themselves in a certain way, I believe everybody has the right to do something for themselves, it’s not a selfish decision at all. If they admit that it’s time then they should be able to take the whole twelve months to figure out how to lose the right amount of weight to make them happy!

My weight is another story though.

When I was busy having my surgeries years ago, it did become a bit of a struggle because I was so small. They wanted to bulk me up. I didn’t have to drink those disgusting protein “milkshakes” right away, the gap between my second and last surgery was pretty short, and I was really low on my weight so I think I had to drink two of these drinks a day for a week. Once I was home, I never had to drink another one of those again. However, when I was really sick my doctor recommended PediaSure because again, I would get very skinny because I wasn’t able to keep any food down. I think I tried both the chocolate and vanilla. Surprisingly, I liked the vanilla better! I’m hoping they taste better than what they did in the early 2000’s!

Now that I’m an adult and over 80lbs, I can get pretty down about my weight. I’ve never really had a problem with it though. It wasn’t until after I got out of high school, when I was being left out with my “friends” so I began to blame my weight and on top of that, my disability.

When somebody you love is attempting to lift you up out of bed or into the car and they grunt and grumble with every movement, it can get you down very easily. Every one of my family members has some sort of aliment. What’s interesting is that I don’t have the same strength I used to have before I had my surgeries. I used to be able to get on and off the bed without any help. I can still get myself down and we’ve learned to do pivot transfers which has been very helpful so hardly anybody has to really lift and/or carry me to an area. I think I’m scared of getting any bigger because I don’t want my legs to give out on me.

Now I know, it had nothing to do with my disability, but my weight is still at the forefront of my problems. I am noticing different areas. My waist and what my mom calls them “fat rolls” because I am constantly having issues with my pants, they’ll get twisted and pinch my skin underneath this patch of fat and skin. When you’re not able to untangle them yourself, and when it happens at night where everybody else is sleeping, you feel kind of hopeless. One of my least favorite places is my chin though. I definitely have a double chin and I absolutely hate it.

I’d like to find a balance in my weight, because I don’t want to be under 60 lbs and have a bad immune system. So there are a few things on Pinterest for people with disabilities to do in and out of their chairs and I wanted to include an example for yoga, so you can stay in your chair.

Chair yoga can be great for the disabled, but it's also wonderful for anyone who is not feeling quite up to a more challenging yoga routine that day.

And then of course you have YouTube, where you can visually watch somebody else doing it in front of you and you can make sure what you’re doing is right too. Honestly I think watching them on YT is better anyways, so you can feel comfortable with it, before you actually do it.

This is a four minute workout you can do.

And this one is a little longer workout that I liked too.

If you have a disability, what do you do as far as trying to lose weight? Do you have any good tips that you can share below?

snowflake