TOP THINGS I DO DIFFERENTLY
Let me guess if you're reading this as an "able bodied person" you may have had a time where you've seen a disabled person, what you can only assume is, struggling. While yes, this is sometimes the case. Sometimes, it can just be that the disabled individual has to do things slightly differently to your average Joe. Just because of the way their disability affects them. So I thought I'd create this blog post to show you what sort of things I do differently.
1: GETTING IN MY CAR
So the first one can think of is one you might of seen in one of my latest YouTube videos. This is the way I get in and out of my car. If you haven't seen it I'll give you a brief summary. I essentially have to slide my drivers seat all the way back. Then pull my walking frame across me. Put it up. Then walk round to the boot and pull my wheelchair out and the reverse on the way back.
2: GETTING DRESSED
Another thing I do differently is the way I get changed into clothes and shoes. I'm not sure if you guys know this, but I also have fused elbows which means I can't supernate my wrists and I can't fully extend my arms. Because of this, I can't put trousers or shoes on without a little bit of help. So, I use a litter picker to help me pull my trousers onto my feet. As for shoes unfortunately I still haven't worked out a way of putting my shoes on due to not having great flexibility, thanks to my CP, but I am able to take shoes off with the help of an extended shoe horn.
One of the other things I do slightly differently is the way I navigate the kitchen when cooking. Now this one gets me a lot of questions. People always assume that because I'm a wheelchair user I can't cook or I find it difficult to work in the kitchen. Well it is something I've had to adapt to but it isn't difficult and, actually, when my parents are away and it's just me and Gina, I do the majority of the cooking. How do I do this? I hear you ask. Well when moving around the kitchen or in fact the whole house. I have what I call a house wheelchair which is just a basic wheelchair that we bought online. So when I'm in the kitchen I tend to wheel up to the fridge or shelf that I require then lean against the worktop to get what I need and then continue to lean against the worktop when cutting chopping or mixing anything that I'm making. This also works the same way when I'm making a hot drink. I also have a cup holder attached to my wheelchair which allows me to carry drinks to and from the kitchen. However, when I'm making a group of drinks I tend to just get other people to grab them because it's quicker and, to be honest, I can't be bothered.
The final thing I can think of that I do slightly differently is washing and cleaning myself. now in the grand scheme of things I don't do this to differently to your average Joe. However, I do have a wet room as an ensuite bathroom in my bedroom. To use this I take my walking frame into the shower, face it against the wall next to the shower head turn around and lean against a bare wall. Therefore, propping myself up against the wall and using my frame for occasional balance. This means that my hands are fully free to allow me to wash myself. Another little difference I have when using the shower is I use an extended shower puff or loofer, whatever you want to call it. But other than that it's relatively straightforward.
So there you have it. Yes I have to do things differently, and yes sometimes I look quite odd doing them!
Hopefully this may have given some you inspiration if you're struggling with how to achieve everyday tasks.
Don’t let your wheels hold you back.