Reachers…

July 12, 2008 at 10:59 AM (Assistive Technology) ()

No, its not all about reachers as a great piece of assistive technology that some with impairments (myself included) and the elderly use to grab and grasp and things they cannot get to otherwise….

It is about another kind of assister, more about Lee Child, and the most addictive thriller series of books I have come across (thanks to a coworker generous with her books)

Lee Child’s ex military drifter Reacher has almost nothing in common with The Fugitive television show and Richard Kimble. Unlike Kimble he feels a bit confined by owning things, living in a permanent home or having a girlfriend that, however flexible, is more drawn to having a space to call home than he is.

Reacher is obvious about loving being a loner. His most longtime possession appears to be a toothbrush…and he buys clothes in every new town….(what he does for eating, clothing and shelter money is a mystery because we almost never see his day job when he isn’t being begged by some arm of government or other, or simply falls into a trouble spot…to remedy the situation, find the bad guy share a brief romance with an equally tough woman….

His moral compass is pretty straightforward even if his methods for getting the job done often come close to matching the bad guys for brutality. (You have to have some corner of yourself that is consistently bloody-minded, I think, not to have that part bother you)

The plotting is tight, the twists annoyingly difficult to figure ahead, even *after* you’ve read three or so and come to know Child’s style.

So between figuring out how to use the new washer (I haven’t done laundry for myself in some time, and have forgotten a few things) and helping to orchestrate gradually moving things from the old place to the new one…

That’s what I’ve done in between.

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Sometimes I wish I didn’t know…

September 8, 2007 at 7:16 AM (Assistive Technology) (, )

Since beginning blogging and becoming more political and more activist in my thinking, and changing from crutches to a chair/scooter mode, a downside has occurred.

In public, I now notice more of the unconscious “make them go away,” “I could never live like that,” *physical aversion* and the pity stare. (In my case, some of that probably has to do with being fat as well)

Half of that is not an actual increase, I am just understanding certain cues more fully.

And the other half, is that “Wheelchair Prison” Telethon nonsense so many have written about….

That attitude is nowhere near gone, in fact it gets a fresh coat of paint every September in the U.S.

These aren’t the overtly evil people who consciously block one’s goals with a studied arrogance… “Who are you to think you could do something like that?” sort of attitude. Just ordinary people….

Like so many other disability rights folks that I’ve read about, or read their work…

Making that transition meant I would no longer tire after three minutes on my feet. I would have fewer asthma attacks. I could visit some huge venue for this and that *spend the day* and not be tired….

I can carry things around my small apartment and drop fewer…

Work is less stressing because during certain parts of the day, I am not on my feet at all…

It’s a *relief* …. not a bad thing….

Sometimes I think the people who “worry about” me, or others like me who have made this transition….hurt themselves more by having anxious discussions in the corner, wasting all that time fretting, while we could be going out and hanging out together instead….

Doesn’t seem like a very productive use of one’s time….

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Sudden shift in the PCA Paradigm

August 18, 2007 at 4:29 PM (Assistive Technology, Caregivers, Employment)

The roomate, stressed to an insane limit by the Denver blizzards this last winter (having to work ten and twelve hour shifts in an industry that’s transportation related)

….Took up smoking during those blizzards… after a ten year hiatus.  They already have  severe asthma.  Roomate quit in July again….

The roomate has been the de facto PCA around imfunnytoo’s house for the last seven or so years….

A sudden, drastic reduction in their lung function means that the things that are beyond me, are now (mostly) beyond them as well…so I’m going to have to fork up for cleaning (which is fine)

and figure out a way to do laundry myself…(which due to layout of the place can prove a bit much.)

Could be temporary, could be permanent.

I’m in that place that a lot of people with impairments with jobs also find themselves…Income too high to get a paid pca, …

The roomate on oxygen 24/7 can still work, and still drive (yay.) But that’s about it.

Can’t move out of this place until 2008 in August…(for something smaller and slightly less expensive)

Not a sympathy grabber.  I’m just trying to figure out
how to handle this…

Well, actually no.  I’ll rant a minute.

Conservatives *want* us to work.  They would rather not fork up for impairments if at all possible. (I mean good grief, they aren’t even really paying for what’s needed for the physical and mental struggles  of the soldiers *they* sent to Iraq, )

so the rest of us who have impairments that have nothing to do with the cost of doing business, I mean um, fighting a war…  We’re really in the soup.

But those things that would *support* the continuation of working…that would help the ones that *have* jobs keep them, as well as help those who are seeking to work find some

….Exist for the rich who can have a *staff* (even the “upper middle class” have “someone come in” to housekeep sometimes…

And if you’re on disability, programs exist on paper, but can be incredibly difficult to maintain and are subject to abuses, theft of your stuff…pca’s that are stupid, neglectful or downright dangerous….

There’s never been a good answer.

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Freedom

July 16, 2007 at 6:11 PM (Assistive Technology, Assumptions) (, , , )

The able just don’t get it sometimes…or even most of the time depending on their level of exposure to those with impairments.

Using the manual chair and the scooter is not (at least for now) increased captivity or imprinsonment.

it is Freedom.

Freedom from (most) falling.

Combined with a paratranisit van, it also means Freedom from concern over how to walk over ice…or snow…

Freedom from fatigue from walking too far, standing too long…

Freedom from not being able to carry things

Freedom from being the person who always moved the slowest.

Reduction in joint stress, arthritis symptoms.

Freedom to explore large accessible venues (concerts, malls, parks, etc etc etc…for as long as the batteries hold out *without fatigue.*) That is a marvel.

If anyone is out there who has come to the point where it’s darn well time to take a seat.

I hope that eventually they come to see it as freeing rather than confining…

(now if it’s a manual, and someone has to help push….there’s always that negotiation which, I am aware can be a pain in the ***. “She’s lazy. She just wants to be pushed around and do nothing for herself…” Just no.)

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Imfunny2, Gym Rat

July 1, 2007 at 11:10 AM (Adaptive Exersize, Assistive Technology) ()

I don’t usually peddle product on this blog.

However,

If U.S and Canadian readers have some upper and/or lower body mobility, and have wanted to exersize, but haven’t found the right thing… bug your local gym, or community center, or medical center to purchase the item below…or save up to purchase one for home use…

I’m finding it a bit hilarious. I have become a gym rat….

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t and won’t go to a gym. Public display of my size and general lack of fitness is not something I’ll do. And my lack of shape means I’m nowhere near up to 20 minutes of aerobics a day…I am working up to that.

I’ve founda piece of exersize tech that appears to work for me. For me personally, I was not going to get into fitness unless and until it did not come with the price of other people gawking at me. The roomate bought the thing for herself, and it also ended up working for me….

It’s a chair built to support my present weight (actually it supports up to 110 pounds *over* my present weight.) The chair comes with a cycling attachment and some resistance handles.

I have to use the cycler as one might use equipment that works the legs in steps because the angle of the thing does not yet permit me to use it as a bike…I also detach it and use it as a table cycle….and then do the resistance stuff every other day…

if the link still doesn’t work, go to:

http://www.continuingfitness.com

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