Fighting Dystonia, Chronic Lyme Disease & EDS Type 3… any questions?

Posts tagged ‘independence’

Wheelchair Outings

Over the last few weeks several of my consultants have advised me to stick to bedrest and insisted I use my wheelchair if I choose to go out. With most of my recent trips out mainly being hospital appointments, this wasn’t too hard, and so I didn’t get too worked up about it. I will always be the first to admit that I’m not great at being in a wheelchair, it’s not the lack of independence that bothers me (as the whole point of the chair is countering how dependent on others I am), no my issue comes from trusting no-one, including myself, of being in charge of a wheelchair

These issues come from within, and anyone who has paid witness to my attempts to push myself will agree, I am awful. Spatial awareness and coordination are key components when nailing the art of wheelchair driving; skills I am lacking in. I am surprised shopkeepers don’t barricade the doors when they see me coming so as to preserve their stock. The most impressive incident was in New Look around 3 years ago, the domino’s effect I caused in the sale aisles was comedy gold. Due to my interesting wheelchair skills, I tend to presume that those pushing me will be just as awful as myself, resulting in many ‘please don’t kill me’ panicked expressions whenever they dare to venture near a curb! In my opinion wheelchair driving lessons should be part of the deal when being prescribed one.

Yesterday Damon and I moved into our first home together, so decided to take a trip into town this afternoon to pick up the odd household supply. We’re very lucky that the area we live in is rather flat, it couldn’t be more perfect, this means that I’ll be able to get out and about even when my conditions are severe, which is something that previously would have been impossible. Damon’s quite adept with the wheelchair (we’ve yet to crash in to anything), but that didn’t stop me from pulling hilarious terrified expressions repeatedly whilst we were out today.

 

Happily away from any curbs…reenactment of curb fears

When I was first prescribed my chair, although it provided me with freedom, I found accepting that I needed it hard. In my eyes, it was a reminder of what I was unable to do. Now when I look at it I automatically smile, my fear of it always provides so much laughter, and it enables me to do every day activities, something that I’m extremely grateful for.

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Empowerment & Independance

Independence has been a big issue for me ever since Dystonia hit me. I went from living at uni and being very independent to moving back into my family home and relying on my family to do everything for me. Simple things like just going to get a drink or going to talk to a member of my family in the other room became impossible tasks. To get around my house I relied on my parents to put me in a wheelchair and wheel me round. I often found and sometimes still do, that I push myself too far in my attempts to do things for myself and end up causing more spasms, however this never bothered me as I still get that sense of achievement by accomplishing the task.

In the beginning simple things like that fact I could dress myself and do my own hair and makeup were enough for me, as even though they were hard I managed to do them without any help. Sometimes this meant it took hours but I  loved it. Over the months though my desire for more independance built up. I managed to fulfill this desire once a week by riding, where I was in complete control of both body and horse.

Recently though I have been trying to explore ways where I could expand my independance without risking setting off more spasms. At first I was drawing blanks, then it hit me! I could bum shuffle! For those of you who are unfamiliar with bum shuffling it is when you sit on the floor and move using your legs and hips to pull you along, it takes awhile but it gets the job done.

This simple technique has left me thrilled. There are still moments where I need to be in a wheelchair as my spasms are bad and I am simply not well enough to do it, but the majority of the time I am able to. Things like going into the living to watch TV with my family or have a gossip are now so much easier.

Last year I felt like it was the end on the world and that Dystonia was consuming every aspect of my life. Now I am an empowered determined fighter, craftly finding ways to get around the Dystonia.  One day I shall be completely free!

A Bit Of Retail Therapy!

Today has been the highlight of my week and has distracted me from the new issues with my leg. My mum and step-dad took me out clothes shopping, which meant that I also got to push myself in my new wheelchair!  I knew that trying on clothes and pushing myself would be exhausting, so I made sure that I paid extra attention to my right hand, so that I did not do too much and cause it to spasm.

All in all  it was a rather successful day out! I managed to get some jeans and some lovely new tops, and I managed to push myself for longer than I had expected. From time to time my mum did have to remind me not to over do, I think I got a bit carried away with having some independence 🙂 In total I think I managed to push myself for about 40 mins!!!! This was a lot longer than I had expected. When I went out in my chair briefly the other day, I only managed about 20 mins, so this was a huge improvement!! It was a tiring but fantastic day!

I am going to go and see my Doctor this week, and see if he can suggest any medication that will help with the tremor in my right leg and talk about my ideas with him, and get his views on it all. I am also going to write an email to my consultant explaining to him the change in my leg and how it is affecting me and getting his advice on what to do about it, I shall also inform him of my ideas for treating my leg and get his opinion on that as well.

Today was exactly what I needed, some laughter, retail therapy and some independence. It helped me refocus my mind on everything, and see that although my leg is bad and making things really rather difficult, it is not the end of the world. I can still go out and laugh and shop like anyone else, the only difference is that I get to sit on a comfy cushion and attempt to tone my arms by pushing myself along at the same time!

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