one step forward

August 7, 2011

Earlier this year, I went to the Nottingham Mobility Centre to be assessed for a wheelchair. I’ve been able to obtain my own chairs now for a couple of years, but never been able to have one that’s properly “fitted” for my size and weight etc.

At that appointment, I was flatly denied a powered chair, citing my lack of vision. This is totally backwards, as there are a number of people I know personally who have powered chairs and are successful with them.

On Monday, I went to the  Disabilities Living Centre with my Mobility Officer. The aim was to try out a power chair and use their training room to see if it could be done safely with no vision.

I should perhaps explain how it is I get about:

The first thing I do is put the breaks on, then flip the footplates out to the sides or take them off.

The second thing I do is flip up the cushion so it sits behind my back.

Then, I sit in the chair with my feet on the floor, put my right hand on one wheelrim  and stretch my long white cane out in front of me in my left hand. Next, I release the brakes,  and while pulling myself along with my feet, use  my right hand to provide extra power and direction, and explore my surroundings with the other.

I can use two hands to propel (both rims); but I’m not as steady I don’t think, and I also tire more easily.

Getting a wheelchair was the best thing  I could have done for myself.

I Was going for pretty much two hours, and by the end I was told I looked safer in the power chair than I did in  my manual one.

I am attempting to reign in my inner child, but its very hard work when all I want to do is stick up some fingers.

Now the next step is to see if there is actually any written guidance to say that a power chair user must pass a sight test in order to get one, and also whether this applies to ones you can buy yourself etc.

I really enjoyed the experience and can see myself rolling around my local area and in my house without much of a problem. I really think it will revolutionise the way I  move around.

I also want to speak to other wheelchair users with sight problems, to see how they manage.

This piece has been written over a couple of days, so I hope it flows ok.

Your comments will be really helpful to me, so if you are, or know someone who is a blind wheelchair user then please let me know.

another test

June 5, 2011

blimey what a change. I
m sittting here with the best keyboard I
ve seen in a long while on my lap. I can
t honestly remember if I said so last posting I made, no, actually I didnt. I now have an iPhone and its great. All the fun things others can do like play games, I can do them too. as well as healthstuff liketrack pain, etc. its now a hell of a lot easier. We’re doing a loot more cooking lately since we tarted having a few rehab sessions to help get our confidence back. I’m telling you, cooking’s a lot easier when you can whizz around your kitchen in a decent set of wheels.
I’m also getting the opportunity to scare this lady half to death experimenting with what I can do in my wheelchair: starting indoors and going from there. Actually, she’s really good, not scared too much at all . She just thinks things through and sugggets any improvements to my technique. Apart from this, not a lot’s happened. That’s all I have to report, unfortunately. Take care all.

Campaigners Convention

June 3, 2010

I’m glad to see that again this year the The Royal National Institute of Blind People is hosting another campaigners convention.It’s again being held at the www.abs.aston.ac.uk/conferenceaston/ , which is part of Aston University Next Saturday and Sunday, 12 and 13th June..

This was very helpful last year for networking with other campaigners in our region and for building skills to improve my own campaigning knowhow.

It’s just a shame there wasn’t more notice given for this one.

I’m quite excited as I haven’t been away anywhere in a while, and I love meeting new people.

I’m also going as a self-appointed representative of people with multiple disabilities.

I actually quite like travelling, despite my disabilities. I find it interesting to see how I cope with various obstacles. Sometimes while things are happening actually doing the obstacles ain’t all that rosy, but the experience is good and adds to my storehouse of knowledge, to hopefully help me to do the same things or similar ones better next time they crop up, and to help others who may be going through the same challenges as me, hopefully with less hardship than I did!

I’ll blog about it as things happen.

I’ll leave you with a bit of a mishap from last year’s convention.

I’m on growth hormone injections, which used to have to go in the fridge. Hence, I travelled with a couple of ice packs in the case with the drugs to keep them cool.

On arrival I asked for my icepacks to go in the freezer, which the staff duely did. However, when it dcame time to leave I asked for them and was told they couldn’t be found.

After a bit of a delay and much fuming on my part, the right person was summoned, the icepacks retrieved, my face returning to its usual shape from being in a permanent glare, and we got under way.

Suffice it to say, I’m glad I don’t need to keep my drugs in the fridge this time. I’m on a different preparation, which means I can just take the syringe out of its pack and use it.

No more icepacks!

It has to be said however that in all other cases, including finding a fridge for my room for storing said drugs,RNIB and Conference Centre staff really pulled out the stops for me.

I remember thinking that I should write the campaigns team a letter of thanks for all their help over the weekend, but as with a lot of my creative ideas they never go anywhere.

So this year, I will:

  1. rite up my notes in a timely manner
  2. not shy away from volunteering to do things for projects
  3. do things with a smile on my face.
  4. Keep things in perspective when considering me vs others.

That’s me about done for now folks.

Please do comment to let me know you’re reading.

Also, what would you like to see me cover?

What am I doing well, or not so well?

Note: I have a miscreant little tag that I can’t remove, so go ignore away.