To Blend or Not to Blend

For the past year I have been using a G-tube to supplement my food intake. I had it replaced last week and today I’m having some discomfort. While looking online for information about G-tubes I ran across several blogs and websites that talk about medical grade formula versus blending your own food. I’ve been using the medical grade formula for the past year, but I’ve been thinking about the possibility of blending the food of my regular diet. It would require a very sophisticated blender to make sure that the food is completely liquefied. Several people recommended vitamix only at smallflower. Whenever I choose to do, I’ll certainly need to invest in the right products as well as look for some great recipes.

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ADA Bathroom Fail

Last week I was out for dinner with my husband. There was a handicap accessible restroom in the building, although it was not part of the restaurant we were at. This restroom was for visitors to the shopping center. It was a single stall restroom for male or female use. It was roomy and had grab bars near the toilet and a wheelchair accessible sink. The only problem was the mirror positioned above the sink. As you can see from my photo the mirror is too high for a person seated in a wheelchair to see their face, let alone any other part of their body. I wonder who the genius is who thought this would actually be a wheelchair accessible height for the mirror?and look at those

supposedly handicap accessible bathroom

And just look at position of the soap dispenser and paper towels. Out of reach for many of us shorter wheelchair users. I guess architects and designers think that those of us in wheelchairs don’t need paper towels, soap or a quick view of our hair and makeup when we use the public restroom.

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Dog Days of August

Now that I have a dog of my own I am discovering the joys of the walk. Granted, I roll, but Henry walks. It’s just me and my doggie going down the sidewalk together. Unfortunately, it’s hot weather and muggy because it’s August in the Sonoran Desert, so our walks are rather short. In the months ahead when the cooler weather comes I’m hoping Henry and I can take longer walks together. Here is a snap of us yesterday on our way back home. We were both rather overwhelmed by the sultry afternoon.

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Toothbrush Solution for Weak Hands

When you have a progressive disability like Spinal Muscular Atrophy you lose your muscle strength little by little. As I’ve gotten older I’ve lost even more strength as the years go by. After my hospitalization with pneumonia last November I’ve noticed a major decrease in the strength in my right hand and arm. Things I used to be able to do by myself like brushing my teeth have become nearly impossible.

For years I have been using a Sonicare toothbrush to make it easier to keep my teeth clean. However, the past few months I’ve noticed it harder and harder to hold the toothbrush. I find that it’s just too heavy for me and I become fatigued from just the minimal effort it takes to hold the toothbrush in my mouth. Sometimes I just couldn’t do it at all and having someone else brush your teeth with a motorized device in your mouth can be quite painful.

A manual toothbrush is certainly lightweight by comparison, but requires more physical effort to actually clean the teeth. It just didn’t work for me. I began searching the Internet for an alternative device and came across a travel battery-operated sonic toothbrush.

It works fantastic for me! It only weighs about 2 ounces plus the weight of a AAA battery. It’s much smaller in diameter and therefore it easier to grip. I was able to use the toothbrush this morning and rejoiced in the independence I have regained in oral care.

It comes with two toothbrush heads and one AAA battery for about $15 altogether. A very affordable solution for me.

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My Success Enabler

Ever since I can remember I’ve always needed help to do things. Having been born with SMA, a motor neuron disorder, I never walked and could not do the things one does for oneself. My mother, like most mothers, was my caregiver from day one. As a baby she fed me and bathed me and changed my diapers. She carried me around or pushed me in the baby stroller. I never crawled and I never walked. When I became too big for the baby stroller she pushed me around in a child sized wheelchair.

As I went to grade school she continued to do all the things for me I could not do for myself. I succeeded in school despite the challenges of my physical limitations and those limitations placed on me by ignorant people. My mother enabled me to succeed because she made it possible for me to go to school every day, to play games with the neighbor kids, and to be a functioning member of the community.

Not only did my mother care for me, she also taught me about Jesus and showed me what it means to be a follower of Christ. Her faith in and love of God gave her the grace to care for me.

I graduated high school and went on to college where I earned a bachelors and masters degree. I could not have done any of those things without the daily help of my mother. I thank God for her! Yes, there were other people in my life who also enabled my success, but my mother was the one who took on the task of my daily care. She did it for 34 years. This Mother’s Day I want to acknowledge her as the best mother ever!

Get to know my mother, a talented and award-winning artist, through her blog.

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Chairs versus Pews

Ever since I can remember I have always attended church. My wheelchair is my seat wherever I go. If the worship seating is pews then I’m relegated to the end of the aisle. Sometimes that makes me feel like I stick out like a sore thumb. However, if the church has chairs instead of pews, then I can have a chair moved so that I can position my wheelchair in its place, and thus not be in the aisle.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people trip over me in the aisles. One time, many years ago, I remember being in an auditorium where a worship service was being held. (This wasn’t in a church, but rather a public auditorium.) The speaker invited people to come up to the front for prayer or something. Some man got up to come down the aisle behind me and as he walked past my wheelchair his jacket hem got caught on the joystick of my wheelchair. My eyes were closed in prayer and so I didn’t see what happened. The next thing I know I’m moving down the aisle with him. When his jacket finally comes loose from my chair, I tried to turn around and go back to my row, but I can’t because there are quite a few people behind me. I decided it was best just to stay put. Later that evening, my friends asked me why I was so eager to go out to the front of the auditorium. Everyone laughed when I explained to them what actually happened.

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