For me, a significant adjustment in transitioning from a walking to non-standing person has been the need to incorporate a multitude of devices and techniques to enable me to live my life.
I’ve chosen my words very carefully there because, whilst I have not always embraced enabling assistance with a welcoming smile – becoming ill and disabled in mid-life didn’t make me happy? Big surprise – equipment and adaptation are enabling me to live a life rather than be entirely bed and house bound.
In this, the Lifestyle section of my blog, I write about the the equipment I use and the adaptations I’ve made to enable my life. I also discuss the difficulties I’ve had in doing this and the obstacles that, thus far, I’ve not been able to overcome which continue to disable me.
Pragmatically, an unwelcome reality of mid-life chronic illness transition, from able-bodied to disabled, has been to fail in getting what I ideally want, to be ‘forced’ to change how I function and to have to learn new ways of doing things when I really don’t want to. An uncomfortable and challenging experience for any formerly ‘in-control’ adult, no? I think it may be the ‘forced’ aspect that is so galling.
I am generally fairly receptive to change but, through my experience of struggle and compromise with re-enablement, I’ve realised how extraordinarily difficult it is – more emotionally than physically – to make unwelcome changes to a lifestyle that has been shaped, lived and loved: a lifestyle which I felt to be an essential part of what made me: ‘me’. Where enforced change has felt like a diminution of ‘me’.
So, my new lifestyle challenge has been to accept, adapt and live my massively changed life without feeling ‘less’ than who I am. To create a lifestyle that incorporates my ‘needs’ and satisfies my ‘style’ because, another surprise, whilst practical and realistic might be necessary so are dreams, aspirations and aesthetics – none of which disappear, or are absent, simply because some assistive support is needed.
If your ‘life’ doesn’t support your ‘style’, then change it as much as you are able. That’s what I am doing and I write about it here.
It’s a process. Much like life. Never perfect. Always more to do. And ways to do it better.
Cick on the Lifestyle category tab in the menu to read more and do feel free to contribute and share your own experiences.
Learning from others … great idea. Let’s hope it catches on …
Smiles, Elle 💋
2018 update: Access My Home
As my home comfort is so important to me, I’ve created a separate section, Access My Home, for 2018 and onwards because I’m embarking on my second major home renovation since I became a wheelchair user – the first was in 2001 – where I am replacing, refreshing and updating many of the home adaptations that I need and use.
As houses, adaptive needs and style aesthetics are, for us all, so diverse, this is not meant as a guide in any way. It will show my choices and ideas for living my life, in my style, with my disability, at home.
I hope some of you will find it of interest and, maybe, helpful.
Click on the Access My Home category tab in the menu for all the posts on this topic and they will be included in the general Lifestyle category too.
I’d welcome any advice and contribution you might have on adapting your home. I’m all about sharing the good stuff.