Tag Archives: wheelchair

Tears: I hold them back, until pain pushes them out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tears: I hold them back, until pain pushes them out

If you see me crying, know that you are witnessing pain that I hope you never have to feel.

Whether it is one single tear rolling down my cheek or many pouring out of my eyes, they still represent the kind of pain you secretly wish upon the most wickedest of people.

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What Happens When I Live My Old Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What happens when I live my old life

I received my cluster of diagnoses during the early 2000’s.  During that time not one doctor urged, nudged, or hinted to me that I needed to make changes to how I lived my life.  Not ONE!!!

Instead of issuing warnings or advice to improve the quality of my life, my doctors insisted that they would be able to find the right pill(s) to offset my symptoms and pain.  Of course everything they tried failed.  Click here if you would like to take a peek at the pain management plan that finally helped reduce the pain I experience from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, degenerative disc disease, coccydynia, and abdominal adhesions from endometriosis and surgical scarring.

Between the false hope my doctors were issuing and the pressure from friends and family to get better, making changes to how I lived never crossed my mind.  But it should have and here is why:

When I live my old life:

  • I ignore the needs of my body/chronic illnesses
  • I injure myself more often
  • I spend more time in bed than actually living my life
  • My family loses precious time with me
  • I spend more time and money seeing doctors and visiting emergency rooms
  • I took no responsibility towards reducing my pain.  I trusted and followed everything my doctors said.

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in my Facebook groups.

Why changes had to be made

  • The longer I ignored the needs of my body/illnesses, the sicker I became and more damage was done to my body
  • Refusing to accept the need to use a mobility aid created more opportunities to fall, which I did often.  Each fall resulted with either a broken bone or blood clot.
  • I was killing myself
  • My family needed me
  • I would rather take my family to Disneyland, then to spend money and time in the emergency room over an injury that could have been prevented had I listened to my body, done things differently, or utilized a mobility aid.
  • I had to take responsibility and to accept that my doctor may never be able to help me.

 

Changes that literally changed my chronic life

  • I made friends with my diseases.  I got to know them and my body so well that I after awhile I could feel the beginning stages of a flare coming on.  In the past, I just pushed until I collapsed.
  • Using mobility aids may have been hard to accept on an emotional level, but when I look back and see how little I have fallen since I began using them, I know I made the right decision.
  • By recognizing and addressing signs of a flare or physical distress I am able to avoid complications like my body mimicking a stroke or muscles freezing to the point of feeling rock hard for months on end.
  • Spending the amount of time that I do in caring for my body, doing things differently, accepting what I can’t do, and letting go of unrealistic expectations has gifted me with less time in bed and more out making memories with my family.
  • I took responsibility and charge over my care.  I researched and tried alternative treatments. While I may spend more money on those treatments than any pill that my insurance would cover, I save by not having to visit my doctor for a refill every month and not visiting the emergency room throughout the year. Click here to read about my pain management plan.

All of these changes, plus others that you can read about in my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life, has restored my independence.  Going grocery shopping no longer makes me anxious, because I can finally do it without needing a day or two to recuperate.  I can drive and clean my house again.

Now I am not saying that everyone who reads my book and follows my pain management plan will have the same results.  The changes you need to make may differ, but no matter what, any change that involves listening to and respecting your body/disease is going to improve your life.

Don’t make the mistake I did by waiting 12 years before even accepting that there was no way I could go on living like I used to.

Living our old lives doesn’t make us strong, instead it makes us weaker.

Living our old lives does more than increase our physical pain, it hurts us and our loved ones emotionally too.

Are you still living your old life? 

Whether you are or not, I challenge you to examine your day to day life and pick one area/task that could be done differently, in a way that won’t increase your pain level.  Then make that change.  You don’t have to change every aspect of your life immediately, take your time and make your changes one step at a time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One PEMF Device, Two Years, Tons of Pain Relief!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two years!!!

I am not always thrilled to try new pain relief products.  I am skeptical and rightfully so as most really don’t help to the extent that someone who lives with excruciating chronic pain needs.  My attitude was no different when I was asked to try Oska Pulse.  I figured the worst case scenario would be that it didn’t work and I could warn my readers before they forked over several hundreds of dollars.  Thankfully I decided to give it a chance, because as you will see, it has changed my life.

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in my Facebook groups. I am not a medical professional and am not issuing medical advice.

I began using PEMF therapy with Oska Pulse in late November 2016.  I wasn’t diligent about running daily treatments, yet I still experienced enough pain relief to know that this device was something special. On March 24, 2017 I began using my drug free pain relief device in the manner it should be, daily and often.  That is when I experienced what this device could truly do.  I remember how giddy I felt after the first pain that my doctors said I would never live without, disappeared.  Then the next and the next….. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to see what the future held.

To keep track of and to share my results, I began blogging about my experience.  Click here to read all of my PEMF therapy posts.  Short on time? No worries, I have the highlights covered below!

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Disneyland Park Accessibility Update January 2019

 

 

 

 

 

Quick update!

Since I last updated the guide there have been a few new updates.

  1. Dumbo:  This attraction’s queue is now fully accessible to mobility aids, both manual and motorized.  All guests enter the same queue.
  2. Matterhorn:  The queue to this attraction has been widened making it easier for mobility aids to use.
  3. The Enchanted Tiki Room: This is my favorite update!! Gone is the awkwardly small and outdoor elevator for those unable to enter via the stairs.  In the entrance area, there is now a ramp to the right of the waiting area for guests to use.  In the past, guests unable to take stairs had to exit via the elevator and back through the entrance, now they exit out the same door and down ramps into the new Tropical Hideaway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quit or Modify? The Choice is Yours!

 

 

 

 

 

When something becomes difficult to do, do you quit or modify how you do it?

I struggled to accept that I needed to change how I did things for the first 13 years of living with fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, endometriosis, and coccydynia.  All I wanted to do was to go on with my life the way I had and not have to figure out a new way to live.  Let’s get real, even life without a painful chronic illness can be difficult, but throw in an incurable injury or illness and it can be enough to make anyone want to throw in the towel.  My first instinct when I would discover that I was unable to do something the way I did it before becoming chronically ill was to give up.  The sad part is that if I had prepared myself to embrace change, I wouldn’t have missed out on so much during those years.

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in my Facebook groups.

 

Online-Therapy.com, therapy when you need it and where you want it! Save 20% when you register through this link.   Click here to save now.

 

 

 

 

Quitter

I hear so many people say that they can’t do this or they had to give up that just because they couldn’t do it like they did before their illness or injury.  But when asked if they tried doing it differently, they became defensive.  They shut down by saying that we have no right to suggest anything because we don’t understand what they are going through.  My favorite excuse is that doing something differently isn’t the same.  Well, duh!!  Sorry, but seriously, I have done and said both.  How dare anyone suggest that I hadn’t given it my all before giving up, but if I were to tell the truth, they would be right.  I didn’t try hard enough and I am willing to bet that many others haven’t either.

I was a quitter.  Chronic pain had made doing everything so difficult that I couldn’t see alternative options.  Even when set in front of me, I hesitated to try them.  My illnesses had won control over my life.  Does that sound familiar? Are you instinctively saying no or dismissing new ideas because you are tired of having everything you do increase your pain level?  I refused to accept that doing things differently could be as satisfying, even though the end result would be the same.  What I didn’t realize is that by doing things differently, I would still have the same outcome in regards to the task, but I wouldn’t have had the extra pain that doing it the way I used to caused. But I was so terrified of increasing my pain, that I refused to even consider trying.

Like the gazillion posts I see daily on social media, I too was bitter and angry about having to give up doing things that I loved.  I was furious that I couldn’t exercise, go out, travel, care for my family, or work like I used to.  To avoid listening to other’s suggestions, I stopped taking their calls, answering the door, and even began taking extended social media breaks.  Yet, if I had just put my anger, resentment,  jealousy (yep, that is something many of us in the chronic community don’t want to admit, but many are or were jealous of those who can do what we used to do), and had opened my mind and ears, I might have began to realize that life can be good and be different at the same time.

Life modified

In the past 7 years I have learned that it is okay to do things differently. These lessons have made my life one that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  My hope is that it won’t take you reaching the point that I did (ready to commit suicide) to realize that change is okay.  I am not saying that you should be jumping for joy because now your chronic illnesses and pain are making you overhaul your entire life, but to not allow it to become a darkness that takes possession of your mind.

Here is a quick and far from full list of modifications that have made living with my chronic diseases easier and less painful:

  1. I began asking for help
  2. I found ways to work from home
  3. I have groceries delivered when unable to go shopping
  4. I used the mobile carts in stores when walking was painful
  5. To this day I utilize mobility aids FYI: Disneyland is just as much fun in a wheelchair or with a rollator as it is without!
  6. Do most of my shopping online (why waste energy that could be better spent at the beach or Disneyland?)
  7. Accept that my exercise goals and the form I participate in need to be flexible.
  8. Accept that exercise is not optional, but necessary!
  9. Allow my body to dictate my schedule for most days.
  10. Tried alternative and natural pain relief treatments
  11. I stopped fighting my body and began treating it like someone I loved.

There was and is nothing easy about anything I have done or currently do.  Living with one or multiple chronic illnesses is hard, but the hard work pays off!  Without modifications, I would be back where I was before, at home, alone, and in excruciating pain.  Although I would have argued this point 7 years ago, not changing how you live is the easy way. It is more painful, depressing, and aggravating, but it doesn’t require any work.  Making modifications to make living with your chronic illness and/or pain easier requires patience, persistence, and positive attitude.  Most of the modifications I made have decreased my daily pain levels as well as decreased the frequency and severity of my flares. The rest have made my life easier, which has resulted in less stress, which doesn’t increase my pain.

PEMF therapy with Oska Pulse has taken my pain management plan to a whole new level! Click here to see how it has improved my chronic life and click here to learn more about the device and how it may help you too! BTW My discount code DIVA will save you $55.00 when entered at checkout!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you ready to give up or are you ready to embrace the challenge of finding a new way to live?  I have some good news for you! You are not alone! While not always easy to find, especially in the chronic community, there are others who aren’t wallowing in self-pity. I invite you to join my Facebook groups that are filled with members who like you want to thrive and not just survive.  Another resource is my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life.  It won’t cure you, but it will help you recognize areas of your life that require modification and challenge you to make those changes.  Click here to order your copy today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Tips For Pushing a Wheelchair Through Disneyland

5 Tips For Pushing a Wheelchair Through Disneyland

By: Drew

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I’ll never forget the first time I had to push my wife through Disneyland in a wheelchair. We had planned a family vacation and traveled to California from Arizona. My son was 15 at the time, and my daughter was only 3. The first night of the trip, my wife (most of you I’m sure know her as the Disabled Diva!) began experiencing severe intestinal pain. We took her to the ER, and she was promptly diagnosed with appendicitis. They performed an appendectomy the next day, and she was released that night. If you’ve read her blog at all, you will probably not be surprised when I tell you we did not cancel the remainder of the vacation, but carried on after one day of recuperation. That trip was a nightmare on many levels, and most of them had to do with me being completely clueless on what it takes to navigate the parks while being an unintended chauffeur to my wife. Here are 5 things I have since learned that will hopefully help you to avoid some of the pain and suffering we endured on that first trip.

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1. The importance of pacing.

Needless to say, after missing out on two days of our vacation, we were all excited to resume our trip and “make up time”. I was up at 5 am that morning to go get everyone breakfast, help get my daughter ready, situate Cindy in her newly rented wheelchair and get us to the front gate in time for opening that day. I was already tired by the time the gates finally opened, and then we were off to the races! We zoomed from land to land, taking in as many rides as possible. Cindy couldn’t do much, and this often required me to leave her far away from the rides the rest of us were on at the time. By the end of the day, I was exhausted, and truth be told, just a little bit irritable. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a Disneyland vacation, but remember to pace yourself. Get plenty of rest, and try to walk at a normal pace. Remember, you aren’t just walking, you’re PUSHING someone as well!

2. Disneyland is not level!

“Where did all these hills come from?” That was a question I asked early and often on that trip! I honestly never noticed the slight (and many times STEEP) grades that dot the Disneyland landscape. The areas by Big Thunder Mountain, entering Toon Town, New Orleans Square, and Splash Mountain all have moderate to steep grades. Exiting Indiana Jones and Soarin’ also have a long steep grade when pushing a wheelchair. Be prepared, go at a slow steady pace, and make sure you stretch your hamstrings before you begin the day to help with these challenging sections of the park. Click here to learn about these areas in the Disabled Diva’s Guide to Disneyland.

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3. The importance of taking time for myself.

One of my favorite pass times is photography. I am forever stopping to try and capture an interesting scene that I see while traveling through the parks. On this particular trip, I actually had a brand new digital SLR camera I was looking forward to using. However, I discovered an inconvenient truth about pushing someone in a wheel chair. If you stop and pull out your camera with both hands, especially on one of the aforementioned steep slopes, you can quickly loose control of a situation! Even now when most of my pictures are taken from my phone, I still need to concentrate fully on taking care of the person I’m pushing. Make time for yourself to do some of the things you can’t while pushing. Perhaps you can have another member of your party push while you explore, or find a nice spot for your significant other to have a cup of coffee or snack while you get that perfect picture of the Haunted Mansion. It’s your vacation too, so don’t be afraid to ask for some time to enjoy the things you would like to do as well.

4. Pushing a wheelchair is like driving a car.

You probably have had more experience pushing a wheelchair around than I had on that first trip. I was a newbie. Not only was I trying to figure out how to maneuver Cindy in her chair, but I was also dealing with the crowds around us and how they reacted, or didn’t react, to a person in a chair. I clipped quite a few heals on that first trip, and Cindy wound up with one or two guest riders in her lap when we accidentally scooped up an unsuspecting pedestrian! If you are renting a chair you’re not familiar with, take a few moments to figure out your turning radius, and know how far the foot rests stick out. Also, if your chair has extendable leg rests, make sure you know how far these stick out and ask your partner to let you know when they have extended them if they are capable of making that adjustment without your help. Look well ahead in your path of travel, and try to detect problems or obstacles ahead of time.

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5. Do Your Homework.

While we were completely unprepared to experience the parks on that first trip with a wheelchair, we were determined not to make the same mistakes on future trips! Do your homework. Are you going to need a disability pass, or can you get by without one? Many of the rides in Disneyland were designed in the 50’s and 60’s, with no thought to making them handicap accessible. Do you know which rides have lines you can access, and which ones have alternate entrances? Can your significant other transfer from their chair, or do they need to stay in? If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to answer all these questions, check out our free downloadable guide at Disneyability.com.
I hope these few tips will help make your trip more magical! I’ll continue to add tips to this site, so check back regularly to get the latest information. Until then, push like a champion!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My New Wheels

My New Wheels

This is NOT a sponsored post.  I purchased and paid for all the products mentioned in this post.

Last fall I purchased a new wheelchair.  I have been waiting to write about it because I wanted to make sure it was something that I would recommend to my readers. Those of us living with one or more chronic diseases know that coming to accept our need of a mobility aid isn’t easy and the cost of them often prevents us from buying one.  As my old wheelchair began to rapidly fall apart, I knew it was time to replace it and prayed I could do it without draining my savings account.  As expected they weren’t cheap.  Then I found one with elevating legs for under $150!!!

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My first thought was that the price was too good to be true.  However, since it fit within my budget I decided to give it a try.  At worst it would be a piece of crap and I would return it. I ordered my Drive Medical Blue Streak Wheelchair with Flip Back Desk Arms, Elevating Leg Rests, and 20″ Seat from Amazon. Shipping was free with my Prime membership and it arrived two days later.

I have been using my new wheelchair for several months and have been very happy with it.  Its light weight makes it easy for my husband to load in and out of our SUV.  This inexpensive wheelchair has withstood the hills, cobblestone paths, and trolley tracks of Disneyland.  I have run into walls and poles without damaging it.  It’s comfortable and the elevating legs bring relief to my legs when I am experiencing nerve pain.  There is a pouch on the back of the seat that I keep my raincoat in.

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My husband and I  have only a few complaints.  My first complaint is that my foot rests are not the same length, one is a smidgen longer than the other. My other complaint is that the footrests are always elevated to some degree.  While this annoyed me at first, I have noticed that the swelling I used to experience in my feet and ankles when out for a day is no longer a problem.  My husband’s complaint is that the handles for pushing are also slightly uneven.  None of these complaints have given us a reason to not use it nor has it made using it difficult.  But it did take a little getting used to.

Would I recommend this product? Yes and No.  If you are like me and only need to use a wheelchair for outings and not on a fulltime basis, then YES.  The only reason I would not recommend this particular wheelchair for fulltime usage is because of how the legs stick out.  Like I said above, the feet are elevated to some degree at all times which would make it difficult to move around a home that was not designed for wheelchairs.  However, Amazon offers many affordable options for those who aren’t able to spend hundreds of dollars on a new wheelchair (click to see more options).

In addition to purchasing a new wheelchair, I also bought a few accessories to make my outings more pleasurable.

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My Pembrook Wheelchair Backpack Bag fits perfectly on the back of my wheelchair and holds much more than I expected it to.  I purchased two Demi Milan Stroller & Wheelchair Organizers.  One is placed on the back of my chair and the other on the inside of one of the armrests.  Now my husband, daughter, and I all have somewhere to keep our drinks.  Just a little FYI, if your wheelchair is wider than average you will need to purchase extra Velcro to attach it.

Wishing you a day filled with many reasons to smile,

The Disabled Diva

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