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My Favorite Things: Personal Care Items

Many things in life are more complicated with a spinal cord injury. I’ve found several “life hacks” that make every day activities easier. Here are my 5 favorite personal care items.

PROBLEM: Safely and easily shaving
SOLUTION: An epilator

After a spinal cord injury, life goes on. And hair still grows. For years I needed help to safely shave my legs. Until I discovered an epilator. What’s an epilator? An epilator pulls hair from the root with its miniature tweezers. Sitting in bed, I can pull my legs towards my chest and “shave” my legs without assistance. There are few benefits in life with a spinal cord injury. But since I have no feeling in my legs, I can honestly say it is pain-free!

 

PROBLEM: Hard-to-pump soap containers
SOLUTION: PROVON automatic foam soap dispenser

Clean hands are important when cathing or washing off everything that collects on your hands after pushing a manual chair. The PROVON automatic soap dispenser takes the reaching, pumping, and mess of a bottle of soap out of the equation. The soap is sold separately. (The soap quite a bit more than the dispenser, but one container will last months.) This little gadget has made washing my hands almost… enjoyable.

 

PROBLEM: Looking at your bum
SOLUTION: Vanity mirror

Let’s clarify one thing. I’m not looking at my rear out of vanity! Routinely checking one’s skin for breakdown is a must for anyway with loss of sensation. Each night when I get in to bed, I undress and then – with the assistance of a mirror – look at the points most vulnerable to skin breakdown: the ischium (butt bones) and sacral area.

IMG_2253

 

PROBLEM: Tight neck and shoulder muscles – or I’m just plain cold
SOLUTION: Mother Earth Triggerpoint Pillow

My neck and shoulders are often fatigued from the overuse they receive. And in the winter (well, let’s be honest, all year round) I often can’t get warm. An acquaintance from the rehab facility in town recommended Mother Earth Triggerpoint Pillows. This therapuetic pillow can be heated up in the microwave to relieve tense or sore muscles. It is heavy. But the bonus of the weight is that it helps to pull the shoulders down and stretch out those muscles out. And it’s so nice and warm that in the winter I’ll heat it up when I just can’t seem to get warm. This pillow can also be chilled, but I’ve tried it.

 

PROBLEM: What to put on between the shower and getting dressed
SOLUTION: A terrycloth wrap

Using a rolling shower chair is convenient, but what do you cover up with in between the shower and dressing? This cute and comfy wrap fastens in the back with Velcro and is easily to put on while in a seated position.

 

What are some of your favorite personal care items

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My Doctor Made Me Do It

I didn’t know what to expect. But I’d heard the horror stories. The inaccessibility. The discomfort.

I was past my doctor’s recommended age to have a mammogram. But my primary care doctor was relentless in her pursuit, so I made an appointment at an imaging center several miles from where I live.

At Bard Care we’re getting the word out about the importance of mammograms. Three of six of the women on our team have had breast cancer. Read my entire Bard Care article by clicking the link below.

My Dr

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Why Traveling to a Developing Country with a Wheelchair is Not Impossible

Do you want to travel to a developing country, but think it’s impossible? Don’t dismiss the thought. It might take a little extra planning, some additional help (how much depends on your disability) and possibly a little extra cash. But it’s well worth the effort. Continue reading “Why Traveling to a Developing Country with a Wheelchair is Not Impossible”

BCIR

BCIR Update #5

I started to write this update 10 days ago. It began: “I’m dressed. I transferred into my chair. I’ve been spending about 45 minutes twice a day outside here in Florida’s fresh, breezy warm air. But Thursday or Friday will be the true test: I will begin intubating (using the stoma to empty the new pouch).”

Today (Thursday, May 17) I’m still sitting in a Florida hospital room, drinking Miralax to clean my system out for a second surgery to repair a fistula (same one as last time). Continue reading “BCIR Update #5”

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Abundant Living

After my injury it took me quite some time to learn, or re-learn, the concept of trying. My go-to response was, “I can’t.”

Eleven years after my injury, I finally attempted a sport again. I tried playing wheelchair tennis. I was awful. Seventeen years later, I’m still bad at tennis. But I try. And I play.

I’ve learned to live. What’s the use in being alive if you aren’t living boldly? Click below to read about 4 principles I try to put into practice to live an abundant life.

Abundant Living

BCIR

BCIR Update #3

Well, I knew when I decided to have this procedure there were risks of complications. Unfortunately, I’m one of the people to develop a fistula. A fistula is a small hole. Mine is located near the top of the pouch and leads to the surface of the skin. When a I began intubating on Wednesday, it didn’t go well. By evening, I was back on suction with a scope scheduled for Thursday. After the scope confirmed the fistula, I had a CT Scan with contrast. Continue reading “BCIR Update #3”

BCIR

BCIR Update #1

Due to overwhelming support, but inadequate energy, here’s a brief overview of my BCIR journey so far. BCIR is an internal continent catheterizable colostomy with no external appliances like a colostomy or iliostomy. Go to www.bcir.com for more info on the procedure and here for my journey on the decision.

I enjoyed “My Last Supper” and took in a beautiful Florida sunset.

Last Supper Continue reading “BCIR Update #1”

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Don’t Be Like Rosie: Recharge Your Battery

I want to introduce you to a coworker. Rosie works in my office and she has a big job to do. It’s stated in her job description that she is supposed to periodically re-energize herself so she can finish her assignment. Regrettably, we find Rosie in odd places in the building, simply having lost her ability to do her job because she ran out of energy. Continue reading “Don’t Be Like Rosie: Recharge Your Battery”

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On Being Single

It’s almost Valentine’s Day. With that in mind, I’m re-posting this Bard Care article.

I’m single. I rarely sulk in my singleness. I am free to do what I want and when. The remote is always in its place, except when my dad comes over. As an introvert, I truly cherish my alone time. I’m in charge of my finances. (Read: I like control.)

Read the rest of the article by clicking on the picture below.

On Being Single

Quadly Cooking

Quadly Cooking: Coconut Curry Lime Chicken with Rice Noodles

Let’s start off by defining Quadly Cooking. I’m a quadriplegic due to a C6-7 spinal cord injury. “Gimpy” or “quadly” aptly defines the function – or lack thereof – that I have in my hands.  Thanks to several surgeries called tendon transfers, I have a decent grip with my left hand that improved my ability to cook.

For a variety of reasons I try to make meals from almost-scratch if possible. Not only is it healthier, but I avoid food intolerances by cooking meals myself. I use a lot of short cuts that make cooking do-able and I’ll share these in the videos and posts. Continue reading “Quadly Cooking: Coconut Curry Lime Chicken with Rice Noodles”

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Welcome

Welcome to my site! To be honest, this is a bit overwhelming and intimidating. But let’s take this journey together and see where the path leads.

On Wednesday, January 17, 2018, an article I wrote was published by The Mighty. To say it has resonated with many people is an understatement. Unfortunately, just as surprising is the number of people who are unaware of the financial issues that some of us with disabilities face.

Read the article at the link below. As a disclaimer I do not agree with the title. I do not think society is the problem; government policy is where the problem exists. I shared my story with the hope that my voice will be heard in Frankfort. I urge lawmakers to reverse the income limits for personal care programs so that others with disabilities will not find themselves in my position.

Click below to read this article.

The Mighty Link