Diary of a wimpy disabled kid.
I’ve thought long and hard about shedding light on the murky/mysterious world of everyday tasks for disabled people (ie me!). My reluctance is twofold 1. My main coping mechanism is humour, which can be a bit distasteful to some – nearest and dearest included and 2. I am a disabled counsellor NOT JUST a counsellor for the disabled, I thought writing this sort of post would define me as someone using their back story to push a personal agenda. Then I thought “NAH! – stop reading if you don’t like it, you’re a grown up! Also, sod it – it seems soo obvious yet not enough people saying it”. Anyway, if you like look of this keep reading.
06.30 – alarm goes off, knackered – needed loo 4 times last night. A tricky manoeuvre that requires putting the light on each occasion to ensure accuracy and hygiene. I have tried guesswork and hoping for the best. Not a good outcome…
06.30 – 07.15 – Various stretches and exercises to try and get blood moving. Mostly a waste of bloody time!…
07.15 – 07.45 – pushed duvet to bottom of the bed (otherwise it just gets in the way) – not enough room for the two of us. Whilst pushing duvet down bed with stiff and inflexible legs, I randomly kick wall, side of bed and wheelchair, just to prove to myself, in case a miracle happened overnight, that I still have no actual control over my legs…
Sit up and manoeuvre self with right arm (left arm is rubbish) to sit on edge off bed. Feel very drunk and unsteady but with no prospect of a one-night stand. Use litter picker to pick up clean underwear and socks. Reach down carefully to pick up discarded trousers from previous night. Lie back down on bed in order to remove old socks and replace with new, take off the PJ bottoms and pull-on clean underwear and trousers. This takes a lot of huffing and puffing, effing and jeffing, straining and pleading (in vain-ing) and just for good measure, the other day, whilst trying to pull my sock over my foot, I lost my grip and thumped myself squarely in the bollocks. My already peachy day glowed ever brighter as my eyes welled up and a sensation I have not experienced since I was 13 washed over me. At that point I would have gladly been paralysed from the neck down!
On the fourth attempt I manage to zip up my flies, but give up all my trouser button as I can’t be arsed to try and do it up again and I’m not exactly going to be standing up much!
07.45 – 08.10 – I pivot transfer from the edge of the bed (drunk again) to my wheelchair. This takes five minutes of trying to get my feet into the right position to risk this manoeuvre and not end up on my face on the floor. Once in the chair, I can remove my thermal top (elasticated and too big – for ease of putting on/taking off), use face wipes for a face / body wash, attempt to roll on deodorant (ha ha), then pull on a clean T shirt, no buttons or zips, whilst not tipping the chair over, nor tipping myself out of the chair. Then it’s just a quick dash (ha ha again) as I put on my fleece top – again no pesky buttons or zips and add the final stylistic touch, a woolly cardigan. This does pose some interesting existential questions as it has both a zip and it needs to be passed behind your back two allow you to pull on your other arm. As above with the underwear and trousers this requires a lot of huffing and puffing etc etc. I then spend 5 minutes trying to manoeuvre myself in a manual wheelchair out of the bedroom and to the stair lift. The manual wheel chair is controlled from the right-hand side – which is a bit like trying to work out how to reverse a car and trailer through a narrow gate, first thing in the morning after some intensive exercise!
Then I transfer again, blah, blah, blah. It frequently it takes me longer to get out of bed, get dressed and downstairs than it did to commute to work in Central London from Basingstoke. Repeat ad infinitum. I have just realized, another reason why I don’t talk about it, is that it is really dull!
Welcome to my world.