limitations

I’m not one to sit still, unless I’m working and/or typing a blog post.  I move and explore new places whenever I have an opportunity, so my functional limitations related to walking, standing, driving and focusing did have an impact on my freedoms and activity.  As I reflect, I also share what I found to help others who find themselves looking for solutions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simply traveling “outside” was a challenge due the my fear of falling or not being able to make it back inside before the fatigue took over.  My solution, a tripod stool that I could carry with me when I ventured out alone or with someone else.  I could hold it and my cane and be ready to put it down to sit in a moment.  No, I couldn’t do much when I got outside, but I could sit and at least follow my family and friends.  I could even feel safe risking a short hike with my husband – knowing I could sit on a stool and more easily stand given my floppy feet.  Later, I found a stool with telescoping legs – which I wish I had had at my worse.  A higher seat would have made standing easier and faster.

Then came the car.  Getting into my Mountaineer was like climbing Mt. Everest.  Getting out, was more like a controlled slide/fall.  In a regular car the two experiences were reversed.  After getting in or out, I was usually exhausted from the effort.  Part of the problem was finding the right place to grab on to support me.  I later learned of the Metro Car Handle, which is inserted in the door strike for more support in the rise and fall process.

I had my cane, but really needed more for a while.  But, I didn’t like the walkers I found.  They were too big and bulky and looked like they were for “old” people.  I wanted something leaner and meaner that I could easily fold, carry and put into the car.  Or, when I went to visit my parents so I could show my mom I was OK, take on the plane with me.  The lightweight and trimline EZ Fold Walker was what I needed.

I also really needed a bedrail at home in addition to my foot stool.  But, I also thought about those who travel and probably need to take a portable bedrail along.  I found two options the Traveler Bed Rail Advantage  and Econo Bedrail .   This is mostly a personal preference and budget decision.

Traveling also means bringing along a toothbrush.  I had an awful grip and hard time grasping and actually using a toothbrush.  I was introduced to Dr. Plotka’s Travel Toothbrush and used it at both home and while traveling because of its chunky handle and the silver flossing bristles that helped me do a much better job cleaning my teeth.  My fears of several cavities disappeared when I began using this toothbrush!  Today, I just use the traveling one for travel and have a regular one for home.

One last thing…. driving means bringing a bottle of water with me or picking up a Coke at a stop during a road trip.  There is nothing worse than fighting to open the bottle, including medication or ibuprofen, only to fatigue yourself.  Yep, it can wear you out.  So, I recommend some sort of non slip bottle/jar opener in the car; as well as, in the kitchen and bathroom.  One I found is from Dycem that fits a variety of cap/top sizes. In addition, it doubles as a portable grip for opening doors.

If you have found anything that makes your travel just a bit easier, please feel free to share it below.  Who knows, maybe it will be something I can add to my shop to make it easier for patients like us to find.

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