Welcome! My health problems add craziness to my life. Here I post ideas I've tried, also questions I'm still asking. I have an electrolyte disorder. So I have crazy neuro stuff like complicated migraines, alkalosis, loosing my speech and paralysis. (including legs and hands) Little by little, foods had to go, they affected my brain and immune system. So I avoid like the plague: soy, dairy, gluten, nightshades, and try to avoid refined sugar. My body requires pink salt and electrolytes. I now use a speedy red wheelchair that I love. I've craved a simpler life, but how do you do that with crazy health stuff? I've already had a fire and flood, so I really don't value possessions. I value people and experiences. I am not compensated for any posts, just my opinions.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Safe internet searching for info about wheelchair living

Clothing has been a challenge to me over the years for multiple reasons. I do prefer comfortable clothing and cute hats. After a month of hours in a wheelchair every day, I realized I needed to adapt my clothing even more. My first clothing experiments have worked great. I've been studying online pictures of adaptive clothing. I'm in the process of other experiments, then I'll share about all these clothing experiments.  I've also discovered more specific things I need to figure out, to get around the house and out in public a little more independently. Unfortunately I also discovered innocent internet searches about adapting to wheelchair living, often turned up pornographic search results. It's been a challenge to look for what I really needed. I'm learning safer search phrases. My next few posts will include things I've been learning and testing out.

I often do searches on my smart phone, for helpful videos or stories. When I first started searching about adapting to a wheelchair, and working around paralysis, I was shocked and upset that all the top search results were adult content (that this adult doesn't want to see or hear about) images of scantily dressed people and that sort of stuff. What does that have to do with preventing pressure sores, lightweight wheel chairs and adapting my kitchen?! It appears those are top questions and curiousness about paraplegics, but that was not what I meant with my search phrases. I share my phone and computer with my children, and I don't want to see this stuff either. I use an Android phone. The first thing I did was log into Chrome and select a setting to block adult content. I now only search logged in to Chrome, so it has my safe search settings. I also found "incognito mode" was helpful for if my search phrases turned up unwanted results. Then my history, ads on various internet pages and future searches won't keep showing up inappropriate. My phone asks me if I found the Google search results helpful and I kept clicking on "no". Very recently I started finding some great websites showing how people adapted their house, parenting from a wheelchair, and finding creative ways to adapt to daily living. So now when Google asks, I can say yes, that was the search results I wanted.

This YouTube channel has been my favorite, called "Paralyzed Living". I've been subscribed to this channel about 5 years now. I think Brian Kenny is a great teacher. He's positive, encouraging and explains things step by step. I recently saw a video where he gave the date of his injury and was surprised to find that many of his early videos I watched were within a year of him being paralyzed. Because I didn't have a spinal cord injury, I never went through rehab where many wheelchair users learn how to do everyday things to be independent. This channel has many great videos including: how he gets from the floor into his wheelchair, how he gets in and out of the swimming pool, how he adapted his house, how he gets dressed, camber, wheelchair maintenance... There's so many little details that need to change when you regularly use a wheelchair and it becomes a big challenge to learn. Videos like this really help me, and make we want to try stuff too. Like this week I took my dog for a walk in my wheelchair. It was a success! Here are three of my favorite videos. This first video made me really interested in the lightweight rigid frame wheelchairs.:
Technically I should have been driving with hand controls from the time I was put in leg braces. It's thousands of dollars to modify the car, then only I can drive it. I have to take a special driving course, and it goes on my license that I use hand controls. So I adapted by taking my right leg brace off while driving. My doctors agreed this was safe, since I had sufficient ankle and foot strength while sitting, and at the time my problem was episodic, with at least a half hour warning for when I needed to get off the road or find another driver. I do not currently drive, because the paralysis in my thighs is now permanent, so I can't lift my leg to go from one pedal to the other. I was really encouraged to see this affordable way to drive, and that other family members could use the same car. I talked to my doctor about this video. He said when my hands get stronger we can try sending me to hand control driver training.
This was a really helpful video. I watched it several times looking at details to help me get ready for house hunting for wheelchair friendly things.

More posts about my adaptation experiments and discoveries coming soon.

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