10 Things That Will Make Life Easier for People with Disability
1. Dragon naturally speaking voice recognition program. Since I am no longer able to type, thanks to this goddamn Multiple Sclerosis, and I am paralyzed on my left side I am using the voice recognition program for my computer every day when I write. It has saved me from untold angst, frustration, pain and exhaustion. Having MS makes everything exhausting so something as wonderful as this program makes it fun again to do what I love. Of course, it makes some serious errors and sometimes refuses to curse for me. But what the hell, it’s a small price to pay.
2. Ex N Flex These machines are really great for people who need to exercise their arms and legs and they are recommended by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I use them every day and without them I would be at a loss. They have my highest kudos and their customer service is bar none. Since I am paralyzed on my left side I found it to be the best possible way for me to exercise. All I have to do is strap in my arms or legs, turn on the TV for an hour and Bim Bam I’ve done it!
3. e-books I read a lot and before e-books I had a hard time holding books properly and dropped them often. Because I have to spend quite a lot of time in bed because of MS and read tons of books and I am so thankful for this wildly successful adventure.
4. e- reader There are so many kinds of readers on the market. I am using the Samsung Galaxy Tab. It’s just the right size for me to read in bed and has Internet features and lots of apps so if I need to look up something while I’m reading, the information is right there in my hands.I particularly like the reader from Samsung the but I can also have the Internet at my fingertips at the same time. So, I can go onto Amazon or another book site, find a book I want and within minutes I have it right there to read. All from the comfort of my Invacare hospital bed! Isn’t that cool? No more asking anybody to go to the library for me, pick up a book that I have dropped or cursing loud and clear because of another fine mess of gotten myself into.
5. Audio Books This is another wonderful solution for people who love to read and could no longer hold books, who cannot see properly or are blind or anyone who would much rather listen to a book than to read one. It is a huge genre that has opened up and is getting bigger all the time.
6. Handi- ride transportation system for people with disabilities This wonderful program is based in Dallas, Texas and I don’t know what I would do without it. Check out your local area to see what kinds of transportation is available for you if you need it. With my wheelchair I am no longer able to get in and out of our car and these awesome handicapped accessible buses just lift me up or down the ramp and we’re off on another exciting adventure. Without it I would be stuck between a rock and a hard place.Because of this awesome system I do not have to rely on anyone else to get where I need to and that has freed up a big chunk of worries. No longer do I have to ask anyone else to go someplace or do something that I want to do.
7. Invacare alternating air electric mattress About a year ago I was hospitalized for over eight months. What started as a broken rib when I fell in the bathroom turned into several serious problems and then into a very serious bedsore. When I got home I bought an Invacare air mattress that is the same type that was used by Christopher Reeves. It automatically rotates my body from one side to the other every half an hour and I love it. No more sores. As problems have arrived because of my disability I have found different options to help me along.
8. Life Alert Of all the good things that I’ve done to help myself, this is probably the greatest. It has saved me from countless injuries and the countless times that I have fallen I have had five or six gorgeous fireman pick me and put me back where I belong. This is the number one program you need to get if you find yourself in danger. Believe me you will thank me. It’s a wonderful system and could possibly save your life.there truly have been times when I have fallen and not been able to get up.
9. Certified home health care aide Oh, happy day when my present home health care aide showed up at my door. It’s been a long and bumpy road to try and find someone who is kind, professional, and honest. I found her and I love her. If you need help starting the process contact your state’s Department of Aging and Disability Services.
10. Catheters Another stinky piece of business but what can you do. The catheter was invented by Benjamin Franklin when his brother was having trouble in the nether regions so we can thank our wonderful forefather for helping out. He would be proud to know what his grand invention has done for mankind. And I can attest to that fact. Having bladder control problems is one of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. I was in a state of denial for a long time before I finally saw fit to start using a catheter. If I had started doing it sooner I would’ve saved myself from so much distress, embarrassment and tears.
11. Bedside commode My bathroom is small and my wheelchair is cumbersome so I decided enough is enough. There were several times when I had to be rescued by Life Alert and one time I actually broke a rib trying to get onto the toilet. I need help to get on and off the commode but Multiple Sclerosis affords us very little privacy. Embarrassment and humiliation are synonyms for MS. The alternative was just too awful to concede. Now that I’m actually using the bedside commode it is much more convenient than trying to get into the bathroom, on and off the toilet and then have to do it all in reverse to get the hell out of there. And that’s not even counting what you are in there to do when the first place.
These are all steps that I took one at a time over the course of years and looking back on it now I see that each one of these 10 things has added a little more independence to my life and I hope to yours. I know I said it was 10 things to make your life easier but I have added 11 for good measure.
I have written the book Potty Mouth which by the way is an appropriate title. Here is the URL for the book site and while you’re there listen to the radio interview that I’ve done. You can hear my real voice and find out more of what the book is about.