Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer! And my handicap soapbox.

Do you remember your summers as a kid?  I remember doing a couple of fun things here and there, and having friends over sometimes, and then just long periods of being bored.  It seemed like summer lasted forever then.

Fast forward to now, as and adult, with two small children.  I deliberately didn't plan much this summer, so we could be lazy and do our own thing.  We have a beach trip coming up, and a couple of weeks of summer school, but that's it.  And yet, 2 weeks into summer, I can't seem to catch up. We have been going non-stop!  First there was Memorial Day with the family, and then my leg issues (see here) popped up.
Then it was Mr. A's birthday at home.  Then Mr. C got an ear infection and a virus.  Then Mr. A had swimmer's ear and the same virus Mr. C had.  The we had the big birthday shindig with family. During this whole time, I'm seeing a chiropractor daily for a week and a half, and go to the imaging center for 2 different scans.  Then I see the orthopedist. Mr. A started summer school this week, for a week. Then the boys have their annual check ups.  Today was the dentist, but only for Mr. C.  And I'm doing all these things while on crutches.

It has been non-stop appointments and activities.

WHAT happened to a fun, relaxing summer with lots of camping?  Was this really what it was like for my parents when I was little?

On to my next section:

Dealing on Crutches:

It really is difficult managing kids on crutches.  If you ever find yourself on crutches, and it's for a longer period of time, invest in the forearm style crutches.  My brother in law is an amputee, and recommended switching from the underarm crutches to these, to save my arms.  These are what I have:
Guardian Forearm Crutches

They aren't top of the line - they're about as cheap as you can get really.  If I end up needing some for long term use, I'll move up in the world. These work though.

Why did I go to forearm crutches?
For 2 reasons -
      - it's easier to get around in tight areas on them (read: small toys, pets and children roadblocks)
      - people assume you have a lifelong handicap, and not an injury (ha, I typed Ninjary the first time..I have           dreams injuring myself in much cooler ways.).

I don't get questions about what happened anymore, they all just assume they shouldn't ask because I have a disability.  Sad, but it does keep people off your back.  I guess they feel bad?

Handicap Inaccessibility

My main complaint about doing things on crutches is the inaccessibility of the world.  I guess I just thought we're past the point of having to fight for accessibility, like somehow I think we're past the point of being sexist or racist.  None are true.  

I didn't know it was still so hard! My hat goes off to anyone dealing with a handicap - you have to be a special kind of person to do it gracefully.

My pediatricians office is on the second floor, and while they have an elevator, none of the doors are equipped with handicap opening devices, which means I have to sweet talk my children into opening any doors that aren't too heavy, or risk putting weight on my bad hip to open any heavier ones.  Even the orthopedist office was terrible - two sets of double swinging doors, no handicap button, and then a swinging door into the office itself, though this one has a button.  I've been lucky enough to have some nice people get the door for me at some places, but at others, people just look at me funny.  Like, "if you are disabled, why did you have two kids? Clearly you can get the door for yourself."  I'm putting thoughts in peoples' heads, I know, but it does feel that way.

I haven't figured out the handicapped world while grocery shopping with small children though...they have the cool motorized carts, but tell me where the kids go?  If I put C in my lap, we'd totally crash, and who knows where A would run off to.  Plus, you get a tiny basket to shop.

So for now, I order groceries to be delivered when I can, and Mr. Tupelo does the shopping otherwise.

There's other little things that make a difference too, but those are the ones that get me the most, the big deals to me.  I'm not sure how people handle these things long term.  Anyone have any experience here?

1 comment:

  1. I think you totally have to call it a "ninjary" from now on--that's too funny! You can say it's from your ninja-like craftiness ;) I'm sorry you're having such a hard time; it's definitely not fair.


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