Making Life Easier

I mentioned in my last post about gizmos I’m using to make my life easier. I thought I’d elaborate on them. As time has progressed in my life now with MS, I’ve found there are some aids available that can help.

When my walking became unsteady, I knew I needed a cane to help with balance. I understood  the common worry MS’ers have that other people would think we had drinking problems. I resisted the idea of a clinical-looking cane, so I purchased a wood walking-stick type in North Cove Outfitters. Yes, it was an odd choice but not only was it sturdy but it looked good, too. I also bought a black, foldable, light-weight cane for more formal use.

 When I devolved to a wheelchair, I purchased one especially fitted out for my build and then ordered it in cherry-red. It looked really good when my daughter married an English fellow, and I had both the American and Union Jack flags inserted in the seat’s back pocket where they happily waved behind me wherever I went during the reception.

 I inherited an automatic reclining chair from an aunt. I love this thing. It makes getting into and out a comfy chair much easier for me. I’m in it every afternoon to rest my back and raise my legs. This helps my ankles that can sometimes get puffy from sitting in the wheelchair too long.

 A side rail on my bed was an invaluable addition to helping me not only get into and out of bed, but also something to hold onto when I make the bed in the morning. It straps around the box spring so it is sturdy. This cost me $50 (on sale from $100).

 I have safety handles in the bathroom, and a shower chair for bathing. I was able to get the chair free from a local organization. The handles and chair make my life in that room a little more independent.

 I purchased (for $13) a leg lift aid. Although not a strictly necessary item, it does help me be able get my socks and shoes on and is one of those things that is nice to have.

 More pricey was having my car outfitted with adaptive driving gear. I had to be certified and licensed by my state (Connecticut) in order to be able to drive with it. The instruction, although free for residents, took over six months to complete. The equipment cost $1200. Although I haven’t mastered actually getting my gear out of the van by myself yet, I do love the freedom of driving again. I guess down the road (no pun intended) I’ll have to look into a handicapped van and maybe an electric wheelchair, but I’m not ready for that yet.


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