Hey, gang. So I noticed my last disability post was at the beginning of August (eek!), but I’m not exactly brimming with ideas in that arena right now–probably because going out less means encountering less awkward situations, rude comments, access struggles, and other things that provide inspo for these posts. Also, the stress of things happening in America is weighing me down; I’m tryin’ to abide in Jesus, but still… After some contemplation, I think it’ll make for a fun post if I list out some “handicapped probs.”
But first, a brief life update regarding my disability: I’m going to complete my annual appointment to track my FA progression virtually this year. With COVID cases spiking once again, I’m not volunteering to travel across the country if it’s not completely crucial. Reminder–with Friedreich’s Ataxia comes cardiomyopathy aka heart issues. Consider my risk level “sky high.”
Also, I’ve started working out with my trainer in a gym again. Don’t worry, it’s a small-ish apartment complex gym; hardly anyone uses it. For the last six months, we were cooped up in his living room with some dumbbells and a few basic workout tools. Now, I’m readjusting to using machines again. For most of 2020, we’ve had limited space for walking practice, so my ability to do so was decreasing rapidly. I will resist the loss of my “land legs” as long as I have an inkling of power to fight back, so I recently found a way to practice at home. While my brother walks behind and lightly holds my sides, I push my rollator walker a few laps around the room, a basket of dumbbells propped in the seat to stabilize it. Well, when we got back in the gym, my trainer started to have me walk on the treadmill!
Initially, it was really challenging and also intimidating. I probably haven’t been on one in five years, seriously. Not sure why my trainer started going that route; maybe he noticed my decline and wanted to bump the walking practice to another level when we got the chance. Unbelievably, I’m doing it, I’m really doing it! Between the treadmill and walker, I’m getting more regular walking practice than I have in years.
And now that you know what’s happening with me and my disabled life, it’s time for the list. Once I began to write these out, I realized this could actually be a themed series. Did I somehow come up with a brilliant idea while going for something easy? Wow! Anyways, enjoy my attempt at humor through these handicapped probs, public restroom edition:
- When an object blocks the bathroom door from opening all the way (Y’all realize the accessibility inside is irrelevant if I can’t enter, right?! )
- When the bathroom door weighs two tons (perhaps the only point where little old ladies, small children, and people like me share a grievance)
- When non-handicapped people use the handicapped stall, esp. if they’re using it as a phone booth (I’ll just be sitting here busting my gut while you hash out all your friend’s relationship issues in one call.)
- When the toilet in the handicapped stall is clogged (options: hold my poop or poop on top of a stranger’s poop)
- When the toilet seat in the handicapped stall is loose (warning: you might go careening off and/or pinch that area between your butt and the back of your thighs…ouch!)
- When you can’t use both hands to take your pants on and off (Comfortable, classic, good ol’ jeans…you are my favorite pain-in-the-a**)
- When you have to lay your arms on the counter for your hands to reach the sink (and your arms inevitably touch the water others leave on the counter…eww)
- When the paper towels or hand dryer is across the room from the sink (so you inevitably have to get everything wet to get your hands dry…)
- When the bathroom mirror is taller than you are in your chair (I need to know if my eyebrows are still on fleek, people!)
- When the door opens IN to exit (making it nearly impossible to get out without putting a vice grip on the germy door handle, an especially appealing prospect in a pandemic)
- When you have to go through this list more than once if out more than a few hours (Darn you, lack of bladder control!)
Remember: God and a sense of humor will get you through life’s whims and woes. 😉
Thanks for reading! Do you have any suggestions for future editions of handicapped probs? Have you found ways to be active lately? Let me know in the comments.
P.S. Believe it or not, I started writing this post before receiving the news… Declan Lockheed, a writer for the blog run by Twinkl, an educational resource site, reached out via email. His team and he want to include Retrospective Lily in a post spotlighting great disability bloggers to celebrate International Day of Disabled Persons. He was so nice and said they appreciated my honest and positive takes + my spreading FA awareness. I’ve never received an honor like this before! Yay! Details to come. 🙂