Dear lady with the big SUV…

My day at work was long. We turned back the clocks – it’s dark and I
was feeling cranky.  I pulled onto the street by daycare and saw your
big gas guzzler parked in the handicapped spot. I parked on the street
and walked past your car on my way in.

No handicapped sticker hanging from the mirror…

Just an oversized black purse spilling out on the passenger seat.  A
purse no girl in a chair or using crutches would want to haul. No way.
 I could have curled in a ball and climbed inside that thing.

I started to feel really mad.

After greeting my son and making our way back outside, there you were.  Strong legs.  Big boots.  Young and healthy.

Maybe your day sucked too.  Maybe you were feeling lazy or had to go to the bathroom really bad.  Perhaps you were conserving energy so you could Drop It Like It’s Hot and rock it Gangnam Style at the club this weekend.

I don’t know your story.

I do know that you quickly shut your door and wouldn’t look me in the
eye.  So I knocked on your window.  I thought I should point out how
you were illegally parked.  You played dumb so I felt inclined to point
out the large handicapped sign
about five feet from your face.  If I had guts I would have also
pointed out that I confronted you on this same thing like 6 months ago.

You just shrugged and shut your door.

I walked away and was mad.  I went from mad to steaming.  On my way
home it morphed into a wave of embarrassment over the reality that I
just confronted a fellow mom at my son’s school.  This was quickly
replaced with disgust.

Your laziness and lack of compassion for others leaves me speechless.
You are teaching your son to break laws, bend rules and put his needs
before others.  

It’s been three days and I’m still fuming.  So I’m writing you this letter.

Until we meet again {with you illegally parked},
Rachel

pillowcases in the sky

My flight was eventless – the walking around the airport portion is
not really an issue – I actually prefer it. I want my Nike Fuel points.
{wink}

The tricky part for me is how to get my suitcase from my car to
check-in and then from baggage claim to my taxi. I know I could ask for
help but it’s totally on my bucket list to figure it out on my own.
Even if I only do it once and then ask for help for the rest of my days.

I think I can…I think I can…I KNOW I can!

I’ll test out the suitcase gadget soon and report back.

After boarding my plane which was open seating (that was new to
me…) a man plopped down to my right. He was carrying his items in a
new twist of a man purse….a pillow case!

A trendsetter? A terrorist?

I am the queen of over thinking, the nancy drew in me went into high
alert. So I did the normal thing to do, ya know… Read all of his texts
out of the corner of my eye as he juggled his collection of phones.

Not sure if his phone collection depleted his bag budget… However, he was harmless. I’m still alive. Life is good.

Luggage Hitch

I’m traveling next week.  I am super thankful to have an awesome
colleague on my flight that is willing to help with my bag.  However,
this is something I need to master so I can travel alone and still use a
suitcase. It’s on my bucket list.

In the past I’d cram everything into a huge duffel bag so I could
sling it over my body. It works…but the bag ends up weighing almost as
much as me and it is brutal.

I noticed this gadget
on the website of my beloved crutch tip designer.  I am completely sold
on his crutch accessories so I’m dying to know if this would work for
me too. I’m going to add it to my “Christmas wish list” so I’ll let you
know how it works.

Anyone have any tips on what you do with hauling luggage when you are
also maneuvering crutches or a chair? Have you ever tapped into the
airport assistance? Was it a hassle?

are you in the gutter too?

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
– Oscar Wilde

The other morning as I was getting in the elevator at work, a man held the door for me and said, “uh oh that doesn’t look happy”…

I simply smiled at him and the elevator whisked me away from him and an awkward conversation that was right around the corner.  It was way too early for that. I needed my skim vanilla latte or Diet Mountain Dew fix first.

As I sat down at my desk and started my day, his comment rattled around in my head.

That doesn’t look happy.

It is really easy to let situations and others tell us how to feel.  I am the first to admit that when I’m sick, my shoes are uncomfortable, days when I can’t do anything right or when those I love are down…I want to hide under a blanket or run away to a warm sandy beach by myself.  

In the end, how we feel is up to us. Every gloomy thing has an angle of sunshine. 

Yes…life with a weak body bites the big one.  Crutches are annoying.  I can’t do all things I want to do.  I have to ask for help.  People stare at me trying to figure me out.  Kids ask me why I have crutches every morning at daycare.  I want to run, jump and feel strong.

But…having AMC has introduced me to the world of doctors, therapist and other people with challenges. I met amazing people that I would have never known.  I am way more perceptive of how others feel. I have tapped into a world of people doing really cool things for others with what they learned from being sick, different, etc.  I learned how to feel okay about needing others. In a weird way I sometimes think that giving them a chance to help me can brighten their day too.

We are all given a deck of cards in life. How we chose to play our hand is up to us. You can dwell on the bad cards or embrace your pair of eights. 

hey baby, let’s go for a spin…

I received an email today from a fellow AMCer looking for adaptive ideas on driving.  It’s tough because we all have different challenges and our symptoms vary. 

It was not a big deal for me when I turned 16 because my hands are bent but my elbows are straight. I have enough reach and strength to steer, shift, etc.  My legs are also strong enough to push the gas/brake without any special gadgets.

However, I’m guessing some of you might use some things to help. I’d love it if you could add a comment on here with some ideas on what has worked for you. 

I love watching Little People, Big World to see all the things they have come up with to drive, reach things and live a normal life. 

The smallest tricks can make life so much easier. {like the 1-up ponytail…WOOT}

Please help!

 

 

dreams

Oliver’s teacher had a dream about my family the other night. We were all running down the sidewalk. She saw us and asked what we were doing. We shared how we wanted to get to Hart Park before dark. She said I was on crutches but running really fast.

I loved this – dreams are really interesting and can be so weird!

In my dreams I never use crutches. I do have dreams about my crutches, either I lost them and can’t get up a hill or one of them is broken, but I’m never actually using them.

For those of you in chairs, with braces, crutches, etc…how do you physically appear in your dreams?

Even on a more “normal” basis, do you with glasses, wear them in your dreams?

operation skinny

My dream for this blog was to network with other AMCers to share tips, inspire each other and bring awareness to those “normal” peeps on what it’s like to have a disability.  

So when I receive messages from readers, I get really excited. I got one this week on a topic that I think we all struggle with…OPERATION SKINNY.

Well, there are those girls who seem to be able to eat everything and anything and remain tiny, cute and chipper from the latest sugar cookie high…but we don’t like them.  They never had to lie on the floor to button their jeans. {wink}

Maintaining weight takes work, willpower and dedication.  When your ability to move is limited, this adds a whole new twist.  A fellow AMCer who uses a chair asked for some tips on losing weight.  I am hoping you can comment on here and share what you do to stay healthy.

The level of mobility we have impacts so much. We are all different, but to get things started, I thought I’d share the things I try to do. However, I love pizza..fries…ice cream much more than my 5’1 frame needs…so these are just the things I know I should do, when I’m not being a pig.   🙂

1. Nike Fuel Band

I love this thing and like to track my steps. It inspires me to take a parking spot at the end of the lot or walk a few laps around my neighborhood at night instead of surfing the web. Yep, picture me doing laps around the hood with Carly Rae Jepson belting out Call Me Maybe in my headphones.

Basically, I try to not let my head hit the pillow at night until my 10,000 steps have been walked.  I was on a roll and then work became busy and followed me home, my son got sick, I got sick, a new show came on TV, etc. I have officially fallen off the wagon.  I need a kick in the butt to get back on. 

 

2. My Fitness Pal

This website and iPhone app rocks! You can scan the UPC bar on packages and it calculates the nutrition. You can also search for food or manually enter calories.

Set goals for your ideal weight and it will help determine the calories you need. I usually eat whatever I want but when my calories for the day are gone – I am done eating.  I found it made me become much more thoughtful about what I put in my mouth.

 

Both of these tools incorporate social media and the option to add those you know as friends. This helps motivate me and makes it a little bit more fun. What works for you?