#IWantOne

I work in marketing. I am a sucker for a pretty package, a cheesy tagline or a commercial that makes me feel. I get what they are doing and I love it.

This week my colleague (Heyyy Elizabeth) shared how she tweeted to the cyber universe about her new fitness efforts. @FedEx tweeted back Continue reading

Advertisements

5 Obnoxious Things

Traveling always stirs up a story. It reminds me how we make our day-to-day world to be as easy and comfortable as possible. Leaving the safe bubble of home pushes us to new limits but can also be a little obnoxious.

5 Obnoxious Things I Experienced in Cleveland, OH this week: Continue reading

falling apart

In my last post I mentioned my new ice tips for my crutches. They are cool and work well, however once you reach safe terrain you have to flip them up so you don’t trash the floor or slip on the metal spikes.  I didn’t think it would be a big deal but I have found that it attracts attention. Every person that crosses my path eyeballs the contraption hanging off my crutches.

I love gadgets so on one hand – it is a cool topic of conversation. However, I am also the girl trying to blend in and avoid being asked how I broke my leg all day long.  So my fancy tips backfired.

In addition to the ice tips, I ordered the Tornado Tips which are normal crutch tips but last longer, have better traction and gel to soften the blow of each step on my arms. They rock but have a fat tip which sets my crutches higher.  As you may remember, I fill my crutches with super glue to make them silent, so this also backfired.

My new shoes (that happen to be super flat) were screaming to be worn and combined with my new extra tall crutches was pure badness.

It seemed fine at first. Heck, my shoes were cute. That’s what’s important, right.  Well, then my shoulder started hurting.  Oh and my arm felt cold. It was like I pinched a nerve and messed up my muscles.  I ignored it for a few days and then I couldn’t take it anymore. I would sit at my desk trying to focus on work but all I could think about was my cold arm and knotted up shoulder.  It was freaking me out.

My workplace offers cool perks which I totally appreciate. We have an onsite massage therapist in our health services clinic.  Before I could waste another second I called them up and made an appointment.   As the massage therapist worked my shoulder, I could feel the tight ball of muscles moving back and forth, she made a comment that they were messed up.  Yep, I was well aware!  

The massage worked wonders and by the next day my shoulder was fine and my arm felt warm.  Apparently cool gadgets and cute shoes come with a price. I am pretty sure that means for now I need to go shopping for some shoes with bigger heels {wink}.  

(function(d, s, id) {
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1”;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

 

things that rock

I have started this new year being a pretty terrible blogger.  Life here has been consumed with returning to work after taking a bunch of time off for the holidays, freelance work at night and writing a story for Metroparent magazine that highlighted some amazing parents with disabilities from my community. I totally loved every second of interviewing and writing that piece, I’ll share more once it’s published. 

My year has also started off with a few gadgets and some new shoes in the mix. I’m excited to share them, maybe these things could make your life a bit brighter too… 

HANDS-FREE DRYER

Okay, go ahead and giggle. I totally dig this thing and even more I love that my husband bought it for me for Christmas.  My right hand is not as strong as my left. So holding a hair dryer in one hand and a brush in the other is impossible.  Problem solved. Me likes.

SHOE BLISS

In past posts I have mentioned my angst with clubfoot and finding shoes that work. I love a ton of the flats that are in style but couldn’t keep them on my feet. It inspired me to find a shoe tailor and add straps to make them work.  

I’m now a shoe monster, I just can’t have enough. Here are a few of my new friends. Welcome home sweet shoes, welcome home. My closet is happy to meet you!

AND SHE’S DOWN…

I live in Wisconsin. Normally our winter is filled with snow, ice and slushy mess – this year has been a strange spring-like treat. We finally got our first snow this past week and I had the chance to test out my new Thomas Fetterman ice tips.

Despite the obvious reasons I should hate winter since I use crutches, I really don’t. I love winter clothes and jackets a lot and so I like to think it makes it all worth it. 

My mother-in-law bought me these new crutch tip covers for Christmas. They are amazing and work really well. I hope to find myself sprawled one less time on the sidewalk this winter and they will be worth every penny.

These three things make me smile. What kind of things make your life twinkle? 

(function(d, s, id) {
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1”;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

 

 

 

 

crutch talk

This annoys me more than I even know how to put it into words. Every month the metal breaks through the tip of my crutches. It is paralyzing. I suddenly have a super slippery metal tip that clunks with each step. It always seems to happen at the worst time possible. I am either stuck with them like that all day or I end up running to Walgreens to buy an overprice kit (and pray I don’t slip and fall during the process). 

Let me explain…

Drug stores do not seem to carry just the replacement tips anymore. They sell the whole set which includes the arm pads, hand pads and tips. So I have a huge mound of these accessory parts that I don’t need. I also have wasted a lot of cash. To get the tips separately I have to go to a medical supply store/well stocked pharmacy (which seem to be never open) or order in bulk online.

A few years back my boss gave me an article about a few local engineers that designed a crutch prototype after one of them had to use crutches for 18 weeks. I read the article and tracked them down. In my note I mentioned that I beat the inventor Jesse’s 18 weeks by a good 28 years with crutches and had lots of ideas if he was interested.

He wrote back and I met with him and his team for lunch. They were gracious and seemed excited to hear my point of view. It was really eye-opening for me and I realized how much I know about crutches and my personal wish list. 

10 things about crutches that I really hate…

1. They ruin shirts. The rubber arm pads make my shirts bumpy and gross. It’s cool because I have an amazing shopping excuse and sad when it ruins my favorites.

2. They squish my arms and make them look fat.

3. They make a clicking noise.  Ahhhh! I cannot – let me repeat CANNOT stand hearing myself. My husband fills my crutches with super glue when I get a new set to help eliminate that issue. {true love}

4. They hurt bare arms and make summer clothes a big bummer.

5. They slip out from under my arms so easily on wet linoleum, greasy gas station tiles or Mc Donald’s floors. It never fails if I reach up for a straw at a fast food place they will pop out from under my arm.

6. They make walking on slanted terrain awkward. One armpit is being attacked.

7. They ruin Halloween costumes and generate unwanted attention/questions. Why is the ladybug on crutches?

8. When there is not a good place to prop them when out to eat, the waitress and/or other diners inevitably trip on them. They feel bad and I feel bad that I caused them to feel bad.

9.  When switching the hand pads I expect blisters until they are broken in.

10. They make it impossible to walk and carry my son, an umbrella, drink a beverage, talk on the phone, etc

I know there are some pretty sweet custom crutch gadgets out there and I have found my dream tips and winter accessories. I just can’t make myself spend that much yet. As much as I may have some crutch baggage, I also love them. They allow me walk, do my thing and be independent….well, that is until my tip breaks through.

behind elevator doors

Many of you who know me seemed surprised by the blog name. Maybe it’s because you quickly identified when we first met that I was not wearing a cast and saw signs of physical weakness and/or disfigured joints… Maybe it’s because you have known me forever and so the question just seems ridiculous…

I am happy to report I did actually break my leg when I was younger. I was in physical therapy on a three-wheeled bike with my feet strapped to the pedals. My older brother was along and we were having fun, him chasing me on his bike. I’m sure I was squealing and driving crazy which led to the big crash.

For as long as I can remember I have been asked if my leg is broken on a daily basis. The frequency of this greatly increases in the winter. I know it is partially due to the weather and the slick sidewalk banter that’s quick to come to mind. My personal theory is that with sweaters and jackets, my hands are more hidden and it must be harder to tell.

When meeting new people or “friends of a friend” I secretly hope that my friends gave them the heads up that I have a disability. It sounds kind of pathetic but it prevents them from asking what happened, having to explain my disability and the awkward silence that follows.

Honestly, how can one appropriately reply and save face, “Oh that’s cool…” doesn’t really cut it. Apologizing adds to the uncomfortable situation, they are sorry for asking and then I’m sorry that I made them feel bad. 

The elevator is the hot spot. They ask, I answer, things get awkward and those darn elevator doors can’t open fast enough.

How I answer is typically a case-by-case scenario depending on my mood, where I am and my own first impressions of the person asking. (yeah, yeah so I make assumptions too. *ducking head)

CURIOUS PERSON: “That doesn’t look like fun. How’d ya break your leg?” 
ME: politely smile and say, “oh it’s a long story”

***EPIC FAIL: Often they won’t get the hint and will push for more “come on tell me, I have time.”  It just gets weird but I still use this line. This is my default “I wish you’d leave me alone”  or “you’re a drunk person pestering me at a bar/festival/etc” reply.

CURIOUS PERSON: “uhh ohh now what did you do?” 
ME: “Nothing, I use them permanently” 
***awkwardness follows

If my husband is with me we also get random jokesters who say things like,  “oh boyyyy, was he being rough with you again?”  I like to think I have a pretty good sense of humor but there are days when you just don’t want to hear it.

My most effective response is typically, I was born with a disability and always use crutches to walk. I usually get an “oh, I m sorry”  response and I offer up my, “don’t be, I’m asked a lot and you didn’t know.”   I toss them a quick grin and the elevator doors open…

I’ve been encouraged to have some fun with these encounters and make up wild leg breaking stories. It’s super tempting but I know my poker face is pretty terrible. One look at me and I’d be busted.

Going forward I plan to test out the new response I’ve added to the collection.
“Nope, I didn’t break my leg, but you should totally go to my blog to learn more!”

var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-24668346-2’]);
_gaq.push([‘_setDomainName’, ‘.squarespace.com’]);
_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]);

(function() {
var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true;
ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();