Living Life In A Wheelchair

March 2022 Newsletter Edition

Just weeks after the pandemic was declared one of my two chest freezers wore out. It took six months to get a replacement. Full size freezers were not stocked. When my refrigerator broke in late February the website showed it would be available for delivery between March 12th and 17th. I was hopeful this was accurate but simply didn't know. When my new refrigerator was delivered on March 14th I was very pleasantly surprised. A friend and his 15 year old son ran the water line for my new refrigerator. I made the final pair of connections. The water and ice dispensers are both proving very helpful. It was worth the disruption to now have a refrigerator capable of these. The only challenge I now have as a result of this is finding a water bottle with a wider lid so the ice cubes are able to load into the bottle regardless of what orientation they come from the ice dispenser. As March came to an end I am starting to feel like I am able to get into a routine how healthy living revolves around a working refrigerator.

On February 24th I had an appointment with the doctor that performed the regenerative medicine treatment of my right knee and right ankle. The new plan was to re-do the regenerative medicine treatment using a knee unloader brace to stabilize my right knee joint. My artificial left hip and right knee are both not doing okay. My right knee cap dislocated twice this month. The knee joint is feeling loose. As well my artificial left hip joint started making a noise. The most concerning event of this was sounding like a door hinge that very badly needs oiling. It is incredible the pace my right knee is deteriorating. The stiffness has made most tasks in day to day living quite hard. I am once again in a place of trying to work out a contingency plan. Although this needs more consideration I don't see how this is sustainable and the real issues need addressing.

About three weeks ago I was getting hungry while playing a racing car game before going to bed. I warmed up some maple syrup beans. I was on Discord at the time. I said in passing I was eating these. Originally someone in the United States didn't believe. Then when I showed a photo of the can (which included "Made With Quebec Maple Syrup") they further thought I was joking. But another Canadian was on the call. He had a can in his pantry, warmed them up and shared a photo of this as well. For fun I offered to mail some cans to them. This was one of the highlights of the month. In the midst of what has been a challenging time I enjoy doing this. It was also a bit comical with how maple syrup is an associated Canadian stereotype.

Over the past 8 months I've been doing some continued deep cleaning and organizing. I have another donation load ready for the local chapter of Habitat For Humanity. With the challenges caused by my leg joints the left over building materials are just going to be too hard for me to transport to their facility using my power wheelchair trailer. I have arranged a pick up. This will happen in April. I often can't clean because of my physical disability. When I do I enjoy it. It is rewarding seeing the progress.

A local marina has partnered with SaliAbility and had the program moved to their facility. Prior to this it was based on Canadian Forces Base Trenton. I have used the contact form to express interest in joining for the 2022 season. They have the specialist equipment for transferring a wheelchair onto a sail boat. It offers the opportunity to sail on the local water front twice a week during the summer months. I love nature photography. I thoroughly enjoy nature and forget about my leg problems. I think this would be good for me. The only concern that needs to be tested is if I am able to tolerate the sailing and that it doesn't cause a reaction with my physical disability. If it did I could choose to attend a single time each week. I expect the doctors would work with me to help make this happen. I am hopeful this is an option for me.

Rocky The Hamster has been receiving fan mail. He has received several activities for him to do when awake. I need to move Rocky to a wire cage instead of living in a large fish tank. These activities require wires for installing them. When I got my first hamster the pet store told me to have about 4 inches or 10cm of shavings so I could space out changing the shavings to be easy on my legs. I just can't find a large plastic base hamster cage. The large cages are made from wood. The reviews of these have endless stories of hamster chewing their way out. Instead I have purchased a guinea pig cage. I am going to spot welder on a second set of wires so Rocky won't escape. I've decided to make a spot welder using a donor microwave. I've ordered the components in late February. They began to arrive. I started making the spot welder and expect to finish this in April.

I've been thinking a lot about how to grow my Twitch channel. I have decided to focus on creating an interactive word game. I spent quality time playing Scrabble with my aunt supporting her during her end of life. I enjoyed this. It was good for me as well in terms of my physical disability and the chronic pain I experience. I expect a percentage of my youTube channel users would benefit from this as well. I need to spend some time thinking this through, how I'd create an interactive applicnation for the web (and possibly smart phones) and flesh out what the rules will be. This is something I hope to poke away at during the next few months. I do have other things that need my attention. Rocky's cage is far more important to me than this. Rocky is dependent on me. At least I have a target / direction I want to go with my Twitch. I am just hoping my physical disability won't hold me back from coding this.

I think gardening might be a nice way of getting outside with something small to do. I believe it is worth a try. I've been looking up some wall gardening strategies. I found a strategy I think will work. It uses the actual bags potting soil come in with drainage holes on the bottom and a hole on the top cut for the plant to grow out of. This particularly strategy uses IV drips with water reservoirs that are easy to reach without bending and reaching in ways that cause me to experience pain and stiffness. I am always glad when I've been outside. I've decided to try 4 plants this year. I will see how it goes. This summer I will also pay attention to what plants people grow in raised flower beds. If all is well I hope to expand upon this next summer.