Living Life In A Wheelchair

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January 2023 Newsletter Edition

The month of January hasn't been easy. However I am happy with what I was able to get done.

My physical disability has required some of my time and energy during January. I've frequently used warm water to ease the stiffness and pain in my legs. In early January I went to use the tub just to discover I had no hot water. A pin hole leak developed in the solder join that feeds cold water into my water heater. Some of the dripping water found it's way into the electric thermostat. This caused my water heater to shut itself off as a safety measure. Subsequently I had no warm water to soak my legs in. A friend stepped up and fixed this for me. Just over a week later I discovered my right knee joint was locked when I went to get out of the tub. This caused my knee to feel raw and limited my activities for the following 2 weeks. I used my good hours working on my website and playing games with friends. I made the best of this. I also restocked the supplements I use for managing some of the symptoms of my physical disability. I now have sufficient stock to get me through until summer.

I have thought about my life, what I have control over and what I am able to do in order to help myself. I have a short list of projects that make sense and will promote a better quality of life for myself. What will make the most immediate improvement in my life is better quality sleep. Then if I am sleeping better I should be able to do a bit more each day. Over the long run this will make a big difference. I've decided to initially focus on making black out curtains. During the month of January I got started on the sewing. I am hoping to complete the sewing in February and then receive help installing them from friends. This project works out really well in terms of my physical disability. There is a significant sitting component and I am able to pace myself. I don't foresee barriers preventing me from completing this.

My Grandma died on Christmas morning. She was 97 years old. For several years I sent Grandma letters in the mail. I took photos of whatever I was working on at the time as well as my pet hamster and wrote about these. I had a very special phone call in early January. Grandma was divorced. One of her daughters wanted to call to ensure I knew she had died. Mainly the daughter wanted to know just how much Grandma loved getting my letters. I didn't realize it meant so much to her. I really enjoyed doing this. It was time well spent. I'll miss her. I am glad Grandma is suffering anymore.

I continue to enjoy spending time with Rocky the hamster and providing for him. Around the third week of January I ran out of sunflower seeds I give him. Following an appointment with my social worker I went into the store and purchased more sunflower seeds. I didn't see the variety of sunflower seeds Rocky had been eating so I bought what was readily available. I continued to put about 7 of these in his fuzzy hamster (where I hide the sunflower seeds) each evening. Throughout the last week of January I could tell by the way Rocky was standing that he was asking for more treats. I thought he was asking me for a bit more mango or carrot. Rocky figured out a different way to communicate with me. He carried all the sunflower seeds I'd been offering him out of his fuzzy hamster and put them in a pile for me to find in the middle of his shavings. I caught onto the fact that he wasn't eating this variety. A neighbour saw me leaving my home using my power wheelchair to go buy more and offered to do this for me. The roads were icy and he was concerned I'd become stuck. Things like this keep me encouraged. I was grateful for the practical help. I really enjoy caring for my little buddy.