I need a reacher for my reacherSep 06 03:47
The human brain rules at figuring out workarounds. Maybe we haven’t found the secret to time travel, but we‘ve figured out some pretty badass stuff, from how to fly through space to curing deadly infections. So, when confronted by physical limitations, a veritable “dent” in the car we’re stuck in until we die so to speak, its only natural we work just as hard to find a workaround.
I’m not talking about an explicit cure, but rather a collection of solutions to the limitations that come along as an effect of having a disability. Can’t walk? Here’s a chair with wheels. Can open the door? Here’s an automatic button. Can’t get up the stairs? Here’s a snazzy lift. Can’t open a can of soup? Here’s an automatic can opener. But as we all with disabilities know, there’s not always going to be a solution for everything. Sometimes its up to us to be the next inventor.
With life being unexpected every minute of everyday, you’ll always find something you need to figure a workaround for (without the luxury of a device dreamed up by someone who came before you). I’ve found paper grocery bags to be AMAZING in helping to pick up anything heavy off the floor. Simply open the bag and lay it on it’s side, then push in the things you want to pick-up using whatever you can use - your hands, a reacher, even the end of a broomstick. After everything is in, pick up the bag by the handles. Easy! Not a genius workaround by far, but a solution nonetheless, and in my world one of the most important workarounds I’ve ever figured out.
And we can’t forget the classic, “I need a reacher for my reacher,” scenario; highlighting how life can be like the jerk in high school, deliberately pissing you off to test you. Of course the answer to this question is to pull out your broom and get that reacher back in your hands asap; knock it down and get it however you can. That’s what we need to do to find all disability solutions - be aggressive and confident. It may not get us walking again, but it will help us uncover solutions that are just beneath the surface.
What workarounds are you most proud of?
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1. Diana | Sep 08 03:43
I carry around an "extendable" back scratcher. At 6in. (folded) it fits nicely inside my clutch. Dropped your keys, you say? Pull out the scratcher, extend it, voila! Definitely more more glamorous than lugging around your standard "grip and grab". :)
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.