Life One Handed

All posts in the Life One Handed category

Family – Part 1

Published February 18, 2019 by helentastic67

Family Part 1a

Family – Part 1

As you may well imagine, I have a network of people I know with brain injuries and the simple thing about brain injuries that there are no two alike. No diagnosis is the same, the same treatment, recovery etc. Finding? Don’t get me started on the finding. However, suffice to say I recently heard one in my network say her settlement date was looming. I’m sorry WTF?

Settlement looming

They still live at home, while my age they haven’t lived out of home and when they visited my home some years ago, she wandered around asking if each bit of furniture was mine. Everything in my home is mine. I don’t rent furnished homes.

Still living at home

So, I wasn’t sure how she could afford her own place in such a great location, however when discussing this conversation with another her reasoning was simple.

Great location

“She said, her family are assholes.”

For all sense and reason, I think she wouldn’t argue with me when I say for what she has told me, her family is the same.

Family Part 1

I know she recently told me her family and cousins all went away for a weekend of a week and didn’t invite her. Huh? What?

Family weekend

When she asked why, she had been overlooked? She was told, because of her chronic pain, they thought she wouldn’t want to come.

Chronic Pain

Now, let me just suggest, when you suffer chronic pain, it’s never ending, no matter what you do or how often you can be guaranteed it will return and be with you forever. No matter where you are.

Chronic Pain 2

So, if you swim, do yoga, take pills, sleep a lot, you will find a way to do whatever you need to, to cope and sometimes a change of location makes all the difference.

Change of Scenery

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Victim Blaming

Published February 15, 2019 by helentastic67

Victim Blaming

Victim Blaming

There is a weird form of victim blaming, I believe I suffer from, just because I have an ABI. Now, I’m not talking about the version I get all the time of the looks that tell me I’ve somehow bought this predicament upon myself, but the one where something goes missing from my home and I suspect a carer to have helped herself.

Not my fault

My mum will grill me in a form of interrogation, that perhaps I didn’t have it where I thought I had left something.

Interrogation

Do I know when I used it last? Yes, I have an example: –

Earlier this year my Japanese designed letter opener which, while plastic was in the design of a fish. While not expensive, it took a lifetime to find and as it was really ‘neat’ I kept it on my bookcase, o I didn’t have to go looking for it. I could go to the bookcase, hold the letters I wanted to open between my hip and the desk, one-handed, I could use the letter opener with great efficiency then put it back on the bookcase.

bookcase

Job Done.

Job Done

Sweet Success

Published February 11, 2019 by helentastic67

Sweet Success

Sweet Success

I’ve had many carers that take me shopping over the years, on a Friday. That is my day for having a carer put me in their car and we go on an adventure. This is when I feel mostly like a normal person. Like I’m hanging out with a friend, laughing, joking, teasing, sharing stories. Having fun right.

Hanging out with Friends

At the moment, I’ve a young lady (Wow, that just happened, I just became an old lady) who is only 23 years old and we have the best time.

Best time

I make the habit of writing shopping list through out the week, so I can restock, but once out, I’m happy to keep an eye out for my favourite things when on special and anything new that might catch my eye.

Shopping List

My carer these days has a rule; I can only get one thing that is not on my list. “Yes Helen, but that’s your one thing”. So of course, the simple answer is you put EVERYTHING ON THE LIST. Correct.

Cherry Ripe

Cherry ripe

Snickers

Snickers

Chips (you Americans call them Crisps) etc, etc, etc.

Chips

But I then of course make up the rules as we go. “I have to get Jaffa Cakes.” They’re on special. At times I will see something and just sneak it in the trolley, when I’m not looking, she will put it back.

Jaffa cake

Later, I will tell her the last bit of leftover Christmas pudding would have gone so much better with a little thick Bailey’s cream. As I dart my eyes towards her, she will go to take a defensive tone with me and I’ll tell her it doesn’t matter.

Christmas pudding

One week, we were in the lolly isle, I reached for a Cherry Ripe bar ($1) bonus reward points. C’mon, and a debate ensured.

Cherry ripe on special

“No! You already have your one thing?

“But these are on special”

“No!”

So, I just put them in the trolley. She stated that only if she could have one.

“Fine!” she thought that could stop me.

She probably needs a hit of sugar to complete her shift with me and then I told her I was allowed to get two Snickers bars. We had a quiet drive to our next destination as we both ate our Cherry Ripe and Snickers.

Snicker bars

I still win.

I win

Often by the time we work our way around, the regular familiar staff we encounter, wonder what we are giggling about, so we explain the “One thing that isn’t on the list” rule. They share their solutions for me to have a work around. But then this scenario is my young charges worst nightmare. We are standing in the queue for our checkout. On my left (my blind side) is this wall of TIM TAMS and she noticed it before I did or at least I didn’t connect. I suggested to move the trolley closer and I could just scoop them all in the trolley.

Tim Tams

We agreed it was her biggest nightmare! No one is due a TIM TAM care package. Not eve to Texas (even she can’t be trusted – she has to wait) and I already have two unopened packets in the fridge.

Tim Tams 1

Life One-Handed – Part 2

Published February 8, 2019 by helentastic67

Life One Handed Part 2

Life One Handed Part 2

If you have ever had to do something one-handed, you will know how hard it is. It’s also probably painful to watch someone try to do something one-handed.

Watching one handed

It’s often when I’m trying to do something out in public and seem to be struggling with it, that they will politely offer assistance.

Offer polite assistance

On the tram home one day, I planned to eat a green apple, nice, juice tart green apple. My method to do this pain free is I wriggle into a food handling glove, I’ve found this leaves me without sticky hands for the walk home from the tram and when I take the glove off, I can wrap the apple core up inside the glove and put it in my bag, until I reach home or go past a bin.

Sticky Fingers

Apparently, if I throw the apple core in a school garden bed to grow or for the birds, that’s opening myself up to get a fine for littering.

Littering

Anyway, I go the glove on, they are blue so it’s a bit obvious to anyone watching. Then I discovered there was a sticker on the damn apple. With the glove on, I couldn’t use my thumbnail to get it off. Grrrr.

Blue gloves

You get I’m stubborn, right? You need to be in my case, it’s the only way, I was fine, I took the glove off to remove the sticker. This done, I had to get the glove back on the right way, so I could still use it.  No point wasting a good glove.

Stubborn 1

A woman saw me struggling, she offered to help, I politely declined, but I told her to not watch me as it would be very frustrating to see. I also told her I was stubborn.

Dont watch

It was a good apple, the sweeter (tart) by the first bite. I had managed it by myself.

Juicy Apple 1

File Under Apartment Living

Published February 4, 2019 by helentastic67

Apartment Living

File Under Apartment Living

I was talking to my mum on the phone, the balcony door was closed, the only window open in the study (the second bedroom) and my mum says to me;

On the Phone

“Can you turn that down?”

Turn that down

I don’t know if I’ve mention, but I do all calls at home on speaker phone, in case I need to pick up a pen or I multitask doing “something”.

Multitasking

I told her I couldn’t turn it down as it was a motorcycle.

Motorcycle

What was I meant to do? Go out onto the balcony and scream out

Scream turn it down

“Hey you, MUM SAID TURN IT DOWN!”

That would go down well wouldn’t it?

Ba Hum Bug.

bah-humbug

Life One Handed – Part 1

Published February 1, 2019 by helentastic67

lifeonehanded1

Life One Handed Part 1

On a very rare occasion a person carer will have her hands full and doing something to help me with ‘whatever’ and they will say to me “I had the experience of what it must be for you one handed”.

experienceonehanded

Sometimes, it’s not even a comment but a shared look and I will give them a murmur of aging with them and respond “Sucks doesn’t it”

Sucks Doesn't it

Because while they have that brief shared experience with me, I live it every single day. There is no ‘freeing up a hand, there is no break or holiday’

livingwithit

It’s all the friggin time. Ad nauseum.

adnauseum

I guess I should point out it is even more frustrating watching someone struggle to do something with two hands, that I can do very easily with on one hand.

Struggling with 2 hands

I had a young carer once who I gave the task to go hang out some bath mats on the line and on a clothes rack. I gave her the small clothes rack and she commented how much she hated them.

clothesrack

I waited a moment to witness her hold one rail in a hand and fling it around a bit. I don’t know what she was expecting to happen, but she seemed to be having a very hard time. Like she was having a fit. No, really!

I walked away because I couldn’t just stand and watch. I also had to let her wear herself out. Because, I also needed to use “words” to describe to her how to do it.

nowords1

In the end she got there, but it seriously would have been easier had she given it back to me to do. I’m not saying it was the nail in the coffin for that carer to not return to me, it wasn’t, but it didn’t help.

nailinthecoffin

So great was my frustration.

frustraion

Blunt

Published January 28, 2019 by helentastic67

blunt

Blunt

I have been told I’m very blunt, admittedly I’ve been told many things and blunt is a bit of a compliment.

compliment

Today, as my case manager and I walked back from the chemist to a quick shop at my very local supermarket, I asked him to follow-up on a ‘chore’ I’ve not had any success with. He went to ‘put it in his diary’ to do later.

to do list

 

I’m just saying why put off for later if you can do it now?

do today

So I gave him my mobile phone and directed him to search “XYZ” so he could do it as we walked. He prompted “Do you have enough credit?”

do you have enough credit

“Luv!”

He is a sweet young guy man, but I call everyone “Luv” these days (I’m 45 years old)

sweet young guy

“I pay enough on my phone account so we never have to have this fucking conversation again”

not having convo

And we are not 12!

He complemented me on my bluntness as we both laughed.

like being blunt

I confess I do love being blunt.

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