I know this post should have been up a long time ago and for that I do apologise. Particularly as if it weren’t for all the wonderful people in my life and the people that read my blogs I wouldn’t have the E-Fix or the independence I now have.
From the very second I sat in my chair with new, fancy, motorised wheels it has made a HUGE difference to my life.
Lots of people have asked me what it was I wanted to do first or what it was I did first and honestly the answer is not that exciting, at least not to you.
The first thing I wanted was to walk beside my boyfriend and to be able to hold a proper conversation. Sounds simple and everyday to you right? Not to me though. I spent a year not being able to hold proper conversations with James when out because he’s stood behind me pushing my wheelchair.
Something so simple, something most people do without thinking is one of the many things I couldn’t do. Along with being able to hold hands. Again something very small and simple but I hadn’t done this as I say for about a year. After a while you feel bad about it, you feel less of the person you were and it’s a simple thing that makes you feel guilty and reminds you of your many limitations. I would see others in the street and I’d be jealous. I’d wonder if it meant to them what it meant to me. I wondered how James felt about it. I wondered if it made me any less of a good girlfriend. My E-Fix solves this issue and some how makes me feel more valid in my status as a girlfriend. As much as I am happy to identify myself as disabled it helps me forget about this part of my life or at least it makes it less obvious to me.
The second thing I could not wait to do was to go shopping. If I’m being honest I wanted to specifically go food shopping as this was where the majority of my frustrations etc came out.
Going shopping or anywhere where you may want to stop and look at things can be an absolute night mare when you’re a wheelchair user that has someone else push them.
The other person often tends to forget that you have a very different view of things around you, how close you do or don’t need to be to a shelf etc.
The E-Fix has changed this massively and has saved many many “disagreements” between James and I. I think a lot of people who were or are in a similar situation would tell you these things can cause great disagreements.
Imagine doing your weekly/monthly shop. Imagine going clothes shopping. Imagine doing your 6 monthly trip to ikea. Now think about how frequently you stop to look at something. Now think about what would happen if you had to tell someone every time you wanted to stop. What would happen if you say needed someone else’s permission to stop as such. Imagine what it’s like catching something in the corner of your eye but not being able to look because someone has picked you up and whisked you away.
Have you ever been stuck in the front row at the cinema? Yes? Remember what it felt like looking up at the screen with neck ache. Trying to figure out what was happening on the screen. Now imagine trying to do your weekly shop in this way – NIGHTMARE.
The E-Fix gives me so much independence! I am able to peruse the clothes shop at my own leisurely pace. I can look at food on a shelf, I can check there ingredients. I can offer to quickly whizz down to the bakery isle because we’ve forgotten bread.
I can do all these “normal” things!
The E-Fix hasn’t just allowed conversations, hand holding and easier, less stressful and more normal shopping habits.
It has given me FREEDOM! Before the E-Fix I wasn’t able to go out without the help of another person. This meant that I only went out in the evenings usually when we needed to do food shopping, I’d go out on weekends that James wasn’t working and I had a fabulous friend that I met up with almost every Thursday and would offer to push me about so we could hang out and I could escape the four walls.
Before getting my E-Fix we knew a move to Cardiff was about 80-90% certain. So I did begin to worry what my life would become when I had less people to help and support me. There’s only so much James can do.
However, now I can go out pretty much WHENEVER I want to. I say pretty much because I’m still fatigued, I am still in a lot of pain and I am still very weak – I do sometimes have to remind myself of these things…
The E-Fix has allowed me to get to my GP and hospital appointments whenever and where ever I need. It has allowed me to go down to Cardiff Bay, Roath Park, City Centre, Penarth Pier and to Play Mini Golf with my friend. It’s allowed me to visit friends and family. To be able to pick up my own prescriptions, to pop to a shop whenever I need to. I’ve been able to get out of the house even if for a five minute ‘roll’.
The E-Fix has saved me from my four walls. It has changed a lot including my mood some days. Being stuck in one place constantly being reminded of your limitations can be extremely hard.
The E-Fix has meant I have a lot less stress and anxieties the majority of the time I go out. Don’t get my wrong it comes with its own anxieties but I don’t have to worry about whose pushing me. I don’t have to carry so so so much guilt around ALL of the time. All of which means I can enjoy my time out or my time with friends, family and James.
As I said it does come with some of its own anxieties. How’s accesss? (As I don’t quite have the same manoeuvrability). Will my battery last? (It usually does). Can I lift it out of the car easily today? (This is something I’m starting to struggle with).
However, each of these thing are manageable and there are things out there to help me with them too.
James and I have just been on holiday and compared to our holiday last year wheelchair wise it has been so so much better and easier!
We can walk together, we can talk and enjoy each other’s company. I don’t feel so guilty. I have gotten up and down many many steep hills independently. I’ve gotten across beaches (with some help at times). I’ve played table tennis from my wheelchair which means a lot less pain from standing! I don’t need James to take me to the toilet every time I go because our campsites on a hill.
The E-Fix has changed so much for me. It has definitely helped in our move to Cardiff. It has reduced a lot of my stresses and anxieties. It has helped increase my mood and take advantage of my better days.
It has allowed me independence, freedom and the ability to be a little more like every other 20 year old.
So, I cannot thank you all enough. I will be forever grateful to all of those that encouraged me, supported me, liked, shared, retweeted and donated. Your kindness and generosity has been unbelievably appreciated and will never be forgotten. The kindness and support I’ve received from my friends, family, those I barely know and complete strangers has been and is incredibly overwhelming and I cannot thank you enough.
I wouldn’t have the life I do now or the ability to enjoy things the way I do now without all of you.
I will continue to update you all on my adventures with the E-Fix.
I will also eventually introduce you all to the E-Fix, how it works and all it’s features. In the meantime if you have any questions about the E-Fix then please let me know!
Thank you all so so much!