Tag Archives: Melissa McPherson

A Wheelchair Fit for a Bride

Just a few weeks ago I celebrated my 2nd wedding anniversary. Actually, it wasn’t much of a celebration; it was the middle of the week, my husband and I were both feeling too tired to go out after work, and when the weekend rolled around, the pump on our well decided it didn’t want to work anymore. That’s married life for you folks; all bliss and romance all the time.

Anyway, my anniversary, lackluster as it was, got me thinking back to my wedding day and the whole planning process. As some of you may know, I kept a blog during that time in order to record my experiences. I did this for two reasons; the first was that when I searched online for information about being a bride with a disability, I found very little, which annoyed me. I wanted to make sure that brides after me had some decent resources. The second reason was that I wanted other women with disabilities to know that despite the messages society has fed us, we can get married and we do get married.

Of course, when I was planning my wedding, I spent most of the time worrying about how my disability might affect it. Would I be able to walk down the aisle? How would I carry my bouquet? Would my dress get caught in my wheelchair? How would I pose for pictures?

One of my biggest concerns was looking like a bride on my wedding day. I am normally not a vain person, but on that day, I wanted to be beautiful; not a beautiful girl in a wheelchair, but a beautiful bride. I found the dress and the shoes pretty easily, I made appointments for my hair, nails and makeup, and then I was faced with one more thing: My Wheelchair. Let me be clear, I am not ashamed of my wheelchair, but when you live an unlimited life, wheelchairs get pretty banged up. The paint chips, you scratch it, one wheel gets a squeak and sometimes pieces are missing. It was ugly and not exactly bridal, so I worried that it might take away from my photos and be a eyesore coming down the aisle.

The solution? Some strategically placed fabric, some contact paper and a beautiful bouquet. My mother is a seamstress, so she created slip covers for my wheelchair to cover the back and the seat. She then covered my wheel guards with ivory contact paper and my sister helped to strategically drape some additional fabric over the back to create a train. When I met with the florist, we figured out a way to attach the bouquet to my chair. The results were absolutely gorgeous.

Aside from the enormous bouquet, (which could be created with fake flowers to save money) this was a pretty cheap makeover. It only took about five yards of fabric, much of which I was able to reuse for another project.

I know that ultimately my wheelchair did not matter that day. What mattered was that I was marrying the man that I loved, surrounded by my friends and family. But for me, it felt great to make my wheelchair a special part of my day. It was that last little detail that brought everything together. Plus it looked awesome in the photos.

Managing Back Pain

At some point throughout life, most people will encounter back pain, and it can be pretty debilitating. For people with disabilities, however, back pain can bring our lives to a screeching halt. Even simple tasks, like rolling over in bed or transferring, become insurmountable feats of will that often result in tears, heavy breathing and the occasional scream.

Back pain can make living an UNlimited life seem nearly impossible,Because of my Cerebral Palsy I am prone to back spasms. These spasms are a huge hindrance in my life, but now that I have encountered this particular pain a few times, I have found some simple ways to deal with it.

Heat Wraps These things are a life saver, especially if you are far away from your heating pad. They have these stone like disks in them that are self heating, and they easily wrap around your waist so it stays in place no matter what position you find most comfortable. They can be worn under your clothes for up to 8 hours. They do get pretty warm, so if you have limited sensation you may want to have someone check every couple of hours; I have never had a problem though.

Stretching and Massage- If your back pain comes from muscle spasms like mine, then stretching and massage is the best solution. If the pain is really bad, you might consider going to a physical therapist. If the pain is only mild to moderate, you might be able to treat it at home. It is pretty easy to find stretches for the back on the internet if you are in a pinch, but a physical therapist can also provide you with modified, at-home stretches if you need them.

If there is no one at home to help massage the area, you can purchase a massage chair or cushion. My husband bought me one which has a heat option and the ability to focus on just one part of the back. It works pretty well for me even though I am short. My only suggestion is to put a towel between you and the cushion because it can get a little intense. I also would not use it for more than 10 or 15 minutes.

Hot Showers- I am a firm believer that a hot shower can help fix almost anything; a broken heart, a crappy attitude and yes, back pain. I turn the water on as hot as I can handle and just let it wash over me. It never fully gets rid of the pain, but nine times out of ten, it does help. The best part is this one is completely free, if you don’t count the water and gas bills that you have to pay anyway.

Positioning-If you are suffering from chronic back pain and you are a wheelchair user, then your seating system could be to blame; mine was. Make sure that you are fully supported by your seating system. This small change could dramatically decrease the frequency of your back pain.

Back pain sucks, but if you learn how to manage it in ways that work for you, you can greatly reduce the impact that back pain has on your life.

A Little Help in Bed is Good for Anyone

When you are living life UNlimited, you often discover the need for new assistive devices that you never needed before. Sometimes this is due to a new hobby or a new job, other times it happens simply because something around you changes, like you move or get a new piece of furniture.

The first thing my husband and I bought after we got married two years ago was a new bed. Since both of us had grown up with mattress hand me downs, we were pretty freaking excited. We decided a pillow top mattress with an adjustable base and a massage feature.

The adjustable base was a bit of a splurge, but it turned out to be something I use a lot. I can finally read in bed without dropping my book (I am notorious for reading books big enough and heavy enough to build houses with.) I also use it to get in and out of bed easily. All and all we were both excited about the bed. For me, that excitement lasted about three hours into the first night.

That’s when I realized our soft mattress made it nearly impossible for me to roll over independently. I could do it, but it took a concentrated effort. This often resulted in the sheets and blankets being wrapped around me and me laying there wide awake. The alternative to this scenario was waking up my husband and asking for his help; which would be fine if I didn’t roll over at least three times per night.

For a few weeks, I tried learning how to roll in my new bed, but it didn’t get any easier. I tried not to roll at all, but that was like trying not to scratch an itch. I finally decided to get a bed rail. I was a little concerned about finding one that would work with an adjustable base, but figured it couldn’t hurt to look. I did a lot of research, but was hesitant to buy one online because they are relatively expensive, and I hate having to ship things back. Luckily, as it would turn out, I had a friend with an extra bed rail (It really pays to know other people with disabilities).

This bed rail works perfectly with my adjustable base by attaching to the bed frame with a strap. I had to have my husband help me attach it, mostly because it is a queen sized mattress and I am a small sized person; but once it was on, it needed very few adjustments. It is very stable, which is good since I pull on this thing every night and it has held up to all my abuse. I have also found it helpful for transferring in and out of bed, which was an unexpected perk.

I am very happy with my bed thanks to this rail. I still cannot turn onto my left side without making two rights, but at least I am not waking up my husband anymore.

The Gift of a Doll

For me, living with a disability is all I have ever known. Therefore, I never thought of my life as particularly hard or challenging. The daily struggles I face today are the same, or similar, to the struggles that I have been facing for the last 31 years. Things that able bodied people might consider a struggle are as commonplace to me as brushing my teeth.

That being said, I do have days when I hate the hand I was dealt. Sometimes, I just don’t want to deal with it anymore. It’s usually something small, one too many falls, or a particularly long wrestling match with my shoe, which sets me off. Suddenly, I just want to scream, to punch something, to kick something or break something. My victim during these outbursts is usually my pillow, but a surprise gift from a friend could change that.

See that? Don’t worry, at first I couldn’t figure out what it was either. I thought briefly that the gift had been sent by mistake; or worse, that my friend had lost her mind. I mean, this thing is the kind of ugly that people write songs about. U-G-L-Y. What would I possibly want with it? I started to think it was a gift meant for my dog, (who, as you can see from the photo, also thought it should be for her) until I finally saw the tag stitched to one side.

This ugly little darling is a Dammit Doll. What is a Dammit Doll you ask? The tag declares: “Whenever things don’t go so well and you want to hit the wall and yell, here’s a little Dammit Doll that you can’t do without. Just grab it firmly by the leg and find a place to slam it. And as you whack the stuffing out yell dammit, dammit, dammit.”

Life is funny; I happened to receive this gift right after a fight with my husband. I don’t remember what the fight was about, but I do remember that I did not have to use the doll that day. The absurdity of the gift made me laugh so hard that I forgot about my bad mood.

I still have not slammed my Dammit Doll in to any walls. It’s silly, but a part of me feels bad for her. Most dolls are meant to be loved and cared for. This doll, on top of being ugly, was designed for abuse. It’s a little tragic in my opinion; then again my husband says I am just too sensitive. I don’t know if I will ever use my Dammit Dall the way she was intended; but her presence in my life is now a constant reminder that I am loved, and it is the people who love me that get me through the bad days. They pick me up when I fall, they wrangle unruly shoes and they encourage me to keep challenging myself. They are the real reason I live an Unlimited life. Objects make certain things easier, but their support makes things possible.

My Favorite Wheelchair Accessory

When I was in college, a show called Pimp my Ride, was really popular. The premise of this show was that teens and twenty-somethings would have their old beater cars transformed into beautiful pieces of machinery. My friends and I have always joked that I should go on the show and have my chair pimped out with spinners, black lights and chrome rims.

That, of course, never happened. But that didn’t mean I gave up on the goal of “pimping” my chair; instead, I modified my vision to be a bit more practical and a bit more purposeful. People are always coming up with new things to add to wheelchairs. Some of them serve a necessary purpose, like an umbrella that attaches to your wheelchair, others are just for fun, like the castors that light up when you roll.

The best thing that I have ever found to “pimp my chair” was actually given to me by a college friend and co-worker, who also happens to use a wheelchair. It is a fold up cup holder that attaches to the frame of my wheelchair. My friend gave it to me because I kept burning myself trying to carry coffee from the kitchen at work, back to my desk. Within five minutes of attaching it to my chair, I knew this cup holder was going to be something that I could never live without.  The cup holder attaches in just a few minutes using screws and is adjustable so it can also be attached to a walker, a bed rai1 or any device with circular tubing to attach it to. It comes with a small piece of rubber to keep it from slipping, and the cup size is adjustable so it can carry everything from a can of soda, to a wide mug of coffee or tea. The fold up option is great because it keeps it accessible at all times without being in the way. Additionally, is incredibly durable. I have had it attached to my chair for a year now, and it has survived daily transfers in and out of the car and several accidental crashes.

I use this cup holder every day and it has truly made my life better. I know that may sound silly, but sometimes the smallest change is the one that makes the biggest impact. For the first time in my life I can get a drink at a coffee shop, or any place where the beverages are self-serve, without having to ask the person behind the counter or a stranger next to me for help. I can also take the drink with me, now. I don’t waste money if I am unable to finish it while there. Additionally, I can take water with me on a walk with my dog or husband.  Of course the best part is that I no longer have to worry about ruining a pair of pants because I spilled a drink or burning the insides of my thighs with hot beverages.

Have you ever “pimped out” your chair? What add on could you not live without or wish that you had?

At UNlimiters, we’re always looking for products that help us live more independent and easier lives. Have you found a product that has improved your life? Let us know in the Shout section of our store and we’ll try to add it to our selection.

For the Wine Lovers

I love wine. I am not much of a drinker though; or at least I haven’t been since my college years, which barely counts. After all, college is kind of like the Vegas of life: what happens in college stays in college. Wine, in my opinion, is like coffee; it is a social drink. One that you sip with friends over important conversations, like whether or not you should go on a real life date with the guy you met online,  what non-food item your dog managed to eat that day, or the recent ER trip to get the bean removed from your son’s ear. Of course, wine, like coffee, is also good when you are alone. Only instead of helping you start the day, it can help you wind down and relax at the end of the day. Additionally, wine is delightful when cooking; the Italians are especially fond of it, I should know, I’m Italian. Then again, isn’t everyone when it comes to good food?

One thing I don’t like about wine is that it’s not what I’d call a “CP friendly” beverage. First off, it is complicated to open unless you get the super cheap stuff, which isn’t worth drinking in the first place. I simply do not have the dexterity or the stability to work a manual corkscrew; and my husband, bless his heart, is such a non-drinker that the whole process is completely beyond him. Luckily for me, electric wine openers exist. These things are just amazing. They require very little strength or dexterity to work. You just place the wine opener over the top of the bottle, press the button, and like magic the cork is removed. Did I mention how amazing they are?

Once the wine is finally open, there is the issue of the wine glasses themselves.  I don’t know about you but I find wine glasses difficult to hold and easy to knock over as they are top heavy. Also, I cannot tell you how many times I have smacked the stem of the glass on the edge of the table when reaching over to put it down. I prefer stem less wine glasses, which are a fairly easy solution. Of course, if you want to be super spill proof, think red wine white dress, someone has invented a wine glass sippy cup.

Lastly, since I don’t usually finish a whole bottle of wine at a time, I usually need to store my wine in the fridge. I can never get the cork back in the bottle, and I find that most wine bottle stoppers that create a seal are overly complicated. (I have watched many able bodied people struggle to get these stopper on just right.)  I found these bottle stoppers which just require a flip of the plastic top to create a seal. While it might be an extra cost, it is so much easier than wrestling to get the cork back in the bottle.

At UNlimiters, we’re always looking for products that help us live more independent and easier lives. Have you found a product that has improved your life? Let us know in the Shout section of our store and we’ll try to add it to our selection.

My Picks for Easy, Accessible Fashion

When I think about the people who design our clothing, I can’t help but picture some maniacal super villain, plotting my demise with zippers and buttons. He or she sits hunched over a sketchbook coming up with ways to make a pair of pants as complicated as possible. Then, they slap an arbitrary size label on those suckers and wait for me to try them on. It isn’t perverts with hidden cameras in the dressing room, but fashion designers. They watch with a sick sense of glee as I struggle and sweat while my self-esteem goes out the window.

There’s a long list of clothing that makes life harder, not just for people with disabilities, but for women in general. Fortunately, it isn’t all invisible zippers and tiny hooks. There are some articles of clothing that actually make life easier, and when I find one, I snap up as many as possible.

1.   Over the head dresses. These are those cute little dresses that don’t have any zippers or other complicated do-dads. You just throw them over your head and you’re good to go. If you want to get fancy, you can add a those wide belts or a cardigan.

2.   Leggings. Okay, we all know by now that leggings are not real pants, but I sure wish they were. These things are just so easy to wear. They are easy to put on and take off. Plus, they can be worn year round; in spring or summer with dresses and sandals; and in fall or winter with sweaters and boots.

3.   Sketchers© brand shoes. The designers of Sketchers© are the super heroes of the fashion world in my mind. I have never met a Sketcher© I didn’t love. They make everything from sneakers to dress shoes. Their shoes are amazing. They utilize Velcro, and even their dress shoes are durable enough to last for years (even if you drag your feet like I do). I even wore Sketchers© on my wedding day.

4.   Circle skirts. Circle skirts are similar to over the head dresses. There are no zippers or buttons, they just pull right up. These skirts look awesome on everyone because they flow nicely and are not fitted. They look great when you are sitting, making them perfect for those of us that use wheelchairs. As a bonus, they are super easy to make yourself if you like to sew.

5.   Cross body purses. Cross body purses are awesome. They have a long strap so you can wear it across your chest and it won’t fall off your shoulder. When I am in my chair, I like to wear it around my waist which keeps it secure without inhibiting my arms. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of designers that make cute cross body purses. Vera Bradley© is a designer who carries a lot of cross body purses in tons of colors and designs.

At UNlimiters, we’re always looking for products that help us live more independent and easier lives. Have you found a product that has improved your life? Let us know in the Shout section of our store and we’ll try to add it to our selection.

 

Simple Sweeping Solutions

I have never been a neat freak, and I was never a complete slob, but cleaning has never really been something I spent a lot of time on. Because of my Cerebral Palsy, I was used to letting other people do most of the more complicated chores like vacuuming and sweeping. In college, I was spoiled by a roommate whose cleaning habits bordered on OCD. She practically followed me around with the broom, sweeping the dirt from my wheelchair tires before it even hit the floor.

After graduation, I moved in with my best friend. At first I didn’t notice the mess. Then, one day, I came home and realized our apartment smelled like feet. It was clear that I was going to have to start putting some effort into the housework. Still, I managed to avoid vacuuming and sweeping for several more years.
Then I got my dog, and began to notice the hair on the floor seemed to accumulate at an alarming rate. Of course, my husband didn’t seem to notice the accumulation.

Despite not having a disability, his sweeping and vacuuming skills left a lot to be desired. I tried to help out, but our vacuum was heavy and hard to maneuver, and a broom and dust pan was nearly impossible to coordinate.
After a few embarrassing moments, when my guests ended up doing the chore for me, I decided to look for some alternatives. I went through about five or six different sweepers and mops, and a few hundred bucks before I finally found a solution that worked.

The Shark vacuum is the solution for my carpeted areas. I briefly considered getting a Rumba or other robotic vacuum, but with four cats and a dog I was worried there would be too much hair for the small, battery powered vacuums to handle. Shark vacuums are great for those who can use traditional vacuums. It is so lightweight, easy to turn and maneuver, I can handle it both standing and while using my wheelchair. It picks up a TON of dirt and is super easy to empty out, plus Shark Vacuums are really affordable.

The sweeping and mopping was a bit harder to solve. Unlike vacuuming, my problem wasn’t about the weight of what I was using, but the whole task was difficult for me. I needed something that would just do the sweeping and the mopping for me. The Mint turned out to be that solution. The Mint is an automatic floor cleaner that does both the sweeping and mopping. You simply attach one of the wet or dry cloths and turn it on. The mint will do all the work, steering itself around any objects.

Of course, I still don’t enjoy cleaning. Does anyone? But, the Mint and Shark do make two of my least favorite chores   that much more manageable.

At UNlimiters, we’re always looking for products that help us live more independent and easier lives. Have you found a product that has improved your life? Let us know in the Shout section of our store and we’ll try to add it to our selection.

Pills, Pills, Pills. Pills.

Pills are often one of the necessary evils of living with a disability. If you are anything like me, you take a lot of medication. There are the pills to treat your condition, the pills you take to counteract the side effects of the pills you take to treat your condition, and then there are the pills that are not related to your condition, but are still good to have handy. (The vitamins; the Tylenol; and the stuff for your allergies)  All those pills, most needing to be taken twice a day, can be difficult to keep track of and to have readily available when you need them.

Of course everyone has seen those “day-of-the-week” pill dispensers, but when you load up all your pills for the week, it can get pretty heavy. Not to mention the cumbersome design means that you can’t carry it in your pocket, and you are forced to carry it in a purse or bag. For a long time I was victim to these dispensers. I cannot tell you how many times I went to get my pills, only to discover half of them were at the bottom of my purse crushed and covered by those mysterious purse crumbs.

Then, one afternoon, I received a freebee pill dispenser from the hospital. I guess it was a “Sorry you have to take so much medication, here have a present” type of gift. I was not impressed. My dog gets a Milkbone with her medication, and all I get is a lousy pill dispenser. If companies really want me to feel good about taking their medications, the least they could do is send chocolate.

However, I was so unhappy with my current pill dispenser that I decided to at least open it up and look at it. This pill dispenser was different. It had room to separate my morning and evening meds, and the best part is that each compartment day snaps together individually, so it’s possible to take just one day of medication with you at a time. I love this because it makes taking all those pills a little less conspicuous.  It also saves space and lightens the weight of all those pills. This is great for weekend trips as well because you can take just the days you need. This is especially awesome if you are like me and worry about accidentally forgetting your medication in the bathroom of some hotel.

I have been using this pill dispenser for about a year now, and so far it has worked great. The lids stay tight and I don’t have to fish anything out of the bottom of my purse. The only thing that isn’t great about this pill dispenser is the lettering that indicates the day rubbed off pretty fast; but it is a small thing compared to the convenience this product offers. However, I discovered that you can prevent the fading by putting a little piece of scotch tape on each of the letters to protect them.

At UNlimiters, we’re always looking for products that help us live more independent and easier lives. Have you found a product that has improved your life? Let us know in the Shout section of our store and we’ll try to add it to our selection.

Love for 3eLove

When I was growing up, I never heard of disability pride. Disability was not something to be celebrated, but something to be fixed or hidden away. Thankfully, I had amazing parents who never let me believe that just because I had a disability, I was any less capable than everyone else. Even with their support, however, I felt alone; I didn’t have anyone like me to look up too and I often hated my disability.

Fortunately, I eventually learned to embrace my disability; even better, society is beginning to change. Children today have a lot of positive role models when it comes to living life with a disability. People like Josh Blue, who used his disability to carve his own niche in stand-up comedy; or Abbey Curran, who challenged conventional ideals of beauty by being the first woman with CP to compete in and place in the Miss USA pageant. They are showing people with disabilities, and the world, that living with a disability is no longer something to be ashamed of, but something to be embraced and celebrated. But it isn’t just individuals who are changing society’s outlook on disabilities; companies like 3eLove are also making a huge impact.

3eLove was started in 2007 by Chicago natives, Annie and Stevie Hopkins, as a way of promoting their unique symbol of acceptance. The wheelchair heart logo, as well as their social model of disability, encourages others to embrace diversity, educate society, and empower one another to love life. 3eLove may have started as a small Chicago clothing company, but it is now and international movement.

I discovered 3eLove a few years ago when I saw a wheelchair heart car decal on the mini-van driving in front of me. I thought it was neat and made a mental note to try to find out more about them. Later, when I googled “wheelchair heart,” I found 3eLove’s website pretty quickly and discovered that it was more than just bumper stickers.  They had everything, from key chains and water bottles to tank tops and backpacks. The logo alone had me wanting to buy right away, but the more I read about the mission behind the logo, I knew it was something I had to be a part of.

I started with a Proud© shirt for myself, then I bought one for my husband so that we could wear them in our one year anniversary photos. Then I bought one for each of my close friends and family for Christmas. Now, I have a whole proud army. This year, they even came out with dog collars so my dog could join the ranks.

I love 3eLove. It makes me so happy when I go on their Facebook page and I see a 5 or 6 year old smiling in their wheelchair sporting their 3eLove gear. I wish that kid could have been me; but I am glad, at least, that future generations have the opportunity to grow up embracing their disabilities, proud of whom they are and loving life.

Coffee Anyone?

Sometimes you discover the solution to some of your most annoying problems when and where you least expect it. The other day, for instance, my husband and I were watching a show called Mountain Men. It is one of those “reality shows” that depicts the life of men who live in remote areas and survive off the land. It is ridiculously staged, it drives me crazy, but my husband likes it and sometimes a girl has to make sacrifices. Anyway, during one episode, this guy’s wife brought him a cup of coffee in this mug with a wide base and a narrow opening at the top. I immediately shouted, “That coffee mug is CP proof! I must have one.”

Because of my CP, I spill things a lot. I prefer to drink out of bottles or cups with straws in order to avoid unnecessary spills. Finding a solution to avoid spilling hot beverages has been hard; travel mugs keep my coffee too hot for too long, and you have to wait forever to drink it. Normally, I just take my chances with a traditional mug by trying to leave a little space at the top. Despite my efforts, I still manage to spill my coffee at least once a week. I thought the narrow mouth mug would be the perfect solution to the problem, if I could find one.

The next day, I was out shopping with my Mom and her boyfriend and I told them about the mug. My mom had never seen one, but her boyfriend had, he said he would keep his eyes open. We were at the Salvation Army when he found this little gem.

It is not exactly like the mug I saw on the show, the mouth is a little wider, and it is more angular, but it is still awesome. It is exactly the solution I hoped it would be.

This mug allows my coffee to cool at a normal rate, and the tall narrow mouth keeps me from spilling anything. It also has a slip proof bottom and a good sized handle, which I like. It doesn’t look like it, but it holds a full eight ounces of coffee.

Of course now that I have one, I would like to get a few more; perhaps one for work, and a few for my friends with similar disabilities when they come to visit. I know I probably won’t get as lucky as I did the other day, so I have been looking online and I found several that were almost exactly like the one I saw on TV. This one is for home use and this one even has a lid so you can take it with you!

In what unexpected places have you found a solution to an everyday problem?

Taking Care of Our Furry Friends

I have a confession to make: I am a crazy cat lady. Actually, I am a crazy dog lady too, if you want to get technical. I am that pet owner everyone makes jokes about. I talk to my dog Taden and my four cats as if they were human beings, I use baby voices and give them ridiculous nicknames, I spoil them with gifts and treats and I was thisclose to buying them Halloween costumes last October. Yes, it is safe to say I love my pets, but taking care of them can sometimes be a challenge.

I got my dog Taden from a family friend when she was already about a year old. Although she was a good dog overall, I found that taking care of an excitable, 90 pound lab was a little more than I bargained for. In fact, I almost gave up at least once, but this was a living, breathing creature and I couldn’t just give up on her.

The first order of business was to figure out how I could walk her. She is a Black Lab Golden Retriever mix, and has that boundless energy that is typical of her breed. She needed the exercise not only for her health and happiness, but also for my own sanity. Unfortunately, the previous owner had not leash trained her. The first time I tried to walk her she yanked me out my front door so fast that I fell over, lost the leash and she took off running around the front yard like it was Christmas, New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July.

I tried classes, but the other dogs distracted her. I tried the choke collar, but she didn’t seem to mind choking, and I absolutely refused to use a shock collar. I finally found a collar called the GentleLeader.  It fits gently over her head and nose, keeps her from pulling. Instantly, she was a completely different dog.she walked calmly next to me. Now walking her is no longer dangerous, and we both enjoy it.

The cats presented their own problems, most notably their poop. Cleaning a litter box is no one’s favorite chore, but getting on the floor to change the litter was not only obnoxious, but also painful for me. Sometimes, I even got stuck. Getting stuck on your hands and knees with your face over a litter box is not an experience you want to have, I assure you.

There are about a million different products out there to help people with a litter box problem. I know many people that swear by those automatic litter boxes, but having four cats, I have be skeptical about whether they could handle the (for lack of a better word) load.

For me, the best solution ended up being the simplest and cheapest.  A scoop with a long handle allows me to quickly clean out the cat boxes without getting down on the ground; which is awesome because needing to be rescued from getting a face full of cat litter sucks.

At UNlimiters, we’re always looking for products that help us live more independent and easier lives. Have you found a product that has improved your life? Let us know in the Shout section of our store and we’ll try to add it to our selection.

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