Tag Archives: Peggy Chenoweth

Comfort Pregnancy Pillow

This May I will be turning 40. Although I never envisioned myself living with a disability (after all, who really expects the accident to happen to them), I can say that I am happier with my life than I ever imagined. I have a wonderful job which affords me the opportunity to help and to interact with amazing people every day. My family fills my life with love, happiness and laughter.  I am truly blessed.

Although I have so many wonderful blessings, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that the prospect of turning 40 had been hitting me hard. I simply don’t feel middle aged! Instead of focusing on the looming number, I decided that I wanted to do something utterly amazing to mark the milestone.  Changes are always easier to swallow when you are celebrating with an adventure.

My best friend, who will also turn 40 this year, and I have been talking about several options. We thought about going on a cruise, but something that extravagant is simply cost prohibitive for both of us. I wanted to go zip-lining, but her fear of heights kept us grounded. In the middle of our adventure negotiations I received news which changed the entire dynamic.

Instead of going on a wild adventure on my 40th birthday, I will be in the hospital.  Embarking on one of the greatest (albeit unexpected) adventures of my life, I am delighted to announce that I am due to give birth to my second child on my 40th birthday! I was utterly floored by the news, but we couldn’t be happier to be adding to our family.

As I am embarking on this wonderful adventure at 40 I can’t help but notice the differences between how my body is reacting to this pregnancy.  Firmly in the middle of my second trimester, I am beginning to show. My prosthesis is becoming snug in the mornings, an issue that didn’t occur until the third semester when I was pregnant the first time. My back is achy in the morning and my baby bump was making it difficult for me to become comfortable, especially when sleeping.  In short, my pregnancy at 40 is considerably more uncomfortable than my experience 8 years ago.

My husband, recognizing my growing discomfort, gave me an early Christmas gift last week. I wasn’t sure what to think when I opened the box to discover a large, cumbersome looking pillow. I knew that he meant well, but the practical side of me knew that the immense and awkward pillow was not going to fit on our bed. If I did make it fit, there was no way it was going to be comfortable.

Because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings I felt obligated to give the Comfort Pregnancy Pillow a try. It took me awhile to get it into position, but when I did I immediately felt supported and comfortable. For the first time in 2 months I slept soundly, and when I woke my back didn’t hurt! This pillow may be big, but it is certainly up for the task of supporting both my burgeoning baby bump and my residual limb.

I have been converted, and I am now a huge proponent of the Comfort Pregnancy Pillow. Not only is it great for pregnancy women (the individuals for whom it was designed) but I think it would be great for anybody who suffers from lower back pain or has experienced limb loss. The support provided along the back, and by elevating my residual limb to bring it into alignment with my hip and pelvis, makes this a worthwhile product for any lower extremity amputee.  If you are having trouble becoming comfortable, or find yourself stacking pillows to find the “sweet spot” of comfort, you might want to give this pillow a try.  Like me, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised!

Gift Ideas

Shopping, especially for holiday gifts, can be an exercise in frustration. Frequently I am asked to provide gift suggestions for an amputee. Purchasing both meaningful and functional gifts has become a necessity in today’s economy.  Because of the frequent inquiries, I have compiled a list of functional and fun gifts for an amputee friend or family member. Although many of these items are available at a variety of retail stores, we have included links to amazon.com purely out of convenience.

Fuzzy and warm socks are often a welcome gift. The residual limb becomes cold on winter nights so sleeping with a cozy and soft sock over the limb can make the individual more comfortable. I used to sleep wearing my husband’s tube socks over my limb until I splurged and bought a dedicated soft pair for myself. Sometimes the simplest gift will be the most appreciated.

The residual limb often benefits from a deep massage, especially when the muscles are sore. This Homedics Massaging Pillow provides a comforting massage that can be personalized according to an individual’s preferences. Many amputees have reported that their use of this massage pillow has lessened the frequency and intensity of phantom sensations. For me, the massage pillow has eased the phantom pain enough for me to rest without narcotics.

Many lower extremity amputees who rely upon a prosthetic frequently struggle to put shoes onto their prosthesis. A shoe horn is a simple stocking stuffer than can alleviate their shoe donning frustrations. Although a simple and low tech gift, I know from experience that I can never have too many. I can never seem to find one when I need it!

Walking in snow and ice is difficult for those with both limbs. When the individual is an amputee, it can become a terrifying feat. These removable cleats easily slip onto a variety of shoes, increasing traction and safety while walking on slippery surfaces.

For the amputee gamer on your list, you might want to consider the Wii Active Personal Trainer system. This program can be easily adapted to accommodate for limitations due to limb loss. It is also a great way to learn how to put equal weight through the prosthesis, decreasing the chances of developing osteoporosis!

Traveling presents unique obstacles for the amputee. This portable grab-bar is simple to apply and can make any shower accessible. It is compact and fits into the corner of a suitcase. If the amputee utilizes a bionic prosthesis, they may appreciate receiving a power strip to use when traveling. The amputee traveler often must rotate between charging their cell phone, computer and prosthesis due to limited electric outlets in hotel rooms.

If he or she doesn’t travel far from home, they might appreciate a handicapped tag holder. This holder keeps the placard both protected and in a central location, allowing it to be easily accessible. I don’t know about you, but mine is always slipping between the seats or ends up piled under a mountain of “treasures” on the floor.

Slipping on a cold silicone liner can be miserable way to start the morning, especially during the winter. For a “luxurious” gift, consider a towel warmer. The liner can be placed into the heated box to be warmed before it is donned. There is little that feels better than slipping into a warm liner on a cold winter morning!

Although this list is by no means exhaustive, we hope that it has provided some helpful ideas to make shopping a little easier. Do you have additional gift suggestions? We would love to hear from you.

Kitchen Prep Fatigue– MINIMIZED

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving week is here. Wasn’t it just the other day that I was shopping for lunchboxes and backpacks for the start of a new school year? After all, I still have bowls of Halloween candy on my kitchen counter.

Although I hate how quickly time seems to pass, I have to admit that I absolutely adore Thanksgiving. Christmas is special because I get to relive the childhood magic through my son. But left to my own recourse, Thanksgiving may be my very favorite holiday.  Gathering with family and friends, just laughing and eating, we are all relaxed and happy. The pressure of gift giving, looming bills and other holiday stresses have not yet crept into our psyche. Instead, we are all simply happy to be together.

I spend a lot of time cooking for Thanksgiving. Despite the fact that we’ll be visiting my Mom for the holiday, I will still be making three complete dinners. One is heading across the street to my neighbor’s house, one is going to be delivered to a friend who is recovering from surgery and the third will be eaten by a hoard of hungry elementary students in Robby’s class.

Needless to say I will be spending the majority of my waking hours this weekend in the kitchen, prepping and cooking the meals.  Holiday movies will be streaming on my little TV and my house will smell wonderful. I am also aware that my newly cleaned kitchen will quickly morph into a full-fledged disaster area. I’m a good cook, but I am not a clean one!

With so much cooking to be done, I know that I’ll be spending a lot of time on my feet.  For many prosthetic wearers, standing results in more fatigue and pain than long distance walking. I love cooking, but I do not relish the back and limb pain that result from my standing on my hard tile floor for hours on end!

Kitchen throw rugs are not advantageous for individuals with mobility problems. Although they provide a nice cushion, they often become dislodged and move. Having a throw rug shift from underneath a crutch almost always results in a painful fall.  The fleeting comfort that the cushioning provides is simply not worth the risk of injury.

Last Christmas my husband stumbled upon a perfect solution. I was a bit surprised when I unwrapped the Chef’s Mat because he knew my issues with throw rugs. He urged me to give it a chance and I begrudgingly agreed.

mat2

This gel filled Chef’s Mat was different than every other floor covering I have tried.  First, it has a sticky backing, allowing it to firmly grip every surface. I have had it for one year and it has never slid, even when I have been on crutches! The mat is filled with gel, not fluff, which provides a firm yet cushy feel. The pressure from standing on the hard floor is minimized and relegated to an inconvenience when I’m standing on top of the Chef’s Mat.

I fully expect to be exhausted by the end of my three dinner prep, but I have confidence that I will not have the pain in my legs and lower back that have haunted me over the years. The Chef’s Mat works wonders to reduce the pressure from the hard tile, allowing me to enjoy being in the kitchen.

mat

I hope that everybody has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, overflowing with happiness, laughter and love!

Decorating- Simplified!

In our family, October marks the beginning of the outdoor decorating season. I have to admit that I have a weakness for those wind-blown inflatable sculptures that reside on the top shelves of all the home improvement and warehouse stores this time of year. From pumpkins and ghosts for Halloween through the white rabbit holding a basket of eggs for Easter, something is always inflated in my yard during the cold months.

I justify my affinity for the blow-up figures through my son. He thoroughly enjoys watching them blow up each morning, and smiles when we spot them from our road. Although he is easy to blame, the truth is I had a size-able collection of the yard decorations before he was born. What can I say, they make me happy!

Not only do I smile when I see the large and jovial decorations, but they are surprisingly easy to set up. Compared to his peers, my husband has it easy when it comes to decorating for the holidays.  We have perfecting staking and placing the inflatables, finishing the task in record time.  Because our yard I strewn with a seemingly endless rotation of festive figures, we don’t bother hanging outdoor lights or other, more traditional, decorations.

Our only complaint with the inflatable decorations involved the cumbersome power requirements.  For some reason, the original builders of our house failed to install any external power outlets. (Obviously a woman was not consulted before this decision was made!) Because of this flaw, all of our outdoor decorations must be plugged into an outlet inside our garage.

Needless to say, walking downstairs, running across the driveway (in the cold night air) to turn off the decorations each night became a huge inconvenience. Timers were cumbersome, difficult to program and (for whatever reason) often blew the circuit. After a few years of performing the midnight dash to turn off the decorations, we discovered a perfect solution.

We now plug the extension cord into a remote controlled power switch. From the comfort of our home, I can turn the decorations both on and off with the click of a simple button on the wireless remote.  We have been using the remote controlled power switch for several years and it has yet to trip our fuse box. To be honest, the only issue we have ever encountered has been our son “misplacing” the remote.

I find it fascinating how a small thing, such as the ability to control lights with a remote control, can have such a profound impact. Because we no longer have to run in the cold, dark night to turn them off, we are both more apt to embrace holiday decorating. I love that we have found a simple solution to an issue which had become a source of frustration. It may sound odd, but the remote controlled power switch has helped our entire family become UNlimiters!

Knee Cart

Somewhere deep in the dark abyss also known as my basement I have a collection of medical equipment piled in the corner. From bandages to crutches, wheelchairs to portable grab bars, I have certainly acquired a lot of assistive devices over the years. Although I haven’t had to use much of the equipment for years, I hesitate to part with anything. I know all too well that my mobility needs can change quickly. When and if that happens, it is comforting to know that all we have to do is move the boxes out of the way and dust it off.

I have saved one special item from the basement, opting instead to keep it in a location which is easier to reach should the need arise. My knee cart (commonly referred to as a knee scooter) has come to my rescue more times than I care to acknowledge. During times when I cannot wear my prosthesis because of injury, or even when I am simply too lazy to don it (like in the middle of the night) I can hop on my cart and get around safely and efficiently.

I suppose I could use crutches, but I am not nearly as swift. Besides, my son’s army men and Legos have become a minefield of plastic obstacles on my floor. Ever crutch step on a Lego in the middle of the night? Trust me, it isn’t pleasant!

Although it can look intimidating, the cart is brilliant in its simplicity. I simply place my knee (on my amputated side) on the padded cushion and push with my sound side foot. It is as simple to maneuver as a child’s scooter. As a matter of fact, my little boy often tools around the house on it for fun.

I highly recommend the cart to all below knee amputees, or individuals who have a foot and/or ankle problem. My mother-in-law had bunion surgery last year. She is a slight woman (probably weighs 100 pounds if she is carrying a basket of wet towels) and did not have the strength to utilize crutches. Upon my recommendation she rented a cart from her local medical supply company for two weeks.

Despite compromised strength, she was able to maneuver around her home and her community on the cart. She wasn’t limited by her inability to walk because she was able to push herself around. Maintaining her independence during her recovery helped not only physically but also psychologically. The cart helped her so much that she ended up extending the rental for 2 months. By the time she paid the fees she could have purchased it and saved money.

From below-knee amputees to the elderly recovering from foot surgery, the knee cart has proven an invaluable tool in our family. While I hate being without my prosthesis, I know that I’ll be able to get around without compromising my safety or health. With the help of my knee cart, I continue to be an UNlimiter, even when I can’t utilize my prosthesis.

Cold Hand Relief

I have been an amputee for 10 years. Living without a limb, even when a prosthesis is utilized, changes the natural stresses that occur within the body. The fact that I was on crutches for the five years preceding my amputation have only compounded those issues. 

I am happily married, but I am not wearing my wedding bands.  Although this may seem strange to some, my husband has never questioned me. My placing the cherished rings into my jewelry box was a decision made out of necessity, not choice. Relying upon crutches for five years has wreaked havoc on my hands.
During the Spring and Summer months I can proudly don my rings. As soon as the weather begins to chill, my fingers begin to swell. The nagging arthritis sets in, and I have to remove the jewelry because it becomes too painful to wear. 
My fingers become so cold that I am often relegated to wearing gloves inside the house. I have become skilled at chopping, dicing and cooking while wearing gloves! Even when covered with polar fleece, my hands remain uncomfortably chilly.
Thankfully I have discovered a stopgap treatment for my cold hands. Dipping them into my paraffin wax spa, I immediately feel the tingling relief that comes from them warming up. If I could bottle this sensation I would surely be a millionaire!
The wax warms up my hands and provides relief that often lasts for up to 90 minutes. Thankfully the wax is reusable, and “over dipping” is not a worry. When my hands become cold again, I often return to the paraffin spa. During extremely cold spells, I dip up to 6 times a day. (I have to admit that these treatments leave me with the softest hands on the block!)
I wish I had a more permanent solution to treat my cold hands, but the paraffin spa works wonders for me. I appreciate that I don’t have to ingest anything in order to feel relief. I realize that the effects are only temporary, but finding short term relief has been a godsend.  
.

Being Prepared

A few weeks ago I received an email from the teenage son of a friend of mine. He was visiting Washington DC for a leadership conference and was experiencing residual limb issues.  This was his first time traveling without his parents, an experience compounded by the fact that he is a quad amputee. (He lost his limbs to an infection he contracted when he was 9.)

He has been living without his limbs longer than he had them, but time does not make somebody an expert. Thankfully for him, skin breakdown is rare. When it did occur in the past, his parents were prepared to help him deal with it. Unsure of what to do with his developing blisters, he reached out to me.

Upon reading his email I immediately drove to the pharmacy to compile an emergency first aid kit. Inside a large Ziploc bag I put Band-Aid blister protectors, large Band-Aids (careful to choose the type that does not pull) and a large tube of antibiotic cream.  I also put some gauze pads, mole skinspray antiseptic for pain relief and an ace wrap to provide compression at night.

The blister Band-Aids are idea for covering small skin lesions on the residual limb. Although the prosthesis should not be worn when a blister or sore develops, sometimes going limbless is just not feasible. He was in a new area, without his wheelchair, and eager to keep up with his peers. I knew that the blister protectors would thwart further damage from occurring while allowing him to keep his mobility.

After delivering the supplies to his hotel, I wrote to his Mom to explain the situation. He was unprepared for this emergency, but thankfully he knew enough to reach out for help. Next time he travels he will have an emergency kit with him, and he will be prepared for most issues that arise.

I wanted to share his experience because there are 500 new amputees every day in this country. When a limb is lost, everything feels foreign and new. It can feel overwhelming trying to absorb all of the information about prosthetic, skin care and residual limb health. Keeping an emergency skin kit on hand should be an integral part of every amputee’s arsenal, but it is often overlooked.

In my opinion every prosthetic using amputee should keep these supplies on hand. I keep identical first aid kits in my luggage, in the car, at my Mom’s house and in my medicine cabinet. Sores and blisters never develop at a convenient time, but staying prepared to treat them when they arise can stave off further damage.

Ready for Snow!

A chill is in the air and the leaves are turning beautiful hues of orange and gold. There is no doubt about it, I won’t be wearing my shorts and tank tops for several long months.  During the past few years my region has been relatively lucky in terms of ice and snow. Much to the chagrin of my little boy, we only had one substantial snow last year. Apparently this is a big bummer when you have a new sled to try out.

Meteorologists are already predicting that we will be receiving more snow and ice this year. Although I won’t count on it, I will admit that we are overdue for a hard winter. I know my little guy will be delighted if school is called off for snow. I can’t control possible snow accumulations, but I can be prepared!

Being a lower extremity amputee poses unique obstacles every season. In the summer many amputees complain of excessive sweating within their liners. In the spring and fall, slipping on wet leaves or nut shells poses a risk of falling. In the winter, the threat of snow and ice strikes fear into many lower extremity amputees. There is little more unnerving than trying to ambulate on a thin sheet of ice while wearing a prosthesis.

Slipping a prosthetic into winter boots is not always feasible. My prosthetic ankle is fixed, so trying to don a boot is both cumbersome and time consuming. I just don’t have a spare 30 minutes to try to put on a single boot.

fa620-yaktrax

Some amputees adapt by wearing a treaded boot on the sound foot while keeping their everyday shoe on the prosthetic. In addition to contributing to instability because of the differing heel heights, the lack of winter tread on the prosthetic side can lead to slipping and falling.  Although this approach works in a pinch, it is not a long term solution.A safer option is donning a pair of Yaktrax Walker Traction Cleats. The hand-wound coils on these cleats provide a full 360 degrees of traction on snow and ice. With each step the metal coils “bite” into the ice to provide stability and thwart slipping. The cleats are easy to slip over bottom of shoes and are quickly removed. The prosthetic does not need to be removed in order to don and remove these ice grippers.

Before the forecasts have  you are stocking up on milk, bread and toilet paper, you might want to consider picking up a pair of Yaktrax Walker cleats.  These ingenious little treads allow me to walk on the ice and snow safely. Because I know that my foot is not going to slip on the slick patches, I no longer stuck inside while everybody else is sledding.

Apple Prep- Simplified

I adore apple season. From applesauce simmering on my stove top to pies in the oven, I am constantly in the midst of an apple cooking project. Needless to say, my house smells heavenly!

This time of year I tend to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, whipping up treats which always taste better when there is a chill in the air. While I enjoy cooking and baking, sometimes the prep work is laborious and exhausting.  Wishing I could find a kitchen tool that would clean up the mess, I have been forced to settle for items that simplify the prep work.

31d0d-apple

Admittedly, I am a kitchen appliance and gadget collector. My cabinets and drawers are overflowing with specialized items, each touting promises to make my cooking experience quicker, faster and more delicious. I am an eternal optimist, some would say foolish, so I typically believe each testimonial and buy the product.

On a rare occasion, one of the kitchen gadgets actually lives up to its promise. My apple peeler/ slicer is one of those products. This ingenious little tool makes the dreaded task of peeling, seeding and cutting apples both easy and quick. I can’t believe I’ve spent so much time trying to peel bushels of apples with an uncomfortable and often awkward vegetable peeler.

Peeling apples with a standard peeler was difficult because I have some hand strength issues. Apparently spending 5 years on crutches has caused some mild nerve damage. Most of the time it isn’t too intrusive, but repetitive hand movements can exacerbate the problem. Using a standard peeler I was often forced to stop every few minutes to relax my hands. The pain certainly interfered with the pleasure I used to reap from baking.

I love how quickly I can peel and cut several pounds of apples using this tool. I am able to get my pies into the oven with minimal prep work. Because I am cranking a handle and not grasping an uncomfortable peeler, my hands do not tire and I do not feel the aching pain in the palm of my hand.  As an added bonus, the reduced prep time equates to less time standing. Anytime I can reduce the amount of time I need to stand and load my prosthesis I will do it!

Not only is this peeler/slicer ideal for apple preparation, I found that it works great for potatoes. Whether I am making mashed, scalloped or hash browned potatoes, this peeler is up for the task. Allowing me to save my hand strength and unload my prosthesis, this little kitchen tool certainly helps me to be an UNlimiter in the kitchen!

Amputee Vs. Individual with Amputation

I thoroughly enjoy meeting and talking with other amputees. There is an instant camaraderie among individuals who have experienced and are living with limb loss. It is a reality that one can truly relate to only if it has been experienced first hand.

It is difficult to explain how miserable an ill fitting socket can feel and how it can negatively impact an entire day. There is something comforting in knowing that I don’t have to explain these issues to another amputee. It is something which we all understand. Phantom pains, liner woes, socket adjustments and emotions are all common topics among amputees.

I have a theory. I have concluded that there is a difference between the “amputee” and the “individual with an amputation.” I often interchange these terms, but I believe that they have two separate connotations. The same holds true for all disabilities.  An individual can be “disabled” or they can have a “disability.”  Some probably think it is a matter of semantics, but for me they hold very different meanings.

The “amputee” is somebody who identifies him or herself through the limb loss. The amputation or their “status” as amputee is the sole source of conversation. It has become the individual’s defining feature. In a sense, the individual has been lost, or at least masked, by the loss.

I think that most individuals who have experienced limb loss go through the “amputee” phase. After all, the loss of a body part is traumatic, regardless of the circumstances. Speaking from experience, I know emotional struggles and the ensuing identity crisis make it difficult, if not impossible, to see beyond the loss.

Eventually, I evolved from being an “amputee” into the “individual with an amputation.” I cannot deny that I have an amputation. It is physically obvious. The changes affected by my amputation have been global, not just physical. I am MORE than my limb loss.

I am a mommy. I am a wife. I am a friend. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am an intelligent woman with a lot of opinions (too many if you ask my husband). I am a cancer survivor. I am also living a full life after an amputation. All of these roles contribute to who I am.

In retrospect, I probably would have benefited from a support group in the early stages of my adjustment. I tried a few, but was disappointed in the groups that I attended because there was no emphasis on moving beyond the loss. Perhaps had I sought and found an appropriate group for me, my recovery would have been easier.

Thankfully, the internet has helped to bridge the support gap, allowing individuals with disabilities to communicate and connect with each other. Support groups are becoming virtual meeting places, a change which I find to be wonderful. It is empowering to know that one only needs to log onto their computer to find support, answers or friendship.

I love the virtual freedom that my Kindle Fire affords me. I can log onto the internet from any hotspot, and instantly be connected with friends and family. If I have a question, or need to vent, I don’t need to sit quietly by myself and stew. I just need to log onto my Kindle and I can connect with my peers.

I also appreciate the fact that my Kindle Fire is light-weight, eliminating the need to carry heavy and cumbersome books when I’m traveling. Anytime I can lighten the load I appreciate it! If you don’t have one yet, I highly recommend giving the Fire a chance.  It is a great way vehicle to help you connect with others with disabilities, allows you to share experiences and you can even play Angry Birds!

Bag Mate

Despite living with a prosthetic leg, I love going for walks. I find little more relaxing than turning my phone to Pandora and going for a long stroll through the neighborhood. The time alone affords me a much needed opportunity to regroup and to clear my head. Walking has become my sanctuary.

Although I enjoy going for little jaunts, I utterly detest walking while carrying any sort of load. Anytime my center of balance is compromised, by carrying an awkward package or heavy objects, I become hyper cognizant of each step. When I feel unsafe, I tend to avoid the activity.

Being a busy Mom, avoidance is not a solution. Although I would prefer to never carry a package or bag, it is simply not a reality. Gallons of ice cream would melt if I didn’t carrying it in from the car after grocery shopping. Circumstances have left me with no choice but to carry the cumbersome, and often times poorly packed plastic grocery bags up our outside steps and into my home. 

Tackling the grocery bag predicament, I began to investigate better options. I suppose I could make multiple trips up and down the steps to and from the car, but that seemed laborious. My time is limited, so I always seek the fastest and safest way to accomplish a task. 

My husband, tired of coming home from work and having to carry in every non-perishable item that I bought at the grocery store, began to do some research. Several months ago he found these bag carrying hooks. Simply brilliant in design, I immediately knew that these hooks were the solution we had been seeking.

It took a little practice loading, but I can now carry five bags on each hook, for a total of ten bags of groceries, on one trip. I have learned to load the bag hooks evenly, so I am not weighted heavier on one side. Even weight distribution, coupled with my carrying the load on a single point, has been the solution I’ve been seeking. As an added bonus, because I’m holding the comfort grip handle instead of the thin plastic handles, my hands and wrists are spared the painful pressure points often inflicted by the handles cutting into my arms. 

These bag carrying hooks, although seemingly inconsequential, have made a great difference in my life. Being able to comfortably carry the groceries into my home, without compromising safety, has been wonderful! (My husband certainly appreciates not being loaded up like a pack mule as soon as he comes home from work.)  I love how such a simple idea has created a profound impact on my life. These bag hooks have certainly helped me to become an UNlimiter!

Leaf Blowing

The chill in the air leaves little doubt, Fall is here. I love this time of year. The cooler temperatures, brisk breezes and beautiful foliage combine to beckon me to spend as much time outside as possible. As an added bonus, the weather this time of year rarely causes phantom pain issues, allowing me to fully enjoy the season.

Although I don’t have the phantom pain issues that plague me during the extreme cold and hot temperatures, Autumn is not without pitfalls. Leaves, especially when wet, can become hazardous if I do not step carefully. Living in the woods, we have a lot of leaves!

Acorns and hickory nuts, both of which litter our walkways and yard, become obstacles that I must avoid. I learned the hard way that slipping on a nut is not only embarrassing, but it can be painful. I love being outside, but I am cognizant of every step because of the seasonal obstacles.

I cannot safeguard all of my environments, but I can certainly make my own yard safer. While I admittedly detest yard work, I have learned to appreciate its value. Spending a little time to remove the leaves and nuts from our sidewalks, driveway and porch can go a long way towards creating a safer environment for me to walk.  I would rather invest the time removing the obstacles to save me the time I would need to recover from injuries sustained if I fell.

Yard work used to be a laborious task. Trying to juggle the loud, heavy, gas-powered, odoriferous leaf blower was exhausting. I often felt unbalanced (hence unsafe) when operating the blower, which was ironic because my efforts were an attempt to increase my safety.  I knew that there had to be a better way.

Strolling through the aisles of our home improvement store, I happened upon the solution to my leaf blowing woes. I didn’t need to ditch the blower entirely, I just needed a different type. I opted for a lightweight, battery powered leaf blower and I couldn’t be happier.

The Black and Decker battery powered leaf sweeper is lightweight (less than 4 pounds) and has the strength to get rid of the nuts and leaves that seemingly rain down. Because it is light and compact, my son can even use it. I was hesitant about the battery life, but the fully charged battery has always provided enough power for me to blow my sidewalks, driveway and other walking areas.

This little machine is not meant to clear leaves out of a yard, but it is perfect for clearing walking paths. I am so excited to have found an easy solution to our leaf and nut problem.  In my opinion, this leaf blower is perfect for individuals with orthopedic or balance issues. This little blower has gone a long way towards helping me to become an UNlimiter! With the leaves and nuts cleared, I am both safe and ready to enjoy the beautiful weather.

Real Time Web Analytics