Stepping Higher


Ten years ago, when I began my new life as an amputee, I devised a lengthy list of things to avoid. Creating this list, although probably not the healthiest approach to rehabilitation, kept me occupied during the painful recovery. As the surgical and emotional pain waned and I mastered living life with a prosthesis, the majority of my self-imposed limitations were quickly eradicated. I learned that living an UNlimited life with a disability was possible.

One of the self-imposed limitations involved ladders. The prospect of climbing a ladder, not my favorite task with two sound feet, became petrifying when I became an amputee.  Climbing high, relying upon foot placement while lacking proprioception, made me feel vulnerable. I detest feeling vulnerable!

Unfortunately, being a homeowner and a Mom was not conducive to a ban on heights. Light bulbs need to be changed, cabinet tops need to be dusted (granted not all that often) and toys need to be stowed out of reach. Perhaps more than feeling vulnerable, I despise feeling dependent. Having to wait for my husband to come home from work each time a simple height restricting chore needed to be done became frustrating. I knew that I had to figure out a way to complete these tasks unassisted, so one day I headed to our local home improvement store.

Traditional ladders, with narrow or rounded rungs, were immediately eliminated due to my phobic safety concerns. I wanted something with wide steps, but I needed it to be lightweight and easy to handle. Minimal storage space was appreciated but was not a high priority.

After looking through my options, I was delighted to find this Rubbermaid 3-Step folding step stool. The extra large steps eliminate the Imageworry about the position of my prosthesis. The step stool is sturdy and is highly portable. I was delighted to discover that its compact storage size allows me to keep it between my refrigerator and the wall!

This step-stool, although not nearly as high as a traditional ladder, allows me to safely and comfortably reach all light fixtures, cabinets and closet shelves. I love not having to ask for help to change a light bulb, and my husband appreciates having something removed from his honey-do list. This step stool is another tool which has helped me to become an UNlimiter!

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