Jan 012016
 

Happy New Year!

Belated Merry Christmas and Happy Newtonmas πŸ™‚ I had a good Christmas, followed by a short crash but luckily we got things sorted quickly enough it only lasted a few days and I’m back to nearly Danni-normal again πŸ™‚

This month has been up and down a bit, saw the community dentist the second time I tried (first time couldn’t get on the bus because the driver wouldn’t let me on because of prams) and have been referred for my teeth to be sorted out under a general anaesthetic as no other option for me. I went to Enchanted Parks as well and that was awesome. So many pretty lights and displays! Mostly been in bed otherwise but did get up when Sammie came to pick up her presents and talk πŸ™‚ I knew then that no matter what happened it was going to be an awesome Christmas.

On Christmas Day itself I watched a church service on the telly, opened many presents (thank you everyone who sent me cards and presents), had roast hog for dinner, along with Johan’s homemade roast potatoes which were the nicest potatoes I’ve ever had even though it was his first time, and watched the Doctor Who Christmas special which was awesome. A great day. I also spoke to Sammie on both Christmas Day and her 12th birthday which was the best. Totally worth the payback afterwards πŸ˜€

Anyway, every year I fill out a silly survey about the year that just happened. I’ve just watched the new year come in and I’m gonna do it now while I remember πŸ™‚

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
Get a hoist! Meant I could get into my wheelchair and go into Gateshead and Newcastle for the first time in a few years. Also started making things with loom bands.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I managed 2 of 4, and most of my goals (including the 50 books read this year). I’ll make more in the next few days. I’m happy with how I did overall, as a couple were ambitious (and relied on other things happening that didn’t).

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! More babies this year so a Facebook feed full of cuteness!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes πŸ™ My good friend Ron died a few months ago, and my grandma died earlier this month. I was too ill to go to their funerals πŸ™

5. What countries did you visit?
I stayed in the UK, but did go into Gateshead and Newcastle for non-medical reasons! That was awesome!

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
I need that shower chair still πŸ˜›

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
My memory is terrible for dates, so I’ll remember events (Sammie visiting, Ron and my Grandma dying, going out) but not exactly when they happened.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Going into Newcastle, being in my chair for several hours with the only payback being needing to sleep more. More of that please πŸ™‚

9. What was your biggest failure?
My health and my memory.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Mostly just ME stuff. Got a rough diagnosis of POTS (too ill for a tilt table test) but I’ve had the symptoms of that since I was 12. Nothing new so that’s good I guess πŸ™‚

11. What was the best thing someone bought you?
Like I said last year, I appreciate everything that people bought for me. So many penguins and ponies πŸ˜€ One of my Christmas presents from Sammie is a heart shaped cushion with her on it. I think she’s abseiling but I might be wrong there πŸ˜›

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Same answers as last year: Johan and Sammie πŸ˜› I think Esther has also done really well this year as well.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and/or depressed?
Still the government. Things are getting harder and harder for my friends because of them, and I don’t know how to help πŸ™

14. Where did most of your money go?
Same as last year: food, bills, disability stuff. I did buy a new cooker which was much needed.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
This answer will be obvious to anyone who knows me: Sammie and penguins πŸ˜€ I can add going out to that list this year πŸ˜€

16. What songs will always remind of 2015?
Although I’ve listened to some music this year, I’ve not really listened to anything recent so I don’t think I’ve got a song that would remind me of this year πŸ˜›

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Mostly happier πŸ™‚ Had a few sad periods but I think overall being able to go out has boosted my mood loads, as has being in pretty regular contact with Sammie.
b) fatter or skinnier?
Fatter πŸ˜› As I was underweight, this is a good thing. I’m still not where I need to be but eating has been a bit easier this year. Still malnourished but continuing to work on that.
c) richer or poorer?
About the same.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Going out πŸ˜› Glad I managed it though.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Relapsing, though I did so less than 2014. Being anxious.

20. How do you plan to spend Christmas?
Christmas was spent talking to Sammie, watching telly and eating the amazing roast dinner Johan made me πŸ™‚ Next year, I hope to have the entire tree decorated (this year only managed lights and star, last year it was missing the lights).

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?
The babies! So cute! Especially Amy who came to see me πŸ™‚

22. How many one night stands?
None. Didn’t even try standing this year πŸ˜›

23. What was your favourite TV programme?
Doctor Who, Great British Bake Off and Steven Universe πŸ™‚

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nope. Still don’t actually hate anyone. I dislike the government, but that’s different.

25. What was the best book you read?
What If? by Randall Munroe. Thank you Sammie for prodding me to actually read it πŸ™‚

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Google Play Music. They are pretty good at guessing what I want to listen to (though they do get it really wrong sometimes).

27. What did you want and get?
A hoist! Freedom at last! Also spoke to Sammie loads and got to see her. Some support for Johan.

28. What did you want and not get?
A shower chair. Apart from two baths in the care home, I’ve not been clean all year.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
I’m torn between Big Hero 6 and Inside Out.

30. What did you do on your birthday?
Sleep mostly πŸ™‚ I think I spoke to Sammie as well. Opened lots of amazing presents (including a penguin balloon to walk!).

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Being able to get properly clean at home.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
Tops, leggings and pyjamas. Penguins were also involved πŸ™‚

33. What kept you sane?
This never really changes πŸ™‚ Sammie, Johan, penguins, and friends.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I can’t think of any.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The welfare cuts again. Sanctions in particular are getting really bad.

36. Who do you miss?
I really miss talking to Ron. It’s not been the same being on Twitter since. He would have been so proud of Johan’s potatoes. I also miss seeing my friends and family, but talking online helps.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Probably Marga and Amy. Amy is adorabubble!

38. What was the best thing you ate?
Johan’s roast potatoes. No contest.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015?
It will take several explanations before people will accept sitting upright is a bad idea. Especially nurses and care assistants.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Here’s a penguin, there’s a penguin and another little penguin. Fuzzy penguin, funny penguin, penguin, penguin duck. (Not actually a song, but I’ve sung it. The duck mentioned belongs to Amy.)

 Posted by at 1:01 am

2014 In Review

 Danni, M.E., Meme, Physical Disability, Real Life, Review  Comments Off on 2014 In Review
Jan 062015
 

A bit later than usual, but I enjoy doing this each year πŸ™‚

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
I was hoisted into bath for the first time while in a care home πŸ™‚ Less never done before and more not done for a while, I managed to stand up and take three steps with my zimmer frame one day I had a lot less dizziness than normal πŸ™‚

2. Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I managed 3 and a bit. That’s not too bad going. I’ve got some new ones for this year I’ll be blogging about πŸ™

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! A few friends gave birth during 2014 πŸ™‚

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No-one I was very close to died, but two friends from twitter did unexpectedly πŸ™

5. What countries did you visit?
I went all way across the river Tyne to Newcastle for a hospital appointment! It was a massive adventure πŸ˜›

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
Still want that hoist and shower chair πŸ˜› The ability to go out without needing a stretcher would be nice.

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I saw Sammie three times! I can’t remember the exact date of the first two visits (silly memory) but the second was on Christmas Eve so I think I’ll be able to remember that. Speaking to her on Christmas Day and her birthday was awesome too πŸ™‚

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Standing up and walking three steps on the one good day I had all year πŸ˜›

9. What was your biggest failure?
My health again.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
On top normal bedbound ME stuff, I had a pressure sore on my ear that took three months to disappear. That wasn’t fun.

11. What was the best thing someone bought you?
Everything that people bought me was amazing πŸ™‚ My favourite present (after seeing Sammie) was a purple penguin ornament she made me for Christmas πŸ˜€

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Johan was amazing as always. Sammie dealt with a difficult issue in a very mature way and I’m so proud of her for it.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and/or depressed?
The government trying to screw the lives of sick, disabled and poor people even more than they already have.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Food, bills, disability stuff. Being an adult sucks in some ways.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Sammie :) Talking to Sammie was amazing. Seeing Sammie was amazing. She is an amazing person. (Yes, this is a repeat from last year. Still true.) I also got excited about penguins πŸ˜€

16. What songs will always remind of 2014?
Spread the Hope. You can listen to it or buy it:Β http://spreadthehope.christmas/. It’s for four good charities to help sick children πŸ™‚

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Happier. Spoke to Sammie loads!
b) fatter or skinnier?
A bit skinnier. This gaining weight business isn’t going so well.
c) richer or poorer?
Hard to tell. Johan got PIP but that’s his income rather than mine.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Having good days πŸ˜›

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Relapsing. Getting pressure sores.

20. How do you plan to spend Christmas?
I spent most of Christmas talking to Sammie. Johan was the one sleeping all day πŸ˜› I had a lovely dinner made by Esther and opened presents and it was good πŸ˜€

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?
I got more penguins I loved πŸ˜› I still very much love Johan and Sammie πŸ™‚

22. How many one night stands?
None. I had a 10 second stand πŸ˜›

23. What was your favourite TV programme?
Doctor Who and Great British Bake Off πŸ™‚

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Still don’t hate anyone. I try to dislike actions rather than people. Like the actions of the government.

25. What was the best book you read?
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh πŸ™‚

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Why so many questions on music? I need to get well enough to listen to some.

27. What did you want and get?
Lots of contact with Sammie πŸ™‚ I saw her three times and spoke to her loads on Skype (whenever I was well enough to go on the computer during the day, pretty much). I also got a new, bigger telly so I can see things on it properly πŸ™‚

28. What did you want and not get?
My health to improve, and a hoist so I could get out of bed. (Same as last year then. That hoist would be really helpful…)

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
Despicable Me! Frozen was also good, and I liked Divergent (I think they’re the only films I actually watched, at least all the way through).

30. What did you do on your birthday?
Mostly slept. I got a McDonalds for tea, some awesome presents and Sammie sang to me on Skype, so it was a good day even though I was ill πŸ™‚

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Being able to get out of bed and my health improving. I was still very happy though.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Penguins and pyjamas. Sometimes even penguin pyjamas πŸ˜›

33. What kept you sane?
Penguins, Johan, Sammie and friends πŸ™‚

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I didn’t get any new crushes.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Welfare reform stuff again. All the different ways the government is screwing over poor and/or disabled people.

36. Who do you miss?
Sammie (though the extra contact makes it easier) and my friends and family.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
I met Sue, a friend from Twitter!

38. What was the best thing you ate?
Hard one. The pork pie from French Oven, the festive dinner at Christmas and the birthday McDonalds are all up there (I’m not a sophisticated eater at all πŸ˜› ).

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014?
Don’t get near a horny seal if you’re a penguin.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
If you’re happy and you know it, flap your hands πŸ˜€

 Posted by at 9:03 pm
Jan 022014
 

My now annual review quiz of the year πŸ™‚

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Get an adjustable bed. It’s made a massive difference to my quality of life.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I kept three of four well. I’m going to keep working on the fourth this year. I’ve made some more for 2014 (in the previous blog post).

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No.

5. What countries did you visit?
Antarctica via the telly (yes, it’s a continent). Really though, I didn’t go further than about a mile away from home (the local hospital- the care home I stay in is even closer).

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
A hoist and a shower chair so I can get out of bed and get clean πŸ˜› Better health would be nice as well (and if it’s loads better I wouldn’t need the hoist).

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I can’t remember the date due to brain fog, but I think Β Sammie’s visit will be remembered for a long time πŸ™‚

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Seeing Sammie. Also probably visiting Johan in hospital πŸ™‚

9. What was your biggest failure?
My health.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Overall I had the worst year so far health-wise, and was bed-bound almost the entire time. I had a kidney infection as well that is still causing me problems months later.

11. What was the best thing someone bought you?
I don’t think this question is ever going to be easy. Johan got me a Blu-ray player and Spy in the Huddle to watch on it. Someone got me the softest penguin poncho. Sammie got me Oggy, a toy dog with a heart on saying “Love you… with all my heart!” which was incredibly thoughtful. A friend gave me loads of Christmas presents including a penguin adoption, penguin pyjama bottoms and the cutest little purple penguin. Seriously, I’ve been incredibly spoilt and I know I’ve missed some awesome presents here.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Johan’s again. My friends who have been there for me.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and/or depressed?
Tories. Lib Dems. People who spout hatred. Atos. Whoever decided that benefit delays were not a problem (I’m lucky that mine are sorted, but Johan’s PIP claim is still waiting for ATOS to contact him).

14. Where did most of your money go?
Food, bills, disability stuff and care home fees.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Sammie πŸ™‚ Talking to Sammie was amazing. Seeing Sammie was amazing. She is an amazing person.

16. What songs will always remind of 2013?
What does the fox say? And Saturday by Rebecca Black πŸ˜›

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Happier πŸ™‚
b) fatter or skinnier?
About the same, as unfortunately I lost some of the weight I regained over the year. I’ll get it back though πŸ™‚
c) richer or poorer?
Richer, as although my income hasn’t increased my outgoings have dropped a bit.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Keeping in touch with people. Getting out of bed.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Relapsing.

20. How do you plan to spend Christmas?
I spent most of Christmas sleeping, as I was in the middle of a relapse. I’ve got my Christmas dinner to look forward to and I got some lovely presents though πŸ™‚

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?
I fell more in love with Johan, if that counts? πŸ™‚

22. How many one night stands?
None.

23. What was your favourite TV programme?
Doctor Who, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Penguins of Madagascar πŸ™‚

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hatred is such a strong term. I still strongly dislike the government but I believe that was the case last year as well.

25. What was the best book you read?
Raffie Island and Queenland from the Portal series by Dee Kirkby for children’s books, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson for adults.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I didn’t listen to much music this year, so I can’t think of any.

27. What did you want and get?
To see Sammie πŸ™‚ A Blu-ray player and Spy in the Huddle on Blu-ray. Purple penguins.

28. What did you want and not get?
My health to improve, and a hoist so I could get out of bed.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
I watched The Hunger Games. That was awesome.

30. What did you do on your birthday?
Slept and had a takeaway. I wasn’t doing brilliantly.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Being able to get out of bed, being able to communicate more with friends and family. I was still happy though πŸ™‚

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Purple penguin hat πŸ˜› Also wearing a purple Snuggie a lot over pyjamas.

33. What kept you sane?
Chocolate, penguins, Twitter and friends πŸ™‚

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don’t think there were any this year.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Welfare reform rubbish, including Bedroom Tax, PIP, ESA and other stuff.

36. Who do you miss?
Sammie, my friends.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
I honestly don’t know.

38. What was the best thing you ate?
The chip I had from Johan’s takeaway when I started recovering from my relapse just after Christmas πŸ˜›

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013?
As much as I want to, I can’t save the world or even my friends. I can try and cheer them up a bit, though.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
No songs, instead Poseidon wants his self portrait here πŸ˜›

Poseidon by Po

Poseidon by Po

 Posted by at 2:25 am
Jan 132012
 

As I am quite disabled, finding products that make life easier and increase my independence is very important to me. I also don’t like my stuff to shout out “I’m for a disabled person!”. Obviously with things like wheelchairs and commodes that’s hard to avoid, but there are some items that make my life a lot easier without making me feel self conscious about having them.

Trabasack

Trabasack

Me in bed blogging, using my Trabasack as a laptray.

The Trabasack is a brilliant idea. It basically combines a laptray with a bag, and it has been really useful for me, especially since I got my tablet computer. It is very lightweight, and I use it a lot. My main use of it used to be when I went out in my wheelchair- I’d have the bag on my lap strapped around my waist (it comes with lots of different straps so you can change how it’s attached or how you wear it) and the bag holds a lot of stuff- my ASUS Eeepad Transformer, my purse, my phone, sick bags, bus pass, tissues, wipes, medication, college books and even a bottle of coke. As the top is a laptray with a grippy surface, it is really easy to use my tablet while out and about (both with and without the keyboard) and I don’t have to worry about it falling off. I also use it a lot in bed, both for my tablet (normally for typing with the keyboard) and for eating. It’s also big enough for using with a laptop, though I use my overbed table for that as the laptop is heavy. As it’s so lightweight I can manage it by myself by grabbing the handles, which increases my independence. It also looks pretty cool, and isn’t obviously a disability product, which is awesome. I’ve also been able to attach a couple of penguins to mine which is another big plus from me πŸ™‚

I managed to break the zip on mine somehow (though it’s still usable) and the guy who created it, Duncan (@trabasack on Twitter) has offered to replace it for me. This is very kind of him and I may have cried a little, as it’s not a big company but he really cares about his customers. He’s also really friendly in general on Twitter, and I enjoy reading his tweets.

The only downside to the Trabasack is that the bag is one big bag, and there’s only a zip up pouch inside for the beanbag for the laptray (which is removable). This can make things a bit hard to find in it, but I’ve solved this issue by taking a small zip bag I had (purple, of course) and putting the smaller items such as bus pass, phone, sick bags, medication and things in that. I store the extra straps it comes with in the pouch with the beanbag in case I ever want to use some of them. It is only a very small downside though, and I recommend it as both a wheelchair bag and a bag for people who use tablets or things on the go. It basically means you can have a table with you everywhere (and if you’re a wheelchair user, you have your own chair as well, which is cool :P).

You can get the Trabasack from Amazon UK, or directly from trabasack.co.uk. It may look expensive for a bag but it’s definitely worth it.

The Hydrant

The Hydrant

The Hydrant

This is another of those brilliant ideas. Basically, the Hydrant is a water bottle with a tube, so instead of having to lift the bottle you just need to bit on the end of the tube and suck to be able to get a drink. For someone who is very weak and has limited contol over their hands, it’s awesome. It holds 1 litre, which means Johan (or any carer) doesn’t need to fill it up that often and then I’m able to drink independently. It has a clip to attach it to the back of a chair, bed, wheelchair or similar, and that also works as a large handle to fit your hand through. The bite valve is very simple but stops water leaking out (unless you sit or lie on it, which I do far too often :P). I get a very dry mouth from my medication so being able to have a drink whenever I want is very important. There is also a sports cap available for it that you can use if you don’t need the tube, but just want a bottle that attaches to a chair or pram (or just want a bigger handle so it’s easier to use).

The only downsides to the Hydrant are it’s not suitable for hot drinks (warm and cold are fine, even fizzy ones) and I find I can’t manage to take tablets with it, though that’s probably because I struggle with taking tablets anyway and can’t coordinate the sucking and swallowing at the same time. Otherwise it’s been brilliant, and Johan is able to tell when it needs refilling by the sound of me sucking on it (it sounds like an empty drink with a straw).

You can get the Hydrant from hydrateforhealth.co.uk. I really recommend it to Spoonies, especially those who are bedbound or use wheelchairs.

The Litecup

The Litecup

The Litecup

This isn’t advertised at all as a disability related item, but I’ve found it useful anyway. The Litecup is a cup with a non-spill top, and a little light in the bottom that comes on when it’s dark. The valve on the top goes all the way around, so you can drink from anywhere. The light means you can find it in the middle of the night without having to hunt blindly for it. I like it because it doesn’t spill, I can use it while lying flat in bed (I often drink from it upside down resting on my nose and mouth, just stabilising it with my hands) and unlike the Hydrant, I can take my medication with it as it’s more like drinking from a normal cup. It doesn’t have any handles but it’s easy to use with two hands, and it being non-spill is brilliant if you’re as clumsy as me and means I don’t end up with half my drink down my front. It’s not watertight so you don’t want to be putting it filled in a bag, but it’s good for not spilling otherwise. I’ve not tried it with a hot drink but I think it should be okay. It also comes in purple, which is a massive plus!

The downsides to the Litecup are that it has no handles, and it not being watertight so you can’t have it filled in a bag. It’s also a little tricky to clean, though can be dishwashed. The top with the valve comes apart, but we’ve found if you do that it’s hard to line the valve up properly again, so it’s harder to drink from one side but easier on another. I also can’t use it independently when my hands are weak or being stupid, but since I mostly use it for drinking from when taking medication and I need Johan to help with with that if hands are being silly then that’s not a major problem.

I bought my Litecup from Amazon UK (and spare light bottoms are available from there too, in either blue or red). The website is at litecup.com.

These are not the only products I use to help me, but what they all have in common is that they don’t look explicitly for disabled people, and I’ve found them very useful. I also use all of them daily, including when bedbound.

 Posted by at 1:10 pm