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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
cherylm

A Philosophical Question...

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I'm a bit late joining in this one so forgive me.

Congrats Cheryl on your retirement :biggrin:

I'm really crap at giving advice so here's what I do when faced with decisions like this.

Don't leave regrets, live my dreams and if that causes problems I live with them and look for solutions.

In 40 years I have been in a chair just once after I had surgery on my good knee.

I hated it. Never again. Ever

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Been interesting to see just how many perspectives there are out there! And I can see (and agree to varying degrees) with where everyone is coming from.

Just an update from me...I'm now just over a week away from being able to apply for the wait list on Apt. #2. I'm still looking in City #1, but I'm not finding the "right" combination of living space and location. City #1 is an OLD development, one of the earliest cities in NoCal...the accommodations in the "old" downtown, which is where I'd like to be located, simply are not meant for anything resembling the modern, active disabled person. There are some newer complexes that ARE handicapped-accessible, but they are generally on the far outskirts of town (read: newer and not-that-different from City #2), are smaller than I'd like, and often are in less-than-desirable neighborhoods...or in "better" neighborhoods but entirely out of my price range. (Sigh...)

Barring some sort of total, unexpected disaster, I hope to move this one time and then STAY PUT for a while. My family moved eight different times when I was a child, and I simply grew tired of it! So a "try-it-out" move, to be followed by another move if I don't like it just sounds unpleasant to me. The result of all of this investigating and soul-searching is that I am pretty well settled on Apt. #2 as a "home base" and commuting to City #1 from there. City #2 has an added advantage to it, on the "commuting" front: it's also semi-close to San Francisco (nearly as close as I've been to Los Angeles down here), which opens up some major cultural opportunities. And Apt. #2 has public transportation at its doorstep, which gives me an option if my vision gets to the point where driving is no longer a possibility.

One of the things I'm trying to make sure of is that I can have options to be able to remain active and "on my own" for as long as possible, under as many circumstances as possible. I've had too many friends who, as they have become older, have found that their disabilities have left them dependent on others to "take them around." That's not what I want...be it walking or wheeling, I intend to make my own way for as long as humanly possible!

Thank you, everyone, for helping me to sort this out! :smile: :smile:

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One of the things I'm trying to make sure of is that I can have options to be able to remain active and "on my own" for as long as possible, under as many circumstances as possible. I've had too many friends who, as they have become older, have found that their disabilities have left them dependent on others to "take them around." That's not what I want...be it walking or wheeling, I intend to make my own way for as long as humanly possible!

I've had another thought on this subject, Cheryl, thanks to both Cats and your posts...

Just over a year ago, I had my kitchen refitted and I had a visit from an OT who recommended all sorts of things to help. During her visit she told me that she'd recently had her kichen refitted for the final time. As she was around my age I asked her why it was for the final time? She said that they were happy where they were, that kichens were very expensive commodities and that she wanted to be able to manage independently in her kitchen in 30 to 40 years time. There was nothing wrong with her healthwise, by the way; it was simply the aging process she was thinking about.

Whilst I probably wouldn't be as forward thinking as the OT, I feel she was wise. It's not easy to think of yourself as aging, is it? I think you're being very sagely in finding somewhere where you can live happily and where you can manage to live independently for many years to come. :smile:

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Sounds like a plan to me! And a good one at that..... You know, many people just don't think ahead.. or they think very "dependently". About 10 years ago, when my neighbor had their new home built, they made sure all door ways in the house were 36 inches wide.. She had an aunt at the time, who was in a wheelchair, and it had made both of them think of the future, just in case. I know, when we bought our home 15 years ago, that wasn't anything we thought of, and several of our doors proved to be very tight fits with a wheelchair. I don't think any of us ever plan on being in one any more than we have to.. sometimes, it's just the way it is.. I know, I fought tooth and nail, not to have to go back in mine, for even a day.. Heck, it bothered me, just being in the living room for Jon to set in (at the proper height) when he had his hip replacement.

As a friend of mine says..... "Golden years.... people look forward to them, to find out that they will suck when they finally arrive there.."

The second place sounds like it is in a really good location..... You go girl....

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Sounds like you have a great plan, Cheryl. I agree with Lizzie about planning ahead. I wish you lots of luck and lots and lots of FUN!

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Hi Cheryl,

I am really late getting into the discussion--I haven't had time to get on and read for weeks. I try to make decisions with my heart informed by my head, so I guess my "advice" is listen to just your heart and head, not just one or the other.

I too am approaching retirement--1 July 2011. When I moved here I was positive this was my forever home--I had moved 26 times before here. I have totally renovated the house--or almost. I spent Christmas with a friend in Kamloops, British Columbia. As we talked she asked if I would move out there and I said firmly no, I was staying here. Well, over the next few days she convinced me that moving there would be a much better choice. It turns out I have more friends there and two month less winter would be wonderful! It is beautiful and still has a big sky--one thing I love about the Prairies. I have no family left, so friends will be important--are important. So approaching retirement can be exciting and also lots of unknows. I guess we all do the best we can.

The discussion about crawling around the floor was a very pertinent topic. I am putting in laminate in the house and I loose my leg crawling around. Today my knees had it, but it is much easier than trying to do it bending over.

It is good to hear about all of you

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Hi Cheryl---

I am even later in chiming in but thought to add a few cents worth----I too HATED the chair the one and only 6 weeks post amp I used it----HELL would be a breeze compared to trying to get around my tiny overcrowded modular home in a WC. I had up to that time been hating an item called a KNEE WALKER but it quickly became my MOST longed for item. There are several varieties but having tried them all the one I have is I think the best.

What it is is a "scooter" that you prop your injured/missing etc limb on (Or in---they make adapts for AK's) and push yourself around with your other foot. The position is UPRIGHT so you can reach things, see where the heck you are going, and be "perceived" by others as a normal height person---amazing that sometimes people did not even realize I was using a machine to get around. It is no wider than most peoples shoulders and so---ta-da!!!!---going thru a narrow width doorway is fine. Learning how to manipulate it in a narrow space is a matter of practice----I have a long but narrow bathroom and of course the toilet is at the opposite end, and sticks out into the room, so I have to kick-turn myself to get in position to lower onto the seat when not wearing my leg. It folds to go in the car trunk or no doubt could go on public transport with the bikes etc. It has hand brakes and a padded seat---very useful for both knee comfort---I have added padding which is easy as the vinyl cover comes off---and for sitting on if tired or for a long wait. It also has a front basket. The only things I have had to change have been the seat pole height---the seat adjusts but I am sooo short that the pole (under the frame) was too long and kept catching on things so we sawed it off. And the hand grips were awful----I replaced them with bicycle hand grips but warn you DO NOT DO THIS they just will slide off and your arms will get nasty cuts. The replacement a friend reccomended works GREAT---tennis grip wrap!

I think that this could be an amps best friend in keeping us upright and out of a chair. For some really bizarre reason it seems MD's and even PT and Prosthetic peeps have never heard or seen these---altho I have seen several people using them recently. Your ins will---perhaps under duress---but they WILL pay for these---but you can also find them on ebay used (if someone broke their leg etc and got one they sell them after) for not too much $$$$. I believe they retail for about $800 but the company (in Seattle I think) also sells RECONDITIONED ones for way less.

About the only complaint I have with the "performance" is that I think the tires could be a bit bigger and softer for outdoor use---you do have to be careful when using on uneven surfaces as the wheels can be picky----but that is also a matter of paying attention and someone with better balance than me---almost ANYONE has better balance than me!!!!----would surely be better at this than me. And steering around a tight corner takes learning how to shift weight and lift your knee a scooch off the seat---just enough to ease your weight off, not totally floating---and manouver with the other foot and your hands on handlebars. I could show you in much less time that it would take me to type this but it is not hard just needs practise. You can also do all of your cooking etc from this standing height with the stable seat and brake locks.

Whenever MD offices see this they go nuts wanting to know where to get ones for their patients. Well except for the office that I went to that NEVER NOTICED that I had somehow carelessly LOST my leg between one GP appointment and the next. Geeze---if they fail to notice um little things like that what ELSE are they missing???? Oh yeah there WAS that high BP they failed to notice in my pregnant daughter but that is a tale for another Forum!!!! If you want more info let me know.

And---go with your HEART here----second chances are often SECOND BEST. You can always move to the Safe Suburbs but the thrill of the City----

Hi Cheryl,

I am really late getting into the discussion--I haven't had time to get on and read for weeks. I try to make decisions with my heart informed by my head, so I guess my "advice" is listen to just your heart and head, not just one or the other.

I too am approaching retirement--1 July 2011. When I moved here I was positive this was my forever home--I had moved 26 times before here. I have totally renovated the house--or almost. I spent Christmas with a friend in Kamloops, British Columbia. As we talked she asked if I would move out there and I said firmly no, I was staying here. Well, over the next few days she convinced me that moving there would be a much better choice. It turns out I have more friends there and two month less winter would be wonderful! It is beautiful and still has a big sky--one thing I love about the Prairies. I have no family left, so friends will be important--are important. So approaching retirement can be exciting and also lots of unknows. I guess we all do the best we can.

The discussion about crawling around the floor was a very pertinent topic. I am putting in laminate in the house and I loose my leg crawling around. Today my knees had it, but it is much easier than trying to do it bending over.

It is good to hear about all of you

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