Get off Your Butt

Studies are being cranked out regularly on how prolonged sitting can significantly shorten life spans of the sedentary. They have real meaning for us who are mobility challenged. Unfortunately, I spend most of my day on a mobility scooter or in a chair. So, what should I do about it? It is really common problem that affects many of us who are disabled, but it is not an excuse for just giving up. I have been blessed with relatively good upper body strength, probably from moving around a rather sedate lower body. Up until about six years ago I was going to the gym three times a week, but as my Multiple Sclerosis took a stronger and stronger hold of my lower body I sort of drifted back into little or no conscious exercise. I paid [...]

Bladerunner

It always hurts when one of your champions falls from grace. Seeing the headline "Double-amputee Olympian charged with premeditated murder" was as unexpected to me as a meteor exploding over Russia. I’ve always had a special admiration for amputees and others in the Mobility Challenged Club excelling at anything to the point of gaining national and worldwide acclaim. Many of us who are mobility challenged feel like it is a good day when we can get ourselves out of bed, showered and dressed before getting onto our wheeled steed to face another 24 hours. Watching videos of Oscar Pistorius whipping around the track on a couple of metal blades filled me with the hope a mobility challenge can't keep a good man down. It was just [...]

Scooter Transportation: A Chicken or Egg” Problem?

When my wife and I decided we had to do something to make transporting my mobility scooter easier, we quickly encountered a chicken-or-egg type of problem. At the time, she was driving a Ford Focus. Though the scooter easily breaks down into four pieces that fit neatly into the trunk (but with no room for anything else), lifting each piece over the wall of the trunk to get it in became an issue. If we went shopping and made four or five stops that meant my wife was having put the strain own her back muscles 8-10 times a trip. Besides this impact on her, the trips became less enjoyable as I didn't want her to have to unload and load the scooter so many times. I often opted to sit in the car rather than put her through the hassle. We [...]

My Poor Knees

As a member of the Atlanta Track Club Women’s competitive team and a teacher who lifts and aids students with disabilities, I have more than my share of wear and tear on my joints and muscles. I just recently experienced a setback with a diagnosis of Runner’s Knee and arthritis in both knees. I am beginning to realize that just like brakes in a car, your joints also have a shelf life! Taking care of your body and mind should be a priority throughout the year. There are proven practices that will help your body from wearing out! I caught some good advice from some individuals who are very knowledgeable in this area! I went to an Atlanta Track Club member’s New Year’s Day party and gravitated towards the Masters Runners who are [...]

Winter Funerals

Funerals are very personal ceremonies whether they are for a close relative, a friend, or yourself. I recently went to an important one myself. You’d think mobility access would be taken for granted in situations like this, even in winter. Nope. Despite the fact most New England funeral homes are made over Victorian homes that originally included several porches and stairs, access is not something that has been overlooked. I’ve always seen street level entrances or ramps suitable for electric wheel chairs or mobility scooters as needed. Parking lots are generally clear of snow and well-marked. I did find the interior to be a bit crowded, particularly with both a power wheelchair and a mobility scooter arriving at the same [...]

Brace Yourselves! Change is in the Wind

The next few months are going to bring some interesting changes to the mobility equipment acquisition process, and you may find some real savings if you bring a pile of cash to the table. In process for over a year now, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) new competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) is expected to slash CMS payments by as much as 45%. Mobility equipment providers had already been expecting cuts in the 32-35% range and even at that rate,  a number of the smaller companies had been considering closure. Right now, CMS payments in behalf of over 100 million beneficiaries makes them the largest consumer of durable medical equipment. This [...]

Let’s Dance!

When I was young, I always wanted to dance. I danced in my room, backyard, in front of the television, and wherever I could without driving my parents, brother, and our poor dog crazy. Music was always important to me, and it still is today. I finally took my first, official dance class two years ago. I looked around, eyeing up the other (much younger) participants, but my nervousness and awkwardness soon dissipated and wow… what a release! Dance is a great outlet for anyone, even for individuals who use scooters or power wheelchairs. Research shows that dance can be a HUGE stress reliever—and it’s an excellent workout too! Please keep in mind that it took me about 20 years to get myself out on the dance floor for a class. If [...]

Guns & Roses: How Firearm Control Affects the Disabled

There's no doubt in my mind that Congress is going to get into a shootout over gun control in the coming weeks and months. As is all too common, the disabled probably won’t have much of a voice even though firearm legislation affects them more than most. The reality is that the disabled are especially vulnerable to violence, gun-related or otherwise. On the other hand, they also stand more to gain from the protection of a personal weapon like a firearm. The controversy on Capitol Hill hasn't prompted me to rush to the nearest gun store so I can start packing heat, however. I remember target practice with a .45 caliber automatic pistol when I was younger. It packed quite a punch! At this age, seated on a mobility scooter, I doubt [...]