I was born with cerebral palsy I’ve been in the chair for as long as I can remember. I’ve needed help every day since that day I was born. Independence is something that has come little by little. I went to college and found a way to get it done, with lots of help from others of course, but I got it done.
I spent years looking for a personal assistant. Maybe closer to a decade. Last October, I got Jane. Having her has been a major adjustment. I can finally get out and go,(not whenever I want to but almost.) I have someone to stay with me. Which allows my parents to have much more of a life of their own. I’m learning to the shop for groceries, and now I’m learning what it’s like to be able to make my own choices. It’s an amazing thing really.
All that said, I still live in my parents house. It has a few things that are built just for me, like a big bathroom and sink I can roll under. For the most part however, it’s their house. Appliances are located in convenient places for them. Which in most cases means they are too high for me to reach. This is okay for most things, a guy with very limited motor skills, probably shouldn’t be attempting to cook a meal on the stove. That said, having the ability to microwave a snack when I got hungry and no one else was around, would be nice.
Over the last year, I have been extremely fortunate to have an independent minded woman pointing these things out of me. She’s constantly thinking of ways I can improve my situation. A major addition to my living environment would be a microwave. When I started thinking about it, all of these wrinkles begin to happen. A microwave is great but only if I have access to food to put in it. That means I’ll probably need a freezer somewhere in my room as well. My room is nice but it’s very limited in terms of space and I don’t even have that much stuff.
So I am looking around trying to figure out where I could put a freezer and a microwave that would be accessible to me. Then I start thinking about how I could get the food from the freezer to the microwave and out of the microwave without making a huge mess in very limited space, that someone else might have to cleanup. All of these thoughts have me wondering if there is a reality show out there that specifically designs spaces for people like me, to help us become more independent? If there’s not there should be. There’s one out there for everything else. (there is one about building custom epic tree houses, those guys are insane).
My point with this post, is that in my case becoming independent has happened by baby steps. it’s painfully slow, And in the case of the microwave and freezer, trying to figure out how to make it work, in a place that’s not really designed for it, is a daunting task. I know it will happen for me. Sometimes it feels like I will need a team of MacGyver’s to make it happen. (that’s want a mile time favorite shows, just an FYI.) Has anybody out there ever attempted what I am talking about, and do you have blueprints? Comments welcome. Independence is worth it, but I don’t think it ever comes easy.
Comments are welcome
Image can be found here