Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

The Cushion Saga Concludes Comfortably

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 7:41 pm on Monday, June 25, 2007

comfy chair
(Photo credit: Stefanie K)

After eight weeks of hoop-jumping, Darrell finally has a new gel cushion and can minimize the risk of a pressure sore from sitting all day. Luckily, the bureaucrat assigned to review Darrell’s application was new and the occupational therapist (OT) was able to convince him to forgo the “one cushion per butt” policy in favour for the commonsensical “one cushion per chair” approach. Thank goodness for small mercies!

The OT had warned Darrell that his application may not be approved because of the policy and brainstormed other options. Darrell explained that he couldn’t possibly get both chairs beside the bed without levitating, at which point the OT threatened to hang up! He then suggested that Darrell park both wheelchairs beside the couch and sit on a stack of throw pillows while he swapped the cushion. A person with no balance is supposed to sit on a wobbly pile of pillows? Ok. And who is going to pick him when he lands on the floor? The tooth fairy?

It’s not that we prefer relying on the government for such necessities, but these things are so outrageously priced because, as one sales person once revealed to us, “someone has to pay it”; our current situation doesn’t permit us to be the someone. One day! Until that day, Darrell is comfy (well, as comfortable as sitting all day can be).

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Looking for a Good Summer Read

Filed under: I'll Do It Myself: The Book,Virtual Book Tour — by at 6:12 pm on Friday, June 22, 2007

I’ll Do It Myself by Glenda Watson Hyatt

Happy summer (finally)! Time to kick back and relax under a shady tree or on the beach slathered in sunscreen, with a cool drink in one hand and a good book in the other. And I have just the book for you!

Here’s what one reader recently said about I’ll Do It Myself:

I ordered your book and read it all the day it came….then I read it again. I have a three year old son… that has athetoid cp. I would love to be in contact with you because I see so many similarities between your story and the way his life is unfolding. I was so relieved to read your book and realize all of the possibilities ahead [for my son].

I have been mailing copies across Canada and the United States, as well as to the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. For local readers, copies are available at Celebration Christian Store in Surrey

Beginning Wednesday, July 18th, I will be holding bi-monthly “Ask the Author” nights, approximately 7-10pm EST, right here on my blog! Come ask me questions about my autobiography, living with a disability or just to chat. So, get your copy of I’ll Do It Myself and come join us on July 18th. Hope to see you here!

I am also planning a “Summer Sojourn” virtual book tour for mid or late August. Stay tuned for details.

Happy reading and have an awesome summer!

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Sometimes Cerebral Palsy Simply Sucks

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 11:53 pm on Monday, June 18, 2007

(Photo credit: Sanja Sjenero)

I try to give my loyal readers something positive, inspiring, or hopeful in most posts I write, but there are days when having cerebral palsy simply sucks. And, today was one of those days!

As I shared in an earlier post, my left ankle needs to be braced again; a development I’m not thrilled with. I wore heavy long-legged braces as a child. The summer before Grade Six, I had a horrendous surgery done to stabilize both ankles (details are in my book), after which I graduated to short-legged braces below the knee. Then part way through Grade Eight, I did away with the braces all together, which marked improvement to me; one tiny step towards being less different. Going back to a brace is a step backward; digression.

Nowadays, the braces (or AFOs – ankle-foot orthotics) are no longer heavy metal and sweaty leather, but rather lightweight plastic molded to the foot. Today’s appointment involved casting my foot for the plastic mold. With athetoid cerebral palsy, this was not an easy task.

I must admit that the orthotists were very patient and even answered my questions this time. Not having the rehab specialist there this time helped. Or, perhaps it was the fact that I had included the link to the previous blog post when I emailed for the appointment, after receiving notification that funding for said AFO had been approved. Whatever it was, it was nice being treated as an intelligent individual.

Because of my cp and the muscle tightness, we had to go through the casting process three times in order to get my foot in a semi good position from which the plastic mold will be made. Three times I endured my foot being twisted and turned into a position my foot doesn’t go in. And, to be honest, it hurt!

The AFOs are made of a clear plastic. Children get to choose from an album a graphic or design to customize their plastic AFO (and to make it more bearable to wear). The orthotist gave me the album to see if I wanted anything on mine. Thumbing through the images of action heroes, cute animals, or flaming lightning bolts didn’t inspire me; there was nothing business- or professional-like, no dollar signs or “I’m a hot babe” sayings. I was learning towards a plain, least conspicuous, least wardrobe clashing AFO. Then I saw the butterflies, the symbol of new life, new hope, and thought, “If I have to wear this stupid thing, why not have brightly coloured butterflies all over it?” I never had choice with the metal braces and poop brown shoes I wore all through my childhood. Hopefully the butterflies will lighten up the sucky fact that I am now back to wearing braces.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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When Is Help Indeed Helpful?

Filed under: Advocacy,Living with a disability — by at 10:59 pm on Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Three crows sitting on a park bench
(Photo credit: Jari Leivo)

A few months ago, I watched from my home office window as a couple of crows built a nest in the spruce tree. The eggs have since hatched and the babies are growing. Today must have been flying lessons. I looked out as the crows were squawking yet again. A well-intending woman was chasing after a fledgling on the ground, with two angry bird parents circling above her, reminiscence of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. She carefully scooped up the baby and placed him on a lower spruce branch

Although the woman meant well, she was trying to help in a situation that didn’t require help; a situation I can relate to, well. Having a physical disability and being in a wheelchair leads people to assume I need help, even when none was solicited. Strangers have kindly assisted me, even after I cheerily responded, “No, thanks,” to their offer. I am then left feeling obliged to be appreciative for help rendered.

At times assistance is greatly appreciated. At other times, despite being slow or not being graceful, help really isn’t required and, sometimes, can be no help at all. When in doubt, simply ask if I would like help. Then respect my response, please.

There is one way you can help me at the moment. I will be sincerely appreciative if you would vote for me daily so that I might be paid to blog for a year. Thanks!

As for the baby crow, it’s probably best to leave it alone, unless it is obviously injured or in danger.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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To My Loyal Reader, My Mom

Filed under: General — by at 4:52 pm on Friday, June 8, 2007

Mom holding me as a baby, in front of my first Christmas tree
On My Christening Day

On a personal note, I would like to acknowledge one of my loyal readers, my Mom. She is a fairly new computer user, having sworn she would never have a need for one. She has taught herself how to surf the web and to send email. I’m so proud of her!

When I was on my “40 Blogs in 40 (Business) Days” virtual book tour, she came along to every stop, making the experience extra special for me. She frequently goes back through previous posts to see if there are any new comments. (I still need to find and install the ‘Recent Posts’ and ‘Recent Comments’ plugins.) She understands what I am talking about when I mention words like blogging, podcasting and Technorati ranking. How cool is that!

Mom recently sold her house in Alberta and is moving to a destination still to be determined; it may be Prince Edward Island, it could be Saskatchewan or it might be somewhere else. She is spending some time camping in her fifth wheel trailer before deciding where she is headed to next. Meanwhile I’ll miss being connected in this way. Besides, who will point out the typos in my blog posts?

To you, Mom, on beginning the next the chapter in your life’s journey. May it be a safe yet fulfilling one!

I hope you are back online in time to join me for my “Summer Sojourn” virtual book tour!

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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