No, Nope, Uh uh, Is a common word to parents or individuals with a disability. Its a word that we all get accustomed to. Most common phrase "If you need help, just ask". Well here it goes. The reason why we don't ask is because of the word "no". So used to hearing and using it. Here is some examples to put it in perspective.
Here is a recent one that would make people go ''HMM"
Do you want tickets to the Garth Brooks concert...Well yes, but no. (This is our lives)
We cant go for a evening without finding a trained "sitter". Asking friends or family is tough because of the guilt that follows along with it. That and your limited to those family and friends that will lend a helping hand.
So why don't we all go?
Well for a person to take in a event takes a lot of planning, We need accessibility, rest stops , half a truck full of gear and after all that , the loud noises would be bother some as sometimes sensory is a problem.So...NO
Now lets talk relationships. Its always a battle back in forth on who does this and who does that. "Can you do this?" What you want to say is "NO!" ,but you don't. That's when a person get into a routine of doing things as a individual and the language barrier starts to diminish. So you both get a free minute!!, "So do you want to talk or do do something?" "No not really, I'm exhausted" "Do you?" No me either". That's a familiar conversation to alot.
Here is a tough one, You talk with friends or family and you hear about the weekends or days. So the kids went to friends house for the weekend or Grandpa and Grandmas, What did you guys do? Well we tried hard to get caught up on what we couldn't do through out the week or we did our regular routine of feeding, bathrooming, assist playing , meal preparation ( Just our routines). Did we get ahead "NO".
We try not to let that bring us down, We area very in your face and outgoing family.We are trying to set a example for others.
So lets turn the word "No" into a uncommon word for families or individuals with disabilities. How do we do that? Having a different perspective on others lives and don't ask, Just do! We all need a little help once in awhile.
NO matter who we are!!!
Lets get Old School, I find myself talking like my parents did. I make remarks like " I remember when I was a kid" or " "Kids now a days have it easy". I paid a visit today to lady in her 90s and when I walked into her house I see her making tea on the stove and I feel kinda nostalgic as when I would go to Grandmas house. Then I look over and she has her Ipad Charging and was in the middle of a email. It blows my mind sometimes when we think of our older generation using the technology of today and yet there is a lot of our younger generation that wouldn't have a clue of the Items that where used 40 years ago.So when you go to Grandmas and are showing her the remote and make the comment "Its easy Grandma"! ..Let Grandma show you how to run a sewing machine to darn your socks or Have Grandpa show you how to run a 4 bottom plow behind a team of horses.
I have in the past while taken a great interest in our Heritage of my hometown and seeing the lifes that our ancestors lived. Its truly a honor to speak to the people that come through my store and share there stories with me. I have a small display of what our City of Melfort was like. A few relate to the pictures and have given me information to share with others. We create our own story and experiences so don't be scared to share it!!
Well the bathroom talk has been a hot topic! So I'm jumping on board!! So my daughter is in a wheelchair and I have had to take her into the men's washroom with me and ... Well since we cannot use a regular stall or toilet, I drag a specialized commode and set it up, I then transfer her ( lift) onto it and then step out for a minute so she can have a little privacy. So what are the proper steps for this situation. Should I allow her to be exposed to the male etiquette or walk into a ladies restroom and set up and make the ladies aware that I'm her father and caregiver? What about parents that need to use a stall and Change there family members on the bathroom floor? This is probably the hardest thing in life and the biggest part of our outings or traveling that stresses us out the most! I'm sure I'm not alone on this. So imagine a long trip somewhere and planning rest stops....We make a lot of backroad pit stops! We need proper bathrooms , equipped for all and lots of them. It doesn't have to specify a ability, sex, color or religion... It just has to say " Restroom". No confusions there!!
So we made the long weekend with no issues!! Friday was another epic day as we get to see the Maude Burke Archers receive medals. Melfort sets a pretty high bar when it comes to competing. They achieve this with awesome leadership. With that leadership comes compassion and inclusion. Our daughter for the first time was able to shoot at archery in a provincial tournament. She took part as a team!! That all we can ask for !! Inclusion. We took the slogan "No Limits" because of how we try to look at life. We always get the quote " It takes special people, to do what you do". Well here is my answer for that. I do the same as every parent should. I care for my family , I make sure my daughter is involved and do not know any different. So it doesnt take special people, it just takes people.
I believe that we all have a purpose in life and being a advocate and educator on our experiences with raising a child with a disability is what we are meant to do. I stand up for things that I think are right and I try to be a voice for those that need someone to speak for them. So when I quote "No Limits" I really do follow that motto.
Well it's May Long in Saskatchewan!! What does that mean in in our lives now? Well its about family time and shutting your mind off for a few days!! We spend our family time at our favorite camping destination. Pack your gear and head out the door!! The dreaded packing, I hate it!!You know the packing of food, clothes, junk food, specialized bike , custom walker, wheelchair, specialized bath rooming commode, proper feeding devices, extra clothes, and in my world....Custom fishing gear!!! Just your run of the mill adapted family on the "GO".
Last year at this time we where packed up and on the road to a family weekend!! We are cruising the highway and enjoying the scenery when our vehicle ( Accessible van) stops on and wont start. Its a 1998 Chevy full size van with a side ramp. Its a big bulky van. Oh ya its a diesel!! Pioneer Stereo system with 2, 8 inch subs under the back seat, 18 inch Chrome rims, turbo and chipped ( Tim Allen GRUNTS)!! Back to my story, So we sit on the side of the road in Northern Saskatchewan and I think to myself I HAVE NO cell service!! What the heck am I going to do. I need a tow truck and another accessible vehicle!! We are stranded and I have no idea where or how I'm going to fix this!! Good thing its May Long and there is people stopping! I make the decision and have to leave my family and I catch a ride to the nearest town and phone my go to guy , my dad!! No matter how old I get I still call him when I'm in trouble. He comes with his vehicle and we load up what we can and I have my daughter sit on my lap because..We only have a wheelchair!! So things like that make a person think of future situations!! I get a tow truck and we get everything back home and get fixed up!! My first goal is to get a road side assistance package and make sure that it will also allow us to have a accessible vehicle on route to accommodate a wheelchair user. So to give a thumbs up CAA contaced me and said they will do whatever they can to make sure that if we have trouble they will send a tow truck and accessible transportation!! So there you have it!! Welcome to the life we live!! Even though it was a stressful situation , its a story that I can share and make other families like ours aware of the "What If's".
Happy May Long
Well lets talk parking. This subject always get peoples blood boiling a bit. Accessible parking, well since it has the universal wheelchair parking sign, it must be accessible ( belly laugh). This is one of the common frustrations when it comes to finding parking. They are not usually wide enough or are being used for "I will just be quick" parkers. Couldn't ask for more frustration when you drive around looking for that spot and to see you cant use your side ramps or someone else is "just running in quick". So how do you handle those situations? I know i want to scream and yell..but what will that really accomplish , besides making you feel good for a few minutes. I'm too tired for confrontations. So lets get talking about it and raise that awareness !! While you are driving around and this is for my friends from the 80's crank up "We're not gunna take it" !!
Well , I'm going to give this a go. I like to voice my opinion once in awhile so lets share it on the inter web.Might as well start with why I'm here. This journey didn't start with me knowing anything about accessibility or adaptive products. In 2005 I became a Dad, It was scary as hell. Well my experience was!! I was blessed with a daughter, She had a pretty rough start in coming into this world. I will spare all the details to just give the outcome. My daughter was born with complications that resulted in her prognosis of Cerebral Palsy. It has affected her in good ways and bad. Of course the bad is in her mobility and speech...Now the good. She takes life with a smile and has sparked a creative side in me!! She has put my mind through the test and pushed us to never give up and take life with "No Limits". So here we are today, Going on 3 months with a business that provides mobility and senior products.