Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Have Neuropathy Will Travel! Reduce The Restrictions

Today's post from thielst.typepad.com (see link below) applies to all of us with severe neuropathy (perhaps not as severe as the case below...or perhaps worse😩). It concerns getting out into and functioning in the wider world despite the physical restrictions that nerve damage can bring. Why should travel be a non-starter? It's not easy but it is possible, especially if you do your research to see what sort of modern aids and gadgets are available to make life on the road a bit easier. This article has links that are worth following and ideas that you may not have thought of but there must be more available. Here's where sharing your ideas can really benefit the community.

Traveling with Functional Limitations
Christina Thielst March 16, 2018 
I'm not one to sit still, unless I'm working and/or typing a blog post. I move and explore new places whenever I have an opportunity, so my functional limitations related to walking, standing, driving and focusing did have an impact on my freedoms and activity. As I reflect, I also share what I found to help others who find themselves looking for solutions.

Simply traveling "outside" was a challenge due the my fear of falling or not being able to make it back inside before the fatigue took over. My solution, a tripod stool that I could carry with me when I ventured out alone or with someone else. I could hold it and my cane and be ready to put it down to sit in a moment. No, I couldn't do much when I got outside, but I could sit and at least follow my family and friends. I could even feel safe risking a short hike with my husband - knowing I could sit on a stool and more easily stand given my floppy feet. Later, I found a stool with telescoping legs - which I wish I had had at my worse. A higher seat would have made standing easier and faster.

Then came the car. Getting into my Mountaineer was like climbing Mt. Everest. Getting out, was more like a controlled slide/fall. In a regular car the two experiences were reversed. After getting in or out, I was usually exhausted from the effort. Part of the problem was finding the right place to grab on to support me. I later learned of the Metro Car Handle, which is inserted in the door strike for more support in the rise and fall process.

I had my cane, but really needed more for a while. But, I didn't like the walkers I found. 

They were too big and bulky and looked like they were for "old" people. I wanted something leaner and meaner that I could easily fold, carry and put into the car. Or, when I went to visit my parents so I could show my mom I was OK, take on the plane with me. The lightweight and trimline EZ Fold Walker was what I needed.

I also really needed a bedrail at home in addition to my foot stool. But, I also thought about those who travel and probably need to take a portable bedrail along. I found two options the Traveler Bed Rail Advantage and Econo Bedrail . This is mostly a personal preference and budget decision.

Traveling also means bringing along a toothbrush. I had an awful grip and hard time grasping and actually using a toothbrush. I was introduced to Dr. Plotka's Travel Toothbrush and used it at both home and while traveling because of its chunky handle and the silver flossing bristles that helped me do a much better job cleaning my teeth. My fears of several cavities disappeared when I began using this toothbrush! Today, I just use the traveling one for travel and have a regular one for home.

One last thing.... driving means bringing a bottle of water with me or picking up a Coke at a stop during a road trip. There is nothing worse than fighting to open the bottle, including medication or ibuprofen, only to fatigue yourself. Yep, it can wear you out. So, I recommend some sort of non slip bottle/jar opener in the car; as well as, in the kitchen and bathroom. One I found is from Dycem that fits a variety of cap/top sizes. In addition, it doubles as a portable grip for opening doors.

If you have found anything that makes your travel just a bit easier, please feel free to share it below. Who knows, maybe it will be something I can add to my shop to make it easier for patients like us to find.


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