When I first started this blog, I was new to using a wheelchair. I had cauda equina syndrome in April 2012, which damaged the nerves to my left leg and saddle. It took me a year or two before I considered using a wheelchair but I'm so glad I did. It gives me the freedom to live a normal life and do most of the things I want to do.
In this blog, I share my own experiences of being a part-time wheelchair user, in the hope that it will inspire and encourage other newly disabled people.
I can't remember the last time I spent so much of the summer in the garden. There's a lot about summer that I just don't like: the heat, the sun, the wasps, even bees (sorry), nettles, too much greenery that might be hiding wasps, bees or nettles... The list is endless! However, contrary to what my family think, I do like being outdoors. I just don't like feeling stressed.
This summer has been different. Around Christmas time we started digging up this...
... and turning it gradually into this...
The obvious advantages are:
it looks much nicer
it's wheelchair friendly
there are raised beds for my veggies
there are 'safe' places for me to sit.
So throughout the summer, I've spent a lot of time (evenings and weekends) outside, enjoying my garden. We've enjoyed an abundance of courgettes, lettuce, peas, beans and herbs. In the last couple of weeks, we've started planting things for winter harvest - some potatoes, cabbages, little gems and so on.
I'm now in the last five weeks of my Master's and I'm on with my final written piece - the End of Module Assignment (EMA). I need to do a lot of reading for that and I'm enjoying being able to sit in my netted swing seat with my tablet, reading happily, safe from all flying monsters.
This has been an excellent example of the social model of disability. That means that our impairments don't disable us but rather society and the way things are built. Whether we're talking about physical mobility or phobias of summer monsters, it's all the same. If our environment is right, we can function just fine.
I'll leave you with some pictures of our veggies...