40 Before 40 – Use My Manual Everyday for 40 Days

At the end of 2021 I turn 40. So at the end of last year I wrote a 40 before 40 list (it’s not on this blog before anyone goes looking).

I always thought that with the number of trips away it would involve I wouldn’t manage all 40 tasks. But that it was good to have aims and I could probably manage a fair number. With the current restrictions I definitely won’t manage most of them because even the one day trips are out of reach.

I might write a new “pandemic edition” 40 before 40 list to start after I turn 39, I need to have a think about it. But there are still several I can reach from the original list. And I recently completed one.

Use my manual chair everyday for 40 days.

It’s actually well over 40 days. I’ve used it most days since it was serviced right at the beginning of August. And I’ve used it everyday since 19th August when my powerchair went in to the workshop.

My mum had been moaning at me for ages that I needed to start using the manual more. But it turns out what I really needed to make me do it was the powerchair tech pointing out that the reason things like casters keep wearing out is because of all the tight turns and small movements around my flat which it isn’t really designed for. That and yet another repair bill of over a grand for the powerchair.

I’ve been in it for every morning care call since the 20th August, even asking carers to wait and minute or two for me to transfer out of my powerchair into it. I had yet more problems with the gas strut in the powerchair which is part of the reason it went to the workshop. And I think part of the reason I’ve had those problems is the amount of force needed to do my compression. To start with I was trying to be in the manual for all care calls but some evenings I’m back in the powerchair again now.

Some days I’ve only used the manual for an hour or so around the morning care call (which is 30 minutes). And a few days lately, when the weather has been bad, I’ve not even touched the powerchair. A week or so ago I was at home all weekend and in my manual from Friday morning until Monday afternoon.

It’s definitely getting easier. And strangely I’ve noticed my feet and legs are sitting on my footplates better the more I use it. I still don’t think getting out and about it alone will happen. But in the house definitely is.

I’ve started having some shoulder pain in the last week or so which is concerning (this is something wheelchair users need to be careful of) but as it’s mostly one arm it’s been suggested it may actually be crochet related. I’ll need to keep an eye on it.

And this is really bizarre but it’s beginning to look like my next wheelchair tech visit will need to be from the NHS wheelchair services team to give my manual some TLC. It’s a long time since I’ve seen a tech for this chair!