August is SMA Pride / Awareness Month. Each week, I’m sharing a post about what my life with SMA is like.
I think it’s pretty obvious that SMA affects a lot of my day-to-day life – it forces me to be creative, and come up with different ways of doing things. And sometimes it’s taking things and using them in a way that has an extra benefit to me – like the things I talk about in my Accidentally Adaptive series. So I thought I’d share some of my current favorite “adaptive” products – things that I use to make my life a little bit easier.
This is the most basic item on the list, but probably the one that gets the most use! You can read the full Accidentally Adaptive post I wrote about it, but the gist of it is that I’ve used a cupholder since probably elementary school! I can’t carry a drink while I drive my wheelchair, so I’ll often have a coffee or a water in it. Sometimes I also just use it as a place to stash things within easy reach, like a lipgloss or a pen.
I honestly didn’t realize how much I would love this before I bought it! You can read the full Accidentally Adaptive post I wrote – it’s a phone case with a snap wallet and a removable crossbody strap. Again, being hands-free is a big thing for me – I can’t drive my wheelchair with anything in my hand, and I don’t have the strength or mobility to put my phone away somewhere and get it out again. The crossbody case lets me keep my phone nearby and within reach, but I don’t have to hold it.
I often appreciate the little steps of independence the most. I use this automatic dispenser for my micellar water – again, you can read the full Accidentally Adaptive post. Not having to lift up the heavy (for me!) micellar water bottle lets me do my nighttime skincare routine completely independently, which is huge. I just wave my cotton round over the top and the micellar water dispenses – it requires no strength at all.
This is another of my most-used items – I have my Echo set up to control a lot of things throughout the house. Again, the Echo helps me do those little daily things that a lot of people take for granted, like turning on and off the lights and other devices I have paired with it. But I also love the drop-in feature. When I’m in bed, I use my phone as a way to call to my parents if I need something, but sometimes someone’s phone is accidentally left on vibrate, or the battery dies. I can “drop in” to the Echo in their room and have a back-up way to contact them! It alleviates a lot of my stress knowing that it’s an option
Again – small change, but big impact for me! This electric lighter lets me light candles independently – you can read the full Accidentally Adaptive post I have about it. I think I love this one so much because I used to be able to strike a match by myself when I was younger, but lost the strength sometime over the years. So this lighter gives me back a small bit of independence that I had lost, and that means the most.
I still have to write a full post about my Sleep Number bed, but it’s one of my favorite items, full stop. I don’t move much at all when I sleep – nothing more than moving my arm – so making sure I’m comfortable so that I don’t wake up in pain is key. And this bed is so comfortable. But the other major part of it is that the frame is adjustable – both the head and the foot can be tilted up and lowered, so that I have the exact right positioning that I need. Plus! The foot of the bed can be warmed! For someone with bad circulation and always-freezing feet, I couldn’t love this part more.
Again – I am almost always cold, because I have bad circulation. However, I also live in a house with my family, and can’t make the whole place reach the sauna-like temperatures that I’d like. So a space heater is the compromise that makes the rooms that I’m in a tolerable (to me) temperature. The best part of a smart one is that I can turn it on and off from my phone or Alexa, so I can turn it on in the morning while I’m still in bed and help warm up the room before I’ve had the chance to get cold.
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