Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Persistence and Creativity
Sometimes we simply can’t come up with a good solution, and that’s when we call in the expert – my occupational therapist, Maren. Once in a while she has the magic answer, such as, “Oh, they make a gizmo for that. Let’s google it.” But more often than not we just start brainstorming, and she’s really good at that. She has a collection of materials in her car, duct tape included, which we have used to build prototype assistive devices many times. We are persistent, because most ideas are bad ones, and it sometimes takes many tries to find a good one. We are creative, because some of the best ideas sound crazy at first, but make perfect sense in the end.
Lately, due to spasticity, my feet have been falling off my foot pedals a lot, and I’ve had trouble getting them back on. Earlier today I had an idea. If I could raise my wheelchair up high enough, I could put my feet down on my bed, and then tug on my pant legs to get my feet onto the wheelchair’s foot pedals. I tried it, but it didn’t work. The bed was too high, and the blankets held too tightly to the soles of my shoes. I was disappointed, but only for a moment.
I noticed a footstool at the end of the bed. It’s there so our dog Phoebe can jump up onto the mattress. After getting the okay from Phoebe, I tried the same process with her footstool as I had with our bed. It worked! I was quite pleased with myself.
Persistence and creativity, essential tools for everyone, but especially the disabled.