Cleaning with a Disability

A toilet with a blue toilet seat cover.So, I've already mentioned I broke my spine. Well, I also broke my spinal hardware bilaterally which runs from T-10 to my ilium.There's a distinct danger of severing my spinal cord, but at the same time, I developed venous stasis with cellulitis as I could not lay flat for 16 days to put my feet up, until my friend bought me a lift chair. I have paid back the money. Thus, my legs swelled and peeled from venous stasis like balloons and got red and infected even above my knees! I fixed myself by not only taking the antibiotics they prescribed, 2 rounds, but also, and I cannot overemphasize the importance of this: I used simple over-the-counter collagen pills. I also used fish, flax, and borage oil caps, but it was the collagen that saved me.


My stubborn self refused to be put down no matter what life threw my way, so I continued to do my chores, not wishing to become too much of a burden on anyone. Now, you see, here's a few tips I'll give that are of utmost importance should you ever find yourself in a vulnerable position like me. Independence is a must to whatever degree you can maintain it, right?

Tip 1: Even if you don't need it, take basic collagen pills asap. They work so fast! No more swelling after only 1 bottle and I've had fighting edema for most of my adult life after having kids.

Tip 2: No matter what life throws your way, put your feet up often and keep walking even when it feels like the devil is sitting on your shoulders trying to crush you down. WALK! I cannot walk far. To my mailbox and back, but I walk. Otherwise, I would have gotten an embolism by now. Ultrasound revealed I have no lasting damage to my leg veins. They are healed!

Tip 3: Do your own chores no matter how much it hurts. Bend a little, stretch a little, walk a little. It's gonna hurt a lot. Do your own dishes and laundry and buy helpers like reacher-grabbers and sock pullers. I no longer need my sock puller. This is embarrassing, but I began this journey unable to make it to the bathroom in time so I had to use incontinence products. I still keep my bedside toilet near my lift chair, but I don't have to rely on that other stuff anymore. After surgery will be a different story, though, I'm sure.

Why have I waited so long for my surgery? My insurance stalled me and stalled me. I couldn't lay flat for an MRI and no one would give me surgery without one. I still cannot lay flat. Listen: Don't let them do this to you. Were you aware there is such a thing as an open upright MRI machine? Who knew? Them! They just kept that information hidden from me. I finally switched insurance companies and now it looks like my surgery may actually happen.

When I stand, you can see the horrible deformity. People will come to resent having to help you if you don't help yourself as much as you can. Understand? Yes. Even if they are family! They want you to still be able to help them, too, sometimes, so you best take care of yourself so you CAN.

Final tip, and this one is so wonderful. I purchased a 1 gallon pump sprayer for spraying bleach water on the shower walls. Once I broke my back, a toilet seat riser became pretty important, so I bought one that goes under the toilet seat so you can still close the lid. How to clean it, though, when it is bolted down with long metal screws was the question. Simple answer. The pump sprayer! Yes! Brushes never worked well before the riser, and this was perfect! Never use a pump sprayer for multiple purposes. This is only for bleach water. You can make the bleach water and just spray each time someone goes potty. No physical scrubbing required.

I bought some SnoBol and removed the hard water and rust stains first. That's another tip: Nothing works as good as Sno Bol. Nothing. Not being paid to say that, either. Maintenance with the spray pump and bleach water means everything. I don't have to tote it around. I just keep it in the bathroom. I know I look like an extra for a zombie movie in my wheelchair picture, but understand. I was in a lot of pain and on pain medicine back then,which I have since ditched. Guess I'll have to resume using it after surgery, but for now? No way! If the pain gets too intense I can just go sleep it off.

Source: many articles on learned helplessness in the elderly

An x-ray of broken medical hardware.
Edema and swelling above knee.
A foot and leg with edema and swelling.
A woman in a wheelchair with a dog.

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February 2, 20201 found this helpful

Keep it up! You are very inspiring.

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February 2, 20201 found this helpful

Thank you for posting that useful information. May I ask, can you tell us the kind of collagen you use and where did you find that toilet seat riser that lets you close the lid? Wishing you all the best and thanks so much

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February 3, 20200 found this helpful

My heart goes out to you. Thanks for being so inspiring!

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February 4, 20202 found this helpful

The toilet seat riser is made by Carex. I got it at walmart dot com and it is perfect for a bidet seat. It's a 3 1/2 "riser, which is another reason I bought it. After surgery I may not be able to take care of that aspect on my own and I'd rather die than let anyone else do things for me of that nature.


The collagen is made by Spring Valley. Wal mart sells it.

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February 4, 20201 found this helpful

Thank you for reading it. It's on the long side. That's for sure. Blessings.

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February 23, 20200 found this helpful

Well you definitely put me to shame, thats for sure. I was run over by a car when I was two years old and have had delibitating injuries ever since. Im in my 50s now and everything-and I mean everything is in the too hard basket for me. My attitude is not one of pity but of procrastination and extreme lack of enthusiasm moreso due to depression.


My spirit needs a huge lift as Ive dug the hole so deep that I cant even see the bottom anymore. I dont sit around feeling sorry for myself by any means, I sit around feeling totally overwhelmed. Where does your motivation and your enthusiasm come from? Im in awe of you.

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August 6, 20210 found this helpful

This is in response to crazyredhen:I have been where you are as far as depression and lack of motivation is concerned, P lease talk to your doctor about this. There are medications that can really help you. I have been on them for some time now. I am like a different person, although sometimes I slip into depression for a day or two. Also counceling is very helpful. I really feel for you. I hope yoou are doing better now,but if not that you will get help.

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December 23, 20200 found this helpful

thank you. yes i am in the same sort of boat. i started with blood clots. then a brain tumor was sitting on my optic nerve so to prevent blindness the tumor was debulked not removed. then radiation. then last year they had to remove my thyroid and it was cancerous.


i am now on disability. and i have an aide. i do as much as i can on my own even tho the aide ccomes. i cook and then she sometimes cleans up after me. etc.

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January 24, 20210 found this helpful

I had back surgery and my X-rays look very much like yours. I am at the age that its harder to heal plus I have MS which makes it even harder. After my surgery I was given a device to use 2 hrs per day to help my bones fuse together. I have to use it daily for a year. I hope you do well when you have your next surgery. God Bless you!

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January 24, 20210 found this helpful

I developed osteoporosis from thyroid problem. I am bent over like the number7. I use a 3 wheel walker to get around and a regular one when working in the yards. I had knee surgery 4 years ago which caused me to walk differently, which made my posture worse. I can do all of my chores and still drive the car.


I have made adjustments to compensate for my problem. One thing that is very handy is the grabber. I use it to wash my floors, clean the bottom of the shower and other problems that arrive. I have been very fortunate by the grace of God and being stubborn. Don't give up.

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January 25, 20210 found this helpful

God bless you xxxxx

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August 8, 20220 found this helpful

well I think you look beautiful! and are an amazing person to be so upbeat.youre so selfless and generous to pass on your tips-I wish you well in the future-when i think how I moan about minor things it makes me ashamed! and your dog is lovely!xxxx

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