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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Disabled Crafters

Ok today I thought it would be interesting to show you what I use to hold me all in place while I craft.
Its not just able bodies who craft its also those who have discovered craft as a result of an illness or accident, or those who have come to it via a different route.
Myself, I am Hypermobile, Ehlers-Danlos type 3. Its a genetic condition that I have had all my life, but is quite rare, and rarely diagnosed early enough to prevent alot of the issues that arise. I discovered that I was hypermobile when I was 38, and the advice given was "you're going to pull and strain muscles more than most, so be aware and take care of yourself." But that wasnt the whole story. I only looked into Hypermobility when my daughter was diagnosed when she fell pregnant. That was a shock!!! No one had ever said it was genetic, and that I could pass it to my kids!!!!
So research later, having discovered that both my Mum and my Dad were hypermobile, and the fact that I was slowly falling to pieces, I became the group leader for the Northwest area.
Then I discovered some wonderful people, who could help me do what I wanted to do. Namely an Occupational Therapist, and Physiotherapist who knew what they were doing, as well as the most wonderful Doctor.
So here is a photo of the various bits that hold me together. Belt to hold the ribs in place, ring splints, tubi-grip, moulded support for the thumb, hand splints, and gloves to encourage my fingers to point in the right direction. I dont use all of them all of the time, and some things are a disaster area when you're working with ink as you can imagine. The list does grow, as more of me needs help, but all in all I really have to Thank the wonderful HMS teams around the country for enabling hypermobiles over the years, which means that this sort of thing is available to help me do what I enjoy.
If you yourself are disabled and struggling there are people out there who can help, so dont give up! It may take a while to find the right people and products, but it is possible to craft quite happily even though you may be falling to bits.
I'm a great believer in thinking OUTSIDE the box. There's ALWAYS a way to do what you want!!


Guilly said...

Thank you for sharing Lou. I love your way of thinking

jo said...

Hiya Lou, only me again.
Hell you're one brave lady!!!I don't know how you do it! I'm so pleased you manage to find a hobby you so obviously love. I'm not disabled but do have a 24 year old son, Richard, my eldest. He's disabled - he had his first stroke just before his 21st, and things have been sooo tough, especially as i have five other kiddo's!I'm reading your blog from beginning and just making random comments - hope you don't get too sick of me!
Jo x

L00py's Craft Creations said...

no hun, you comment away, makes me feel some one is liking my blog, xx

Shoshi said...

Like you, Lou, I have been very fortunate to have a sympathetic and understanding medical team. I've had some pretty awful experiences, especially with hospital consultants, and feel very blessed with my GP considering that half the medical profession doesn't even recognise that M.E. exists! My OT and physio have also been quite wonderful. the OT has been very pro-active and suggested things to help me around the house etc. This time last year I got my new wheelchair through Wheelchair Services and the NHS voucher scheme and only had to pay for the extras I wanted. I so agree with you that it's worth pushing for what you need, and finding out for yoruself what's avaialable.

Like you, I believe it's terribly impotrtant to maintain a postiive attitute. My poor hubby is a glass-half-empty merchant - he needs me to boost him up as I'm not even a glass-half-full merchant but a pressed-down, shaken-together and running-over-merchant lol lol!!!

I always say that if I hadn't got ill and disabled I would not have developed my art. Before I was ill I was too busy doing all the boring stuff able bodied people have to do, and now my hubby does loads for me, and even when I'm well enough to do them myself he does it so I can use my limited resources of energy to do what I want to do (be creative) and not waste it on cooking and washing up!!!

I have so much to be thankful for!