Sitting down and getting around is tricky for me. Since my injury I’ve found it very tricky to sit up and I can’t walk all that far.
However I love adventure. I still do lots of different things and have ended up with a bunch of different tools.
This post is a quick run through of the tools I use and why I use them. It’d not a complete list… just the things i use most :)
The buggies are the tool I use most often. I spend a few hours strapped into a buggy almost everyday.
They are more of less larger versions of what a toddler or small child would have. They work well for me because they are enclosed and they feel really safe. Buried deep inside the buggy with a hood over the top I don’t feel at all exposed. They fit my use case well as I can walk a bit. When we’re out and about I’ll going in and out of the buggy depending on how my legs are doing etc
I use two different buggies depending on the situation.
For day to day stuff I mostly use the red buggy (an Axiom Endeavour 3.0). It’s by far the most comfortable place for me to sit.. We got it from a company in Newcastle who custom fitted it for me. It’s brilliant.
Part of what makes it so effective is the position. It’s reclined enough to be comfortable and upright enough I can use a desk or table. It lives in my bedroom and I use it for work / gaming etc.
In terms of downsides it mostly comes down to size and faff. Its small for a buggy, but larger than most wheelchairs etc.… it’s also a bit of a faff to do up the harnesses
A few times a month I use the blue buggy (an Advanced Mobility Freedom). It’s a lot larger than the red buggy and it’s better suited to big outdoor places like centre parks or a zoo. It’s a bit stronger and has more space. It doesn’t mind being bounced down steps or taken over rough ground. As it’s a bit more reclined it’s also easier to sleep in.
The blue buggy lives in the back of the car most of the time and tends to come out for specific trips. For example I’m using it tonight to go to a BBQ at a friends house nearby.
Alongside the buggies I also have a grey stroller (a Trotter Chair). It’s a sort wheelchair / pushchair hybrid. It’s not as medical as a wheelchair or as childish as a pushchair.
It’s a really useful little thing. It’s small so it fits into all sorts of useful places. I can use it to go into a pharmacy or a small shop etc. It also folds down into a long thin shape which fits into a the car / taxi’s etc.
The main downside is the position. It’s quite upright which makes it uncomfortable for anything other than a short trip. It’s also really exposed and unstable. It doesn’t feel very safe. Using it in a bright loud places it quickly becomes overwhelming. It starts effecting things like my speech.
I feel really lucky. I’ve got amazing friends who are really enthusiastic in helping me to find good tools. To try the red buggy we did a four person road trip all the way the Newcastle and back!
The buggies and stroller make for a nice combination. Combined with the bikes and trikes I have a lot of ways to get around.
Long long term I don’t know what the future holds. Eventually I’d like to have more independence so I can more easily go out on my one. We’re slowly heading in that direction but it’s going to take a while.
Overall I am very positive. We found the tools which meet my autistic + mobility needs and I rather like them too. By choosing the tools which work for me I am enabled to thrive.