Dragondee, I was told Access to Work would pay for an office chair, but I have the same problem in that after 8 years of looking I can’t find one with a short enough squab, ie about 35cm. Do you know of any PLEASE, pretty please? I mentioned above an advert for an office chair for short people, but at 42cm squab, it is far too deep for me and I’m a short person! I’ve tried emailing them, but the general jist is well we are a tiny, little bit shorter than average, so there. How does your mum get on Dragondee?
I’ve had two appointments today. The first was with the Disability Employment Advisor in order to get round the petty signing on rules at the JobCentre. The second was with the OT of a charity which tries to help people with their car problems. (Pity there’s none of this on the nhs – certainly not for me.) A car seat company representative also came along. Over the phone they are most interested in helping me with problems I don’t have, as usual. (I despair) They do do a separate car seat, but of course that is far too deep as usual. They do do a children’s version at 40cm deep. Then the seats are too soft, but they (or the OT from the other company) could look into replacing the soft foam with firmer foam, both at the back and underneath. Then the bottom of the seat is on a soft spongy mesh, which is no good for me, but that could also be changed for a plank, or lump of concrete or so. A lumbar support or two could be added at the back, but I would need two and also a lower thoracic support. After all that would I not dislocate anything? Who knows! That costs £1800, so not so cheap, especially if it’s no good. If I had a blue badge, and they were surprised I don’t, I would be spared the VAT. So there then followed the second conversation of the day about me having a blue badge. I can walk and even run on a good day with motion control trainers and my very chunky orthotics. So no-one at the gym would expect me to have a blue badge. I struggle to walk in shoes with my chunky orthotics, and that is another long-standing (no pun intended – Freudian slip?) weary search I have. The more valid point was made both times re carrying. I can’t carry much. I have a 10 year old severe bad weak fragile neck. That’s where it all started 10 years ago, when my head first ‘fell off’ ambulances were called, and I was admitted to hospital for 10 days. I’ve spent much of the last 10 years lying on the floor cos I couldn’t hold my head up. I was on the operating table last week having yet more treatment to my neck, and there is more planned. My shoulders are bad and I dislocated the right last November. Carrying strains my very very fragile neck. If I need to buy something heavy or bulky, I ‘kidnap’ my elderly mother (84), who comes with her own blue badge and is better at heavy carrying than me(!) on a good day and loves shopping and an afternoon out, and ‘use’ her and her disabled parking space. (She ‘uses’ me for my car too.) (The local council’s idea about everyone using public transport to get into town – ha ha, no way I could carry any shopping on the awful buses, even if they had any half-decent seats on them, which they don’t – all too soft, deep, fiercely backward-sloping and no head rest which I also need for travelling.)
Back on topic, the OT herself didn’t have too much really to offer. She was nice, but I was hoping for something to make the seat less deep, and/or something to lean against to keep the spine in neutral. She did have a few threads to follow up. She did have one thing I haven’t seen before except a very large (how heavy? Too heavy to carry?) bag-like thing, full of beans which you can put over the seat, squidge the beans around (not sure my fingers, thumbs, wrists etc could do too much of that without injury) and then use a pump to suck out the air. So quite hard work, risking injury! Still hopefully you wouldn’t have to do it too often. With my record of dislocating my back every single time I sit in another car seat (L4 last time) I’d rather first try it on my office chair at home. But I still need something for taxis, buses, coaches and I couldn’t lug that. The OT is going to write a report and could she send it to my useless GP who doesn’t know which planet he is on? At first I thought no cos he’ll get the wrong end of the stick and he’s so confused and doddery it’s unbelievable. But then I thought, well maybe it will help raise the profile of the sitting problem I’ve had for 10 years and absolutely no help or recognition from these arrogant appalling medics – a very long list of doctors, physios, one OT. I might even forward it to my good consultant, who though unusually will ‘be guided by me’ is absolutely blank if I say anything about sitting, or when he orders me to sit and is surprised but disinterested when I start to try and explain why I’m not sitting.
Joint group leader for South Central (Bucks, Oxon, Herts)