Get A Handle On It

We all have limitations. It's just a fact of life. Rather than waste time fretting over them use that energy to work around them. I do.

Here's a prime example of a problem I have that's related to my Cerebral Palsy.

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This is one of the newer Samsung Android phones. As cellphones go it's pretty huge, especially in my little hands, and it gets even bigger when you add the Palsy-proof case. In order to use any of the phone's functions I have to be able to hold it in my left hand to leave my dominant hand free to type or scroll. The problem is I have a grasping reflex in my left hand. In other words, I can't delicately handle an item. Instead, I end up squeezing it for dear life. In the case of a cellphone my fingers end up touching the screen and activating all kinds of goodies I don't want opened - not to mention after a minute or two it starts to hurt.

Fortunately, I have a very ingenious husband who set about solving this problem for me - after a quick trip to Michael's for supplies.

Mr Spashionista started by removing the outermost back cover from an Otterbox Commuter case and measured out enough new elastic cords to fit diagonally around the cover. Care was taken so that the camera, flash, and speaker openings at the top were not obstructed.

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He then disassembled a pre-made bracelet and restrung it onto the new lengths of elastic.

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A few secure knots before reassembling the Otterbox case and the Spashionable phone handle is ready for use!

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This works wonderfully! Because my hand slips in so easily I don't have to be petrified I may drop the phone any minute. As an added bonus, because I can keep my palm fairly open there's no dreaded grasping reflex!

After testing the rig for several days some "stability bling" was added to the opposing corners using glass bead adhesive to keep the phone from rocking excessively when it's used on a flat surface.

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Problem solved for about $10! Of course, now I've started a trend and everybody wants one.

In Fashion It's All About The BODS

No, it's not what you think.

BODS is the acronym every Spashionista needs to remember. It stands for budget, occasion, disability, and shape, and it's the encapsulation of everything you need to know to have the ultimate wardrobe that works exclusively for you.

Budget - This much-maligned term should be approached from a positive point of view instead of from a place of limitation. While it's true that our money seems to buy less with each passing day there's no reason why, regardless of our income, we shouldn't always try to get the best value for the lowest price. This is especially true for the majority of the disabled for whom disposable income and transportation can be hard to come by.

Occasion - Your wardrobe should be appropriate for the places you go, the people you're with, and the events in which you're participating. If you work in an office you won't last long if you wear sweats or a tube top. On the other end of the spectrum you'll seem oddly out of place if you wear an formal dress to a sporting event.

Disability - Those of us with a physical handicap have to take this into account with every article of clothing we wear. If you're on crutches chances are good you can't walk on 4" heels - whereas if you're in a wheelchair these may be quite doable. You may want to rethink a very short skirt if you're spastic because you may inadvertently show off more than you intended. Get the picture?

Shape - Here's where your body type comes into play. Take a little time to figure out what your true shape and size are. Every body type has it's blessings and it's curses. If you're smart you'll quickly learn how to maximize the former while minimizing the latter.

That's the synopsis of BODS. Next time I'll start what will be a series of posts focusing on clothing options from full-price to a fraction of retail.

BODS

You're Amazing. Show It!

I see you, my peers. I read your blogs, your comments, your emails. I know from my own experience how you suffer at the nervous stares and cruel words uttered by others. Worse yet, I know how you agonize over not being "normal", over being labeled and judged and dismissed by the masses.

You're worried about the same thing everybody else is worried about. Everybody get labeled and judged; everybody. Everybody wants to be better, prettier, smarter, thinner, fill-in-the-blank.

I wish that I could make people instantly look past your handicap and see who you are inside. But, since that isn't ever going to happen, I want to wave my magic wand and help you look past your own handicap long enough to realize what an amazing person you are. If you have CP you are coping with challenging circumstances on a daily basis that no one but your peers can appreciate. And that's really the point. Nobody can tell anything about who you are by just looking at you. They can't know what your favorite food is, or how much you love your dog, or how scared you are during thunderstorms. They have no idea how hard it is for you to stop moving, or unclench your hand, or get your facial tics under control.

You live with the constant reminder of your limitations everyday yet you expect others to ignore them the instant they lay eyes on you. It's just not fair to expect that much from others. You will  encounter countless disappointment if you do.

Instead, think of yourself in these terms.  "Although we all know not to judge a book by it’s cover, most will have a quick glance at the cover to see if it’s a book they may be interested in reading." I'd love to take credit for this sage phrase but it is, in fact, a comment left on my About page by astimegoesbuy (you really should check out her blog. She has impeccable taste).  More importantly, she's absolutely right. You are an amazing book, a page-turner, a best-seller. Why not work on your cover and see how many people want to have a read?