Day 5: Woodworking and Wheelchair Mobility!


Today was really fun but sweaty and tiring!

Half the class met up upstairs at 9am in our lab to get acquainted with wheelchairs. Immediately, I made 3 mistakes. 1) I propped the outer door open 2) I got in a wheelchair and others followed suit before the professor got there and 3) I totally didn’t realize we had reading on the wheelchairs so uh, I didn’t do it. After a tense start based on people not having done the readings and not supposed to have been in wheelchairs, it got fun! Our professor named wheelchair parts, helped teach us how to adjust the foot/leg pads and gave us different cushions to try out. We had to use a ratchet and socket thing to adjust them and I have never touched one in my life. I was so lost. I am going to go ask one of my handyman friends (hi Burt) to let me experiment with ratchet/sockets sometime soon. Then we went downstairs, 5 of us in wheelchairs and 5 of us pushing, and started navigating. We went outside and practiced going up and down curbs, which was really surprisingly hard in some positions! I wasn’t able to bring someone up off the curb backwards.We also went on ramps and practiced tilting. It was hot/humid so it was sweaty work but good practice and fun. I took a ton of pictures because I think it is really important to document our journey pictorially, both for my own sake as well as all the girls in the class.

This way they have pictures to show their friends & family, and also we have pictures that can be used for promotion/publicity reasons. Unfortunately I can’t share the pictures of others here since I don’t have permission, although I may ask the class if there is anyone who is NOT okay with normal pictures being used here since I bet most would be fine with it. Okay moving on, sorry got sidetracked. Anyways, then Allison and I went to go work out, and then we meet Brooke for lunch and went to a yummy nearby cafe. I had a roasted chicken salad sandwich and felt so virtuous since I am trying hard to lose some weight. I did get one oh so sinfully delicious hush-puppy though, I was in heaven. Then it was back class to go to WOODWORKING (we were divided into three sessions so there was only 6 of us in each session).

I’ll admit I was nervous about woodworking. I’m kind of a slow learner when it comes to hands-on things, and I had no experience in this arena. Luckily the woodworking instructor (who is also a professor/dentist) was pretty much the most amazing person ever, so he made it a lot of fun and easy. We are constructing toolboxes. We had to take 8-foot pieces of wood and cut them down for the toolbox, using a handsaw. Then we got to use a table saw (?) for the beveled edges for the sides of it, and then use a drill thingie to make a one-inch hole for the toolbox dowels. Even though I tried really hard and was using a level and everything, I never once got a line straight. Or even if the line was straight, I would only saw a tiny bit correctly and then my saw would magically deviate elsewhere so I never cut it straight. I wasn’t surprised though, I have NEVER in my life cut or drawn a straight line. So my toolbox probably won’t fit together so well, hmmm. Oh well, as long as I can guide others as an OT and not have to do the straight lines myself, I guess it won’t matter. It was really enjoyable and again we took lots of fun pictures. I was glad Brooke had previous set experience in woodworking and was a huge help to me. I have confidence issues!

Anyway, I just got home, showered, and posted a bunch of pictures to Facebook. Now I’m typing this up quickly and gonna hang out/work a few hours before I work at 9pm. Tomorrow I’m hanging out with Brooke and we’re going to have a “What Not to Wear” tv-show marathon since I clearly need help in that arena. I’m bringing my schoolwork too though since we both need to work on it. That night we’re going to another OT girl’s house who recently got married and moved, so that should be fun. She’s invited the class over.

I doubt I’ll post this weekend, but we’ll see. It depends on how exciting my schoolwork gets and if it subsequently inspires me…hmm, unlikely this weekend.

I’ve noticed I use the words “fun”, “interesting”, “fascinating” and “exciting” a lot in my most recent posts Maybe I need a thesaurus, but it’s hard to describe it any other way. It’s JUST SO FUN INTERESTING FASCINATING AND EXCITING!

Jul 13, 2007 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 4

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