Friday, February 01, 2008

Stuff I Need

Here beginneth 29 days (I am reliably informed it’s a leap year – being me, I forgot) in which I have resolved to be creative daily. You’re going to suffer for this far more than I am, people. And in a move my hands will seriously make me regret later, I have started this in the cab home, with actual writing in a notebook, because I left my ‘officially for work, really mostly for blogging on the bus’ PDA at work. Where it is supposed to be. Where it is also useless. I can’t read my own handwriting after three sentences, even with this exciting ergonomic pen (digression: I discovered today that our Finance Manager can't say ergonomic, and then she kept reading the word aloud) that I was told would help. So this could be fun to type up later. (Digression: Ha ha, says my middle finger. You think a silly wide-grip pen will stop ME from bending backwards and seizing up and making your handwriting illegible? Never! I am the mighty hypermobile middle finger of DOOM! Or something.) What I need, I have concluded, is an HTC. I have needed one ever since my friend proudly showed me his in the pub (digression: and then I had to ask The Girl what these little miracles in smartphone form were called). PDAs are good for making notes in meetings, but that’s about where the usefulness of mine ends, on account of how my workplace owns it and it syncs with my work computer every morning, so that using it to write creative things that suggest my work is both unfulfilling and frustrating is probably not a good idea. I had a fantastic smartphone for about six months last year – it was second-hand and didn’t last long, but it was wonderful – whose most amazingest brilliantest feature was that it reminded me of things I needed to do. Sheer genius. When you have a brain that’s been addled by a fabulous combination of dyspraxia, chronic pain, some neurological problems and the long-term effects of psychotropic medication, it is indescribably useful to be woken up by a flashing RING YOUR MOTHER message, along with appropriately irritating buzzing noise. Even if it doesn’t cheer you up quite as much as breakfast in bed. Plus, the new ones can apparently do even more. This makes me happy, and makes me want pretty shiny things that I cannot afford. And this is the odd thing about acquiring a disability*. Just when you start becoming a lot less economically productive, your need for stuff starts to increase in inverse proportion. Partly to compensate for how dull your life is getting. Mainly because disability is expensive. I used to think of myself as a virtuous spiritual person with socialist leanings and no need for material things. Now I covet shiny titanium wheelchairs and power-assist wheels and all the colourful walking sticks that my hat-stand can hold and sleek black crutches and Motability cars (I haven’t even re-mastered driving yet) and a fully accessible house with a wetroom and, most of all, an HTC.

It was almost ironic, then, that I had a meeting today in which equipment was ordered for me which I’ve been waiting for since November. (Bureaucracy.) Access to Work is funding it. It’s costing a sum of money that I find quite difficult to get my head around. And I don’t really want any of it. The made-for-me super-comfy office chair will be lovely, and having a keyboard and mouse that don’t cause me extreme amounts of pain will be nice. But I don’t need any of it. Well, not like I need an HTC. Hmm. Added to what they’ve already spent on my wheelchair and the PDA, AtW are spending an absolute fortune on me. It’s a shame I’m probably off to university in September.

I wonder if I’ll get to keep the office chair...

I think I’m going to have to give up coveting for Lent.

So. No abstract photo or pretty drawing or bad poetry for ‘thing-a-day’ today. Just this post. I am too busy forcing myself to be creative to, um, be creative. See? I warned you that this month wasn’t going to be entertaining. Come, share in the utter dullness that is my life. See you tomorrow.

*A concept I shall be exploring more over at the Ouch blog soon. Maybe.


yanub said...

I found your website through the Disability Blog Carnival. Just wanted you to know I added you to my blog roll.

Elizabeth McClung said...

All right, we are at it - doing the thing a day for the month - good start, except I don't what a "wetroom" is except it sounds pretty kinky - but hey, you go there!

I am also unsure about what an HTC is except it is a PDA which I think stands for Personal.......yeah. So what a HTC is leaves me wondering, Home task coordinator?

Sounds fun, I guess, linda is attached to her blackberry, which she says she "underutilizes" (oh god, she is talking government speak already) which means she only pulls it out like 60 times a day instead of 200.

Great job - ironically, I might have been able to send you a pen (it seems in my falling down in chair and siezing yesterday I stabbed myself long and hard with one, now I just have to find it). But good luck on the HTC!

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Stuff, don't start me! What pray is an HTC? BG

Anonymous said...

Regarding comfey chair - when you are leaving your employment give Access to Work a ring and ask their advice. As they and your employer will have both paid towards it they have a say in what happens to it.

I had mine for over 3 years so Access to Work did not have a financial interest in it anymore and so it was works decision what happened to it. But the advisor did tell me that Access to Work prefer the chair to go with the person as it can then be used in their next job (self employment, etc).

I'm glad you're getting some stuff even if it's not that stuff you really want and it's not really yours. Hope things stop being sucky soon.

Naomi J. said...

yanub: Thanks for the add!

Elizabeth, BG: An HTC is the thing pictured above. Don't think it stands for anything - it's the company that makes the great smartphones. They are GOOD. Oh yes.

Elizabeth: Trust you to make it about kinky stuff. A wetroom is a fully accessible bathroom where everything, including the shower, is on one level with no steps up. I want one of these, too. Oh yes.

Rachel: My AtW advisor is a complete idiot, but a very bureaucratic one. So I have a feeling that, if I tell her I'm taking the chair so it can come with me to self-employment or future jobs, she'll live with that. Whereas if I ask her what she wants done with it, it'll be taken off me for some official reason or other. We'll see how it goes!

Sweet Cocoa said...

I am currently plotting for a iphone or treo.You took the words right out of my mouth when you said: "bout acquiring a disability*. Just when you start becoming a lot less economically productive, your need for stuff starts to increase .... I used to think of myself as a virtuous spiritual person with socialist leanings and no need for material things."
oh the special ergo pens BLOW!!! My hand and fingers still hurt and sometimes worse. :) ~cocoa