Feb 132014

The paperback version of Rolling Back: Through a Life Disabled

The paperback version of Rolling Back: Through a Life Disabled

Rolling Back has been published in paperback and is available on Amazon for $6.99 ($6.64 for Amazon Prime members). There is also the Kindle version that costs $2.99. I have provided links to each of them below.

Writing and publishing Rolling Back as been a personally rewarding experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Several people have urged me to write another, and I will probably try. However I think I’m ready for a change of pace and may attempt a fiction novel next. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.



Oct 132010

Shelf Liner RollThe lip of my shower is only 3″ high – it might as well be 3 feet when it is time to transfer. I can use gravity to slide back and forth between chair and shower seat, but gravity also keeps my feet planted on the floor. It’s even tougher getting into bed, when I need to drag my dead weight leg up onto the mattress.

Scissors cutting shelf liner into a narrow strip.

Use scissors to cut shelf liner into a narrow strip that will become a strap for leg lifting.

These are problems, but nothing a trip to a hardware store and a pair of scissors can’t solve. (Or you can order from Amazon, using the link at the end of this article.)
This liner, the rubberized type, is light weight, strong, and won’t slip, either off my leg or out of my hands.
One roll can provide 3 or 4 straps. I keep one by the bed and another in the bathroom.
Lifting a leg with a strip of shelf liner.

How I lift my leg with a cut strip of shelf liner.

The others are spares, because they will wear out after a year or so. I also use it to finish getting into bed. I simply loop it around my leg, just above the knee, and then pull my leg into bed.

Sep 082010

From time to time, I will talk about the early stages of my illness and describe some of the tools that I found useful.

The photo above was taken about two years after I had been diagnosed. During those early years, I had still not adjusted to my weakened quadriceps muscles. From what I have read on support group forums, I was not alone. You will find yourself walking along perfectly fine, but then the slightest irregularity in the pavement, even the most minor stub of a toe, and you will wind up sprawled on the pavement, bloody and bruised. Although your legs can still support your weight, there is no reserve strength to catch your balance. It is shocking when it happens, both to the one who falls and to those who see it. I was fortunate enough to be referred to a physiatrist who recommended that I get full leg braces. She sent me to an orthotist, Larry Johnson, in the San Diego area, who knew how to make braces out of lightweight carbon fiber materials and equip them with hinges that locked and unlocked automatically with each stride. Those “space-age” braces gave me several more years on my feet. I never would’ve been able to walk more than a few steps in conventional heavy locking braces. However for those who are thinking about braces, please be sure to include a good pair of forearm crutches, as braces may increase your stability, but they actually make you more vulnerable for dangerous falls. Believe it or not, during my last year of trying to continue working, this is the way I would look as I came into a client’s office. At 6’4″, I must have been an intimidating figure.