Hi everyone and MERRY CHRISTMAS,
I hope that you all have a wonderful day today with family or friends.
My 2016 has been a great year for health, as I have not been unwell, a wonderful change from last year. It's been an unusual year as it was a mixture of wonderful fun outings, either to the NGV art gallery to see exhibitions and other wonderful works of art. Or heart warming fun adventures with the social group I set up and run where we went ice skating, in our wheelchairs, had trips to the zoo as well as a great Christmas party and other fun things.
I spent much time playing with and enjoying my wonderful camera,, taking many photographs, my greatest passion. Either doing different street art tours with friends through the CBD of Melbourne, or in Fitzroy, and discovering parts of Melbourne and incredible street art I never knew existed. Trips to the zoo, As well photographing Mum's very beautiful Japanese and separate Native gardens. This was easy for me as it rained a lot this Winter which made it difficult to go out in the wheelchair.
I also really activated my advocacy voice this year in relation to taking on some challenges with companies in relation to living in a wheelchair, and their policies, products and/or campaignes. I of course chose the ones that I felt were and are impoprtant to me, not just being a nuicance. Having lived in both worlds so to speak, I feel that as I've been able bodied and now live in a world with a disability, that it's easy for me to compare both and thus be able to try to make changes as well as educate people in companies re their policies when it comes to non able bodied, healthy people.
I challenged a very larg private health insurance company, and didn't win as I couldn't change the policy, but scared them a great deal by using socila media as my way to get their attention. I am talking to Village movie cinemas about the possibility of making some changes. They are very amicable and have brought private consultants in as well whom I have been talking to. It's very promising and when completed, I'll write a blog re the events and outcomes.
Then there was the most difficult part of the entire year, the battle to get 3 different pieces of equipment I use fixed. This started in September 2015 with my shower chair and that ended in May. I purchased a fabulous electric bike that I drive up to and use daily. from Germany in March. There is a design fault with it and that kept breaking down every 4 months or so. The silly rep here in Melbourne kept coming out to fix it, and well to cut a long story, that went on for about 1.5 years, unresolved. He now refuses to come to fix it (only because it's to hard, we get on very well), and I now have learnt to do it! Last but least my electric wheelchair, my legs, my life and independence. That was new about 2.5 years ago, and it has a design fault as well I finally wrote to the CEO early December this year. They sent the chair to head office in Sydney, worked on it for 2 weeks, and I got it back this week. A wonderfult outcome, with a blog to follow after the Christmas madness.
To sum up 2016, I am so exhausted from fighting to get equipment to work properly, however have great outcomes and solutions which is a wonderful way to end the year. I've loved every miniute of my adventures with my camera and the movies that I have seen so far, especially with some special friends. Health wise has been great, what more could I ask for. I really feel that 2017 is going to be an amazing year, and I look forward to it.
Have a wonderful New year, and may it be filled with many special surprises, much joy and laughter :)
In a wheelchair permanently since early 2010 due to a disease called NMO. I am loving getting out and about in my wheels. My blogs capture my journey.