Archive for January, 2011

Simply Great Part V – PR Blog

Monday, January 31st, 2011


At this stage I would like to thank Mr. Bock, the owner of a travel agency specialized on wheelchair travels. I had already booked various trips there. In December during our first personal conversion (it was about the details of a reservation) he had the idea to introduce my blog on the travel agency’s newsletter. There are some thousand people on his distribution list, so it should be possible to help effected people. He also employs a wheelchair user and knows about our challenges and projects. Such a PR would be nice!

Of course I am quite taken with such conversations, but unfortunately usually there are rarely results.

On Saturday I received the January newsletter!

There it was, the first Rollinator PR Blog, and the whole thing without any more discussions, great thing!

** client offers advice for free

Internet – Steffen L., wheelchair user and **client, writes in his Blog “Eigude” about odd experiences from everyday life and innovative ideas for wheelchair users:

“News from the Rollinator” – this title shines above the comprehensive Web-Blog of Steffen L. The hobby internet editor is in a wheelchair only since 2007, but in this short time he has collected already a considerable amount of information.

“When you, sitting in a wheelchair, have left the hospital or the rehab the drama begins. You are left on your own, and everybody has to re-invent the wheel to manage everyday life.”
“Therefore this blog with a lot of tips and tricks.”

Interested persons can find the website
As expert for individual technical aids solutions the author offers advice for free!

** Contact details of the travel agency can be requested as usual on

More than 150 clicks in 24 hours, uff…

Translator BL


Saturday, January 29th, 2011


“Die Maus”

(translator’s note: The Mouse, a popular character from German kids TV) escorts me since 2,5 years, already at the time when I was still in hospital, back on my rucksack, in my wheelchair life.

Meanwhile I also have the Mouse as figurehead and a Mouse-toolkit on my hand cycle.

Two people from the Aids foundation have pinned an Aids ribbon on it a couple of weeks ago.

My wife has even baked Mouse muffins and Mouse cakes for me.

The Mouse can witness everything what I have experienced.

It will be 40 years this year.

Because I am also facing the 40 and even Wiki couldn’t reveal to me who is older I went to the homepage and have asked the Mouse itself.

The editorial office has sent a very nice e-mail to me.

According to my opinion the exact age of the Mouse should not be concealed.

Extract from this e-mail:
Because the Mouse has entered the world already on March 7th 1971 while you have set foot on this planet as new arrival only 6 months later, the Mouse is clearly the older one.

Of course I had to report this to you.

I am asking to put the date in your calendars and wish the Mouse a happy birthday on March 7th.

Translator BL

Nothing but the truth…

Thursday, January 27th, 2011


As you can see from the tags (frontpage right site) the subject of handicap parking almost protrudes my blog meanwhile.
But I absolutely have to tell this story, I have witnesses:

On Monday I exceptionally took my own car to go to the hospital, I wanted to go to physiotherapy in their therapy pool. Usually I take the handicap taxi service for this.

Great thing with this taxi service, thanks to the city of Frankfurt from this side.
In half a year 96 taxi rides respectively 36 taxi rides when a car is owned are for us handicapped Frankfurt citizens within the town and surroundings free of charge. The city bears the costs.
This should be introduced in the whole of Germany.

Then it was time again for having some fun with parking at the hospital.

On one of the 6 disabled parking places a minivan taxi was standing, great…

When I arrived another wheelchair user just parked his car on the left side in the restricted parking (we are allowed to), but left enough space for not blocking the SUV which stood on one of the disabled parking places.

I parked my car into this space because the wheelchair driving SUV driver is a friend of mine with whom I am in the water together anyway.
When I looked around from my car out of the open door which kind fellow citizen might help me getting out of the car I could hardly believe my own eyes.

There was actually sitting a (female) driver in the minivan taxi!!!

I didn’t see her before, the blood pressure rises if you want or not.
I don’t mind if pedestrians are parking on a disabled parking place if they remain sitting in the car and drive their vehicle away when one of us would like to park there.
In this moment another wheelchair user arrived with his car and parked on the other side in the restricted parking.

Is the lady really that ignorant?

Just wait until I am out of the car!
I had the impression that she was watching me.

Hmmm, why not actually get out of the car with her help?

Then the lady gets at least out of her warm car in the fresh (cold) air, is doing something good, and an adequate comment will be placed by me at the end for free as well.

I beckoned to her, and to my surprise she actually approached me from her car.
My look was probably not the friendliest one.

Even before I could say anything she said meekly to me:

I know, I know… my car is not starting, I am waiting for the breakdown service!

Can I help?

Translator BL

Simply Great Part IV

Thursday, January 27th, 2011


What you need as wheelchair user is the patience of others, everything is “going” a little slower, and much space, always and everywhere.

Everybody who already stood in a changing room of a department store knows how “big” these rooms are.

Such a changing room in general is wheelchair friendly.
You can access it without barriers and it doesn’t have doors either.

Ok, you can’t turn around either, the coat hooks are mounted a little too high, stool or bench are standing in your way, but apart from that it’s quite cozy inside.

Although it is hardly possible to try on clothes inside, it is perfectly suitable for a little nap.

Actually somebody from a large green department store chain has given some thoughts and has built a

Wheelchair Changing Room

in Frankfurt. I don’t know if it is the only one.
The description

extra large

is not overstated.

Great thing!!!

The space in this room is so gigantic that you almost need a GPS to find the exit again.

Translator BL

Bath Reconstruction Neverending Story Part 4

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011


You should take your time with the selection of the adapted washing basin.

In my opinion, a height adjustable luxury basin is not necessary if the wheelchair user is not a child.

Basically you should be able to agree with your partner on the mounting height, as long as the partner is not Dirk Nowitzki!

The wheelchair has to fit even with passenger underneath the washing basin.

Better remind your plumber!

Stupidly most of the washing basins are not large enough so that you are standing with the feet against the wall, and you still have to bend forward over the very expensive special washing basin.

I consider it as advantage if the washing basin has little “wings” on the right and left side, so that the storage space is substantially larger and better to reach.

Lots of bits and pieces fit in here.

A downward foldable wall mirror is not needed by anybody.
(see older blogpost).

The mounting height of the disabled toilet is according to my information at approx. 40 cm. This really has a reasonable cause.

Above 40 cm it is not possible to drive with a shower commode chair without reconstruction over the toilet. I would like to meet the plumber who knows that.

Even in designated wheelchair hotels the toilet height can be different in each room. Everybody does what he wants.

What is interesting is that some health insurances cover either the costs for a shower commode chair, or for holding bars next to the toilet.
Thus relatively fit wheelers use the shower chair for the shower and are then obliged to use it for the daily “sitting” even though they could swing onto the toilet lid if they had the money for holding bars. The bars are shockingly expensive, I have some low priced producers in my data base.

If you need a rubber ring for the toilet seat, of course you have free choice for the mounting height.

By coincidence I got two holding bars out of stainless steel for 21 € in Ebay. The value of the material is already significantly higher. The bars don’t only look good, they are also doing well as towel rail.

An acquaintance of mine doesn’t care at all.
He is taking a shower with his “normal” wheelchair. His cushion never gets wet. He probably has one, but doesn’t sit on it even during the day.

To be continued.

Click on tag “Bath Reconstruction” to read the other blogposts of the series.

Translator BL

Eigude Shame XIV

Thursday, January 20th, 2011


This story is 100% something, but nothing good.

Once upon a time there was a little wheelchair driver, I call him “me”,
who was snoring like a giant, so he had to go to sleep laboratory.

Although the hospital is located in the same part of the town where I live, I should/had to stay on a normal ward after the tests in the sleep laboratory at night to doze and wait.

After 3 years with daily required assistance with the morning toilet I thought it wouldn’t be the worst idea to enquire one week in advance if I had to consider anything.
Except that the rooms were accessible (I was rejected to look into the bathroom), I was told by a long-time sister nurse with white bonnet only that I had to bring a shower commode chair myself if I needed one, and that she didn’t have time for me now. (see older blogpost).

She was reproaching later that I only had requests from the start. That’s right, “information”, what a cheek, how could I dare to ask questions about this ward?

One week later I went together with my shower commode chair to the hospital. I had released my girls from the daily home care service.

First night in the sleep laboratory.

Endless cables, ECG, EEG, breath measurement, microphone, camera tracking…

I am not sure if my update was completed successfully.

At 5:30 h to ward, get into bed.
A nurse came around 8:00 h, and a nurse trainee buttered my bread rolls, yummy breakfast.
(I thanked her for that).

Along the way I was told by the inpatient care that I had to stay another night.
I gave way to my senile roommate (he was drinking with preference out my glass and was glued to TV without sound) to go to the bathroom first with the nurse trainee.
My stay in the bathroom always takes a little longer even with assistance, what I also told to the nurse. She replied she would be coming when she had time. Well, I had to have time.

Bonnet, you know who I mean, claimed on the next day that I had sent away the nurse to have some peace in the bathroom. Of course you can interpret it like this if you let your roommate go to the bathroom first.
Around 11:45 h nurse and trainee came, helped me on my shower commode chair and assisted me for around 5 minutes in the bathroom, then they left me alone standing in front of the washing basin.
When I asked about taking a shower I got basically the comment:
You are not dirty, so you don’t need one, and both left the bathroom.

I washed myself as far as it was possible with my motor skills.
The bad thing was that due to pipeline damage I could decide between cold and ice cold water. Retrospectively I didn’t want to take a shower any more.
Somebody could have said something, it was known since a week.

After half an hour I rang the bell.
I was hoping to get assistance for further washing, transfer into bed and putting on the clothes.
How fatal!!!
Bonnet came to the bathroom extremely stressed, asked what I was wanting, she was dishing out the lunch, and she didn’t have gloves. Ehhh… I was just a little late.
Short assistance in the bathroom and got my clothes together by myself. I just made it into bed with her help. Everything very relaxed!
Along the way she told me that once there was another wheelchair user there, and he had brought his own nurse. And I had released my home care girls!
Why have I been there a week before???

I was perplexed, stressed and did without any further help.
I don’t know why I didn’t tell anything to the ward physician who was just in the room.
During the attempt to put on my clothes myself a small older cut opened up and my bed sheet was dotted red.
At 12:00 h a nurse from the sleep laboratory came, my neighbour just got his lunch, she helped me to put on my clothes.
Then I had two examinations, later a sleeping mask was fitted for me, and I was explained in a kind of support group the function and maintenance of a “sleep respirator”. Until then I didn’t see a physician in charge, not that I mind…

15:00 h escape to home, I skipped my lunch which was still standing around.
20:00 h back to the lion’s den.
Before I had just managed that one of my girls would come to the hospital the next morning. Whew…

For inexplicable reasons there was a label with the name of my senile roommate on my pill box. My dope is good. He had diabetes of high degree. Luckily he hadn’t taken any of my pills yet. I locked them up in my closet.

I now had to use my from whomsoever prescribed sleeping mask in the sleep laboratory.

The sleeping mask, model: “I am your father”,

was not my cup of tea.

The alternative variant

type Dumbo

(nasal pillow)

brought me peaceful dreams without snoring. Thanks to nurse Christine for the unbureaucratic help.
This system is very recommendable, I will write a separate blogpost about it.

Around 07:30 h it came between bonnet and me (she came to the room because of my roommate) to a debate regarding the “care” of the previous day.
The bed with the blood spots had never been made either.
My blood pressure is very low and rarely rises above 100.
Bonnet managed within two minutes to bring my blood pressure to around 140 even without any coffee, new record.
I had to hear several times that even handicapped people should say thanks and please!
This to me…, do I have to jump for joy when I may leave the bed at 11:00 h?
Two minutes after the small dispute my home care girl arrived. She told me that she had a suspicion from the start that I would have fun in the hospital.
She was working in this hospital before and knew bonnet with her kindness.
The shower works if you want it, and there was even warm water. Thanks to Vesna. Mysteriously even my bed sheets had been changed after my stay in the bathroom. Now absolutely useless!

It was clear to me that I would leave this building as soon as possible. I visited the physician’s room and had an appointment half an hour later.

12:30 h departure with shower commode chair and anti-snoring device.

Now personally for bonnet:
Thank you that I could leave this ward!!!

The whole stress for 2 examinations and 2 interviews between 12:00 h and 15:00 h on day 1 and one follow-up talk on day 2.

Bonnet reminded me strongly of the “penguin” from the movie “Blues Brothers”.

Translator BL

Addendum to: Water, water, water…

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011


Last night the peak of the high water in Frankfurt was reached.
That’s clear, we have full moon!

Sample Moon

(image similar)

Quiz: What’s wrong with this picture?

Comments requested!

Translator BL

Crazy Flash VI

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011


As you can read in my “fairy tales”
I am regularly going nuts.

There only a


can help.

Bildquelle (Dr.Paul Koch)

There is a suitable medical device for almost everything.

Translator BL


Water, water, water…

Sunday, January 16th, 2011


On December 17th (see older blogpost) I had my snow inauguration at the same place.

Now, 4 weeks later, my beloved snow has changed its state of aggregation from solid to liquid.

So you are thinking about for weeks how you can move through the snow in a wheelchair and have completely disregarded the swimming capabilities of these things.

Frankfurt on/in the Main

The vaults of the bank get flooded!

Good that I have an

amphibian wheelchair

Hard to believe, but I am standing with my wheelchair virtually in the river.

Translator BL

On December 17th (see older blogpost) I had my snow inauguration at the same place.

Now, 4 weeks later, my beloved snow has changed its state of aggregation from solid to liquid.

So you are thinking about for weeks how you can move through the snow in a wheelchair and have completely disregarded the swimming capabilities of these things.

Frankfurt on/in the Main

The vaults of the bank get flooded!

Good that I have an

amphibian wheelchair

Hard to believe, but I am standing with my wheelchair virtually in the river.

Translator BL

Bath Reconstruction Neverending Story Part 3

Monday, January 10th, 2011


As already reported, plumbers were not particularly interested to competently reconstruct my accessible bathroom for realistic prices.

In the end I found a company in which the son of the boss is sitting in a wheelchair as well so they knew what a fresh wheelchair driver needs in his bathroom.

I am regularly on rehabilitation fairs and know quite some technical aids for the bathroom, but my ergonomically formed

Designer toilet lid

is quite special and actually belongs into the museum of modern art.

The company Hewi builds undoubtedly high quality bathroom equipment.

A price of 46 € for a bath tub handhold is quite heavy while it is in the meantime even mounted to my balcony wall as fly-net holder.

A price of 441,00 € excl. VAT for a

shower holder with hand rail,

for which you need a mounting kit of 25 € I consider a little bit exaggerated because it is not even working automatically. I just mean the white bar!

With my 1,38 m size in the wheelchair I can use the 2 m high shower holder now as gym bar.

To be continued!

Click on tag “Bath Reconstruction” to read the other blogposts of the series.


Translator BL

Eigude Shame XIII

Thursday, January 6th, 2011


Some fellow patients who were lying with me in the same hospital room for months permanently stated that I had to go to the sleep laboratory.
My wife has the same opinion, and I agree with her because I wake up every now and then from my own

“slight rattling”.

The Guinness book of records lists snoring of 93 decibel what is corresponding to the noise level of a busy highway (source Wikipedia).

Because I didn’t want to break this record I had to do something.
I got a case from my doctor, a mobile sleep laboratory, that means that you fix a black box around your belly at home in bed at night and wire yourself up. Good night.

Based on these results I was admitted to the hospital.
I had the suspicion that it could be a well-disguised compulsory hospitalization. There might be plenty of reasons!

Sleep laboratory at night, normal ward during the day.
Yesterday I went to the hospital to express various special wheelchair requests. Rest periods, menu sequence…

The hospital already left a permanent impression before I was even inside. At the main entrance there is a great

wheelchair ramp,

but no lowered curb.

Although the gateway on the right side of the main entrance is usable as wheelchair driver, it might be dangerous as it is quite uneven and not on grate.

If you get overrun by a car or do a backflip after curb jumping at least the way to the hospital is not very far.


Translator BL

Eigude Shame XI

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011


The recurring

Quarterly 10 € Surcharge Donation

at the doctor is inevitable for me, even in bad weather conditions.
(Translators note: For medical consultation all patients insured by a public health insurance in Germany have to pay 10 € private surcharge per quarter.)
I always feel a bit pressed at the start of each quarter.

Without donation no dope!

To donate at all you currently need a lot of doping merely for the journey.
Before my accident I was often in the alps in winter and used to quite a lot.
But yesterday’s trip with wheelchair to my general practitioner reminded a little of a polar expedition, and that in the middle of Frankfurt.
When I finally arrived against all rarely worth mentionable odds in the street of my doctor at some time, I just had to overcome this

Wheelchair test track type ice skating rink.

Here no snow was shovelled for about 14 days. No snow, everything ice.

The inner desire comes up to chain the responsible person naked to the handrail on the right until the ice has melted!

On the other side of the street there is currently a well-prepared cross country ski run on the horse racetrack.

Translator BL

Hier geht’s,…ääh..fährt man zur