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Ep.7 How Dave Macgyvered His Way to Accessible Solutions

Ep.7 Dave Was Only 4 Years Old When He Was In A Major Car Accident

Dave was only 4 years old when he was in a major car accident. He suffered a spinal cord injury that meant he would live the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

In this enlightening interview, Dave tells us about life before the NDIS, and how he ‘Macgyvered’ his way to accessible solutions (no, before you ask, he did not break out of a locked room with a paperclip).

As Dave shares his employment journey, we learn shocking truths about discrimination that persists in society today. We ask him how living with a disability shapes his perspective on life, then we get distracted and start talking about snakes in the roof. And share several other Aussie critter stories.

As usual, we’re all up for a laugh here, and Dave reminds us how important humor is when facing life’s challenges. So, plugin and listen up for another great episode of BeStories!

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Hello, and welcome to another episode of the unaware podcast with Be Physiology. So sit back and enjoy our latest episode with Dave, where he breaks down employment and accessibility for a person who’s lived with a spinal cord injury, virtually his entire life. Dave. Thanks so much for joining us on our podcast today.

No problem. I know it was a bit hectic getting in here. Yeah, that’s crazy. Yeah. But look, we’re here. We’ve made it. And we’ve got one question for you first up.  what is the name of your autobiography? The list of questions you sent through. I think that was about the hardest one to answer  no, I was just gonna say that’s easily the hardest one to answer.

Yeah. Yeah. Trying to come up with. Yeah. And then it’s, you know, reality versus what you want sort think. So. Yes. I think Pam not joked about coulda should or woulda, you know, the music, that sort of thing, but yeah, I think. It’s probably too long of a title, but whether there’s a wheel, there’s a way was always, you know, my joke that it doesn’t yeah.

Sort of matter what obstacles you’ve got. You can still just charge on in life and yeah. Where like your excuses. I like that. That was good. Yeah. I haven’t heard that’s a wheel there a way. No, really? No. There’s a wheel. There’s a way not wheel. Oh, there’s a wheel bit of spin on it. It’s even better. Haven’t you undermining day.

And how clever that is? You haven’t habitat before.  well, there’s a wheel. There’s a way. Awesome. Fantastic. I’m sure it’s been done 50 times over, but yeah, it’s to our listeners.  so, uh, can you give us a little bit of a background on yourself? Let, uh, let us know a little bit more about yourself, Dave. So, yep.

I’m what now? Bushing 40. Um, when I was four, my, yeah, we went out for a pizza and had a head uncle gym with a drunk driver. So that ended up with me, uh, had several injuries, which I’m sure will get into, but yeah, left me in a chair for the rest of my life. And yeah, family members had a few injuries as well that they manage.

Overcome. There was all sort of the, yeah. Only one with long lasting injuries, but yeah. And just tried to live life as best I can. So yeah. Went to school normally, you know? Yeah, no, yeah. Special sort of things there mm-hmm  went to uni, found out uni wasn’t for me. It was, yeah. Those things. Few surgeries before uni actually before, what did you, uh, what did you attempt first up at uni  electrical engineering and maths don’t wonder  I think electrical engineering lasted about a week and then I’d jumped into business.

So I’ve always done math. That was just everyone just said, oh, you’re lucky. You’ll, you know, love maths. I like it, but it was just easy. So I stuck with it cause probably a lazy study is so I could get away with not doing too much study and still do. Okay. When came to then. So it came naturally. Yeah. Yeah.

Right. So yeah. Tried to stick with you any on and off. Think I’ve had four goes in it over the years and it’s, I’m just not. Good with structured learning. Love to learn, love to read, but just not that way. So, yes. Yeah. It’s absolutely just, I’m gonna wind you back just a little bit. Yeah, yeah, yep. Through, um, school.

Yep. Uh, was there, what kind of, uh, annoyances or difficulties did you, what’s some, something that comes to your mind where you like.  school or good. All good things as well. Um, you know, what was a standout kind of few things about schooling for you? I guess. So I guess I grew up in Redcliffe and there weren’t meant too many options for accessible schools there.

So primary school, there was Hercules road, state schools. So I could go to a state school there. Okay. That was fine. It was ramps everywhere. No steps. Beauty. That was fine. No real dramas, as far as, you know, bullying and other kids go dunno if that was just the time and the ages that it wasn’t as prevalent as it is now.

Oh, okay. The eighties? Um, probably nineties, but then I was born in 81. So had late eighties. Would’ve been for school. Yeah. Yeah. Um, yeah, that’s the thing, but I’ve always had a pretty good sense of humor as well. So tend to do that self-deprecating thing where I beat people to the punch. So I’ll make the joke about being a chair first, so thanks to take the power away to someone else.

Yeah. So yeah, I dunno if that helped me or if it was just yeah, by chance, but never really had a problem with, you know, other kids at school, but access was the main sort of thing that I had to worry about. So what about high school then? High school. There was, yeah. Had to go to a private high school. So that was where didn’t sort of get to follow.

You know, most people followed to their friends to one of the other high schools that everyone was going to where I think it was me and one other person went to yeah, the high school I went to, that was the only one that had access. Around. So without having to travel, no, yeah. A lot further as well. So yeah, but I mean, it was good.

It was a small school. Yeah, yeah. Sort of thing. So you’re so young when your injury happened, do you remember much of it just on account of the fact that you were so young, like injury aside, I mean, you don’t have to go through the no, no. Yeah. So the actual accident itself, the character, not at all, you know, I don’t remember mom assistant, none of us really have any recollection of that time.

Mm. I got a few memories. I was in hospital for a few months afterwards, so, you know, Few little glimpses here, there. I was gonna say, and even that intensive rehab period that you get at the start again, you’re still so young, but that’s the thing I was so young and I was too young to go to the PA where it’s a spinal injuries unit.

So that’s where everyone who’s older has a spinal cord injury goes to the PA. So I was in the children’s hospital where it was just, you know, there was no specialty rehab. It was just, yeah. Sort of you’re a child. You go to this hospital. Yeah. And it was sort of teaching mom how. You know, I’d cope with things like catheters and all that sort of stuff.

And transferring. It wasn’t really a thing that I could do when I was, it was just before my fifth birthday. So I was five by the time I got outta hospital. Yeah. It was 21st of December and my birthday’s 22nd and January, so right. Yeah. I was in hospital for about three months, I think. So mum became like the person to, or that caretaker role, essentially making sure that she was up to scratch with all of those things.

Yeah, pretty much. Cuz back then, you know, Annie trans got lifted. She’d grabbed me under my arms and I’d hold my legs. You know, it was that sort of cannibal thing in and outta. Up and down off the floor, cannon ball, mom in the accident as well. She was, so yeah, mom, she broke her. Uh, hip, I think, in the accident.

So she was in traction for a good while after the accident as well. So I couldn’t come and see me, which would’ve been hard for her, I suppose, but oh yeah. My sister was so she’s 12 years older than me, so she could sort of be the go between almost put on, you know, the, the carer for a little bit there.

Yeah. That’s a big took over. Yeah. My brother’s 10 years old too. So I saw them sort of yeah. Shouldered it between them and yeah. Okay. Yeah. It went from there, but yeah. Interesting. So obviously no opportunity. At that age for any kind of extensive or intensive rehab? Not really. So. All I can remember is getting tried out for a chair in highlight as far as rehab goes.

And it was one of those massive, big, you know, bulky, heavy hospital chairs that, you know, my size, but yeah, just weighed, you know, Threet sort of thing. Yeah. And yeah, the way they teach you to push a chair is never how you end up pushing your chair, you know, sit back and yeah, just is this, but you’ve got no OOM, no pressure there.

Exactly. Right. And up leaning forward more, but. Push with your body. Yeah. It’s nice thing. Yep. Love it. Finally.  but yeah, as far as transfers, there was no sort of training or anything. There did have a physio that went and saw quite regularly. So she, I don’t know how we ever came across Meg, but she used to.

See a few guys in chairs, but just from a, a local physio sort of place that used to also see people at a, a nursing home. So she sort of just saw a range of different people, you know, for different things, but knew, you know, roughly what she was doing. So roughly she didn’t know what she was doing, but it wasn’t that intensive, you know?

Yeah. Specialized spinal cord, injury, physio, or anything like that, where yeah. Guys I’d spoken to, you know, and became friends. Post the accident at the age of five other guys that Meg used to see the stories of their rehab coming through the spinal injuries unit was very different, you know, really? Yeah.

Even from back in that. Yeah. And probably very different to now, you know, it was yeah, for sure. Yeah. Getting used to living a life. And I think now it’s all, you know, focuses on pressure SOS, bladder bowels, which yep. That’s important. But back then the nurses had, you know, take em out for beers on the weekend sort of thing.

Yeah. To show you can still live a life and get out and do. Yeah. I think that’s important. You very much. So it’s almost, I think that’s little B concerning that it, it, isn’t such a big part these days from what I’ve heard anyway. Yeah. I mean, I never went through. And all of that’s so far before the NDIS that I have to ask, cause I actually don’t know is all of that self-funded then like all of these appointments and, and whatnot do, are you essentially funding that on your own?

It’s a bit of a half, half sort of thing. So I don’t know how it was funded when I was only young. There was a bit that came. I got a certain amount. I gotta payout that came through, cuz it was, you know, none of our fault with the accident that didn’t come through until I was 18. So right. Lived in a very inaccessible home.

Growing up, we had a was two story placed, found a water lift that. Yeah, we could put in, which was great, but the bathrooms weren’t set up. It was yeah. Yeah. Still getting the big step to get into the shower and all that sort of stuff. No, no shower chair. Cuz that was all self-funded. So, you know, mum didn’t have much money, so it was that sort of thing.

Yeah. And then the physio, I know the physio, she got paid a fair bit. We settlement came through, but I I’m sure she would’ve got some sort of. Payment. I dunno, but yeah, for, from my experience pre and post NDIS, you know, sort of me being independent at 18, moving out very much. Self-funded yeah, there were funding bodies there, you know?

Well, there was disabilities Queensland for a while. Like I just, because I, I was working in this area before NDIS and that was kind of, but again, the NDIS is such an overarching thing now. Where back before it. I don’t remember people even talking about their funding or anything like that. No, it, it, I think the funding was solely focused on equipment.

That was where the funding used to come from. So any support workers, anything like that was self-funded or? Yeah, actually, yeah, I dunno. There wasn’t all, it was just say, yeah, very much relied on friends and family, you know, without fam without. You don’t have the option to do a lot. Yeah. Was that kind of, uh, not frustrating.

I mean, frustrating could be the right word as a kid, because I mean, as a kid, you’re generally working towards your own independence anyway, and then you’ve got the independence side of things on account of your injury. And then, like you said, you don’t have all this funding into your later in life. So like the accessibility inside your own home, again, it’s like another barrier to your independence.

Like, do you remember that being a significant thing? Yeah, it was definitely, there was no, I depend. For a lot of things in life and with no independence, you know, really how much your self confidence then? Yeah. Yeah. Because if you can’t just, you know, do things that you wanna do. Yeah. It’s yeah. So it’s relying on other people that, you know, creates that yeah.

Relationships that you gotta, you know, was a very much a keep the peace kind of person and look back and think, you know, that was pretty much just me creating a compliment bank. You know, it’s hard to ask a favor of someone that you’ve just had a big spat with. So it was always, everybody loves Dave. Yep.

You just gotta be that likable person, everyone, otherwise you’re that guy that, you know, whinges and pitches in exactly. Right. Sort thing. So, yeah, it was, it’s a very good point actually, this way.  the back of head. No worries. We favors out later. We’re good.  cool. Okay. But yeah, sorry. Yep. So as far funding for equipment, not after.

After I’ve sort of moved out from home at 1819 and yeah. Settlement. It’s great. It’s, you know, fantastic for a while, but it never lasts anywhere near as long as it should prices go through the roof and they don’t factor that in it’s. Yeah. Sort of, they, you know, talk to anyone. They, their funding never lasts as long as it needs to.

So no, once that starts to run out, you, you, you need to rely on whatever funding you can get for equipment. Yeah. You MacGyver it, you know, just make, do with whatever you can make, do with yep. So plenty of that going on. Well, yeah, well that was, that was how I pretty much got on the N DS cause of the payout you precluded from Centerlink payments.

Way too long, 20, 36. I think I can apply for them. Any sort of, yeah, it was before there and I just thought must, you know, be all things. So I didn’t even bother with the NS, but apparently not at all. If you get that, there’s no relationship there. You, you can still apply fors. So, yeah. Okay. It was due to the old chair and hold everything.

I put a post on Facebook and saying, you know, has anyone had any success with getting on the N. Sort of similar situation with this. Yeah. Is there anything in particular that you GUI that you’re like you look back on and you’re like, I’m a guy, this shit out of that  I don’t know. Like, I’m sure there’s tons of things.

I’ll look over at PAMs. If you got any ideas.  huh? I think it’s Pam and makeshift ramps or, um, well, thankfully we like to build the house that, you know, we lived in for a long time, so that was it set us up. Well, Many years that access around the home was pretty good. Perfect. We tried to build it so that it was accessible, but didn’t look like someone in a wheelchair lived there.

Yeah. So, you know, we had a spa that was set up in the en suite. It was great, but we had a bigger tolled area next to it. So I could transfer from a chair onto that and then get in without having to brilliant. Yeah, yeah. Get extra things in and exactly right. Yeah. Yeah, but I was also about 30 kilos lighter and 20 years younger, lot easier to transfer when you’re back there.

Okay, cool. So, um, when it comes to modifying a house for accessibility, what’s give us a, give us one of the hardships there. What’s why, why is that difficult? So that’s what we’re going through now, I guess, is modifying a house that was already built. So that’s it. Everything like the little things you don’t realize.

So our laundry area had a little tiny step down, so I, it took away my ability to get in and out easily to take clothes in and out. Excuse me. Cause if my front wheels get caught, I’m, you know, just gonna topple straight forward. So yeah, there’s a lot of things out on suite at the moment. It’s. Like three meters wide by like long by meter wide.

So trying to get in and out it’s it’s not ideal. Very space is a big issue, but yep. Again, not much you can do with space, but it’s just trying to overcome the little, thankfully we bought a house, it had three steps at the front, but I could access it through the back. So for a long time there for the first, well pre NDIS.

We were home there for about three years. Every time we come home, you know, I’d have to go through the side gate and around the back, which, yep. Yeah. I’m big chicken and big. So, so at night it’s always looking for toes looking for spiders, looking for, oh man. Oh, the snakes. Well, they’re the worst actually.

We, we, uh, live, uh, not a I though. You’re, you’re welcome to come over any time. Um, I’m there a lot.  you still leave out without renovating, so yeah, going over . Uh, we, we live backing up on a nature reserve. Yep. So there’s just, there’s no possums. I’ll tell you that much.  because there’re plenty of snakes.

We’re what one house away from yeah. A sort of, yeah. Big open Bush area. Yeah. Yeah. The other, not that long ago, I was stuck on the bed and just laying there and I hear this noise and I’m looking up into this ceiling. And I would’ve sworn and put everything. I own that it was a snake. It was, you couldn’t hear anything other than that, you know, sort of just shuffling and moving  I couldn’t get the snake guy to come out for like a day and a half.

So I don’t think I slept for two days there. And yeah, it turns out it was impossible apparently. Oh, okay. Yeah. I didn’t hear one footstep, but he said, yep. You can see footsteps up here. There’s no signs of snakes. What a nice guy to lie to you like that and tell you that it was a POA mean clearly there’s a snake.

I know. Yeah. He’s like just the POA he’s. 40 snakes. That’s right. Yeah. That’s what a made mine keeps joking about. No, you haven’t got a snake up the day. We got 80 that’s whole ceiling’s gonna fall down on wonder why I have nightmares about it. Yeah.  yeah, exactly. Right. Yeah. Amazing. But yeah, Pam’s found a, a big snake in the backyard where had babysit dogs on and off.

And yeah, there was five little dogs running around and she looks over and. Snaked it, what about two and a half? Three meters long  was along side of the fence. Thankfully it didn’t notice anything and rush everyone inside and yeah, I didn’t go in the backyard for about three months on. Yeah, I would’ve moved out.

I got renovated for five years and see one snake and I’m gone little picket sign. You’d like to do sail on the front. Just put it at the front yard and go inside and see what happens free.  just about when we live on top of the Hills, it’s easy. Just get away quickly.  breaks. True. Yeah. We found one sitting on the fence out the back.

Once all these birds were going nuts and we looked out the back and it’s like this carpet snake curl up, just sitting on top of the fence. So rang the snake guy. I didn’t TA my eye off it. Like if it moves, I’m moving with it. Yeah. Yeah. And came and picked that one up. So that was alright. I saw that one leave.

So that was alright. Yeah. All that’s what you want. If you look away and it’s not there anymore, it’s like the, this guy anyway, that was a sight of spider with yeah. Fam went away once and yeah, well, I was home alone, the old place that we built. So I was laying in bed, no drums, and I don’t know what made me do it opened mine, looked up and there was a spider on the roof and I’m like, okay, cool.

I’ve got this saying how I get everything. Brooms, mops spray, the whole kit and caboodle. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Spray it just enough to make it angry. And it falls down the top of the bed on the floor. Love. I’m moving out. That’s it? I’m done.  I think I shut the door and left it. Pam comes home like two days later and it’s like, yeah, spider in there.

you’re like a mate bed, like a sport, pretty much sleeping on the couch. I. Just pointed the door, house, investment, bang goes, what happened here? We had a spider up.  scary thing. Is it still not dead, but shots everywhere. That’s about it. Yeah. Well, just to pull us back on track a little bit, um, but obviously you didn’t get all this formal training with transferring, um, Tell us a little bit about that.

Tell us how you taught yourself or who gave you pointers or how’d that come about? So I think, yeah, I thought about that and it seemed to just be a bit of a progressive thing, because like I said, I was being five it’s a little bit difficult to sort of coordinate too much. And back then, my arms were too short to reach sort of from, you know, bed to chair and especially Florida chair.

There was no chance of that for a good while. Yeah, of course. Plus at five you’re light enough that like mum could probably just pick you out. Yeah, it was. And thankfully I was. Yeah. But then as I got a bit older and heavier and. It just sort of became, all right, how do I do this? So yeah, probably worked on it with the physio, although Meg, that I used to see, but it was more just what worked, you know, how do you make it work?

And I guess I’ve sort of still done that, you know, like skipping head maybe, but working with ke you know, I just started to look at transfers now and what I did for so many years worked well. Over the last, probably two, three years. Yeah. I’ve ended up sort of going backwards a bit with health, put on a fair bit of weight pretty quickly.

So transfers have just become what works from a necessity point of view. Yep. Not so I haven’t had the luxury of, you know, sitting down and going, okay, well, why do I do this? How do I do this? It’s just about how do I get my bum from here onto the bed safely and not falling the floor. Exactly. Yeah. Right.

So as far as technique and sustainability and you know, not risking should. That’s good to think about now, but for the past that long, yeah. It it’s been, it was just a, to B shoulder twinges and yeah. All sorts of problems that have. Yeah. Right. I think I remember cuz I was with Keegan, uh, at your initial.

Yeah. Which was going back probably a good like six months ago now at leaks. But um, I remember you telling me that. On the occasion I, depending on, cause was it hand pain that you get a fair bit of it at that point it was a wrist for meds. Yeah. Wrist pain. That was outta the blue. I don’t know what I did, but yeah, it, it got bad and didn’t go away for a long time.

Yeah. Thankfully it’s good now, but it’s yeah, that was a I, because you would sleep in the chair sometimes. Hey, like, no, just stay up if it wasn’t sleep it just, yeah. I I’d go no sleep and just yep. Pull an annoy. Yeah. And pull the day. Oh yeah. So it was rather than put up with the pain of. Transferring on the bed and then trying to shuffle around when I’m on the bed.

Cuz you know, everything you do is arms. Yeah. Yeah. And it was just putting pressure on that wrist was, you know, pretty good at suck up pain, but that was one that just, yeah, I couldn’t do so there was a lot Pam grabbing them. You know, backing my pants and just working my bum over to make sure I was yeah.

Going, getting there. Yeah. Yeah. But it was even a bit like that before the wrist, just again, you know, putting on weight and not having that same control over transfers. So whether or not I needed the lift, I just made sure someone was around at all times in case I did get stuck or anything happened because it wasn’t that.

Yeah, reliability and trust that out in my own ability to transfer. So yeah, it sort of, again, takes away that bit of independence that you can just, I’ll just jump in the bed for a bit. Oh, I’ll jump up. It’s a, yeah. Can you use come transfer in case I get, yeah, right. Yes. Okay. So now that you’re kind of looking at transfers, what, um, I don’t know, really, if you have, you know, gone too deep with it yet, but what are some kind of things you’re working on at the.

So, yeah. Interesting. It’s the pivoting sort of side of things, I think. So where, yeah, I’m used to able to just lift myself and hold myself up. No worries. It was just, my transfers were lean and jump that HOK thing just yourself over, you know what I’ve been talking, your sort of that counter balance, put your head down and opposite way and try and shuffle your BU over that.

Yep. So I’ve noticed, hoping off the bed. I do that. Not so much to. To the edge of the chair, but once I’m on the edge of the chair, I use my right hand and just sort of pivot around on that, which takes the strain off, which again, that was part of the thing that hurt my wrist quite badly, cuz it was putting a lot of pressure on it at that point.

So. Gotcha. It took away that ability for a while there. Yeah, right. That I’m back doing now. So I know maybe I should. Yeah, that was cause of it. Yeah. Well I it’s all about finding that thing that works for you, you know, and as you said, that’s pretty much how you. To where you are, you know, you’re just trying to figure out how to do it.

And I guess that kind of works really well with what, you know, AJ and I do is, or what exercise physiology is as well. And what Kegan’s gonna be doing with you as well is just like everything. So individual. Yeah. Like you just have to, your frame is, is different to the next person. Yeah. You know, the, the strain that you put on that wrist.

Yeah. The shoulders, the, everything, the legs getting in the way. Yep. The. Um, even the, the actual cause you got broad shoulders as well. That’s like another thing to take into account. Yep. And if you get it wrong, I remember my last job. I’d got a work car and we’re trying out different cars for transfers and.

Me getting in and then getting the chair on my own and whatnot. And we tried a, a smaller car and I went to get out of it. I was a bit skinnier and more independent back there, but getting out my legs got caught. Cause I was talking to, you know, the, the fleet manager and whatnot at the time mm-hmm  and yeah, I ended up pretty much hanging by the car door and the, the handling inside of the speed, I think had man down.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Had to hold myself there. It was about 40 minutes because my legs were twisted under me. If I let go, I would’ve broken a leg, you know, it was just too much weight coming down. Yeah. So I, yeah, unfortunately, Geez more elderly lady. Yeah. Don’t mean to put anything on them, but yeah, they didn’t have the be to just lift me, you know, so it was trying to get someone to come down and wait because I, I hadn’t.

Taking the time paid enough attention to make sure the transfer was gonna be fine. Like you say that one big thing you overlook is legs. Yes. You know, where are your feet? Are they gonna get caught? It was all that sort of thing that, yep. Yeah. You need to make sure of, and I didn’t. So I was just like, yep.

I just gotta get over there. But mate, what’s one way to learn. Yeah. Cheer. Yeah. That’s for sure. 40 minutes. So hanging off the cliff like that, mate, that is incredible. Yep. But I’d broken my leg. Oh, I think. 2000. I rode my femur. So fell outta bed. Didn’t know I’d done anything. And sitting on the bed a couple weeks later, one leg on crosslegged leaned to one side and just heard the worst crack you’ve ever heard was like a tree cracking.

It just echoed. It was well not good. Oh. So I thought it was my back cuz I’d had my back fused the year before. So checking that and then looked down into a 30 degree bend in the middle of my fem. I’m like, that’s probably more likely to be that’s where it is. Yeah. And that was a nightmare. Yeah, they put a plate on it, which apparently she’d never do to try and fix it.

Cuz two weeks after that I was back in the hospital, spasm just pulled the screws out and yeah, so it was back broken again and they didn’t know what they were gonna do from there. So they put me in plaster for a week or so until they made their wind up. And that gave me a pressure sore because the plate was hitting out, hitting against the plaster.

Ah, yep. Metal in there. That’s a front object. I’ve got an infection course. So I was in there for four. With, intraction hoping for it to heal.  ended up with plenty of bone growth because you know, a lot of movement and whatnot. It was good, but cause it moved so much with spasm. It would never set. It’s like putting two paddle pop sticks together and just always moving them.

You’ll never, you know, the glues there, but it won’t give it, so that’s interesting. Yeah. So then they had to put a nail through the FEMA. So they went from bottom up cause I was scared of breaking. Sort of ball at the top. Yeah, of course. Yeah. It was a, yeah. My hips are hip different issue together. Mm-hmm  and when they did that thought it was all good.

Went back for the checkup. And my knee was cracking a little bit and the guy said what it’s doing, it’s actually pivoting cuz they missed one of the locking screws. So it was the nail coming out and rubbing against the back of my knee out every time it was going. So. Yeah. Henly said it should be right.

Cuz you’re not weight bearing on it, but ended up having to go in and get it done again. You’re gonna have to get that done again. So yeah, that was so while I’m sitting there hanging for 40 minutes, that was the motivation to not go through something like that again. Yeah. Right. So I was like, alright, well we’ll just, I’ll do it.

Hey, stay here. But just was yeah. Yeah. It was several operations too. They put antibiotic beads in and all sorts of stuff. Yeah. Yeah. That was, that was another lesson I learned was anesthetics cuz. Oh, they gave me the option when they were operating on my leg. That if we, I wanted to, they could just gimme some stuff to make me happy.

And I won’t remember any of it and won’t knock me out too much cause I can’t feel so. It’d be fine. Mm. First one worked. Alright. The second one was you feeling okay? I said, oh, I feel a little bit whey on it. They said, yeah, we just gave you, you just lost quite a lot of blood. We’ll give you something for that.

And then I fell asleep. It was the last thing I remember, like holy Dolly. Yeah. God, how somebody do you wanna hear as you pass out? Yeah. Wait. So they gave you the option to just be like, because there’s no like sensory innovation, you can just stay awake and just watch this work. If you want to. Yep. That was the option.

I found it right. Found out later that that’s like the worst thing you can do, uh, in terms of traumatic experiences. I forget that from a chance of dying pretty much. Oh, is I had a bladder operation done and thenthe just, there said she actually has to knock me out a lot deeper than most other people because I get autonomic dyslexia and my body will still respond to the trauma it’s going through if she doesn’t knock me out enough.

So yeah, no wonder blood pressure was up, down all over the shop with of course all that pain. Yeah, my body was still reacting to, but yeah. Yeah. So anyway, can you explain ad actually, cause I reckon there’s a lot of people listening that they know what ad is. Yes. So ad is. It’s a yeah. Nightmare kind of thing.

So it affects a lot of people from what I’ve read differently, you know, tight jeans and what whatnot for me, it’s I grew up, it affected my bladder. So if my bladder overfilled I’d get, I used to call it a hard tummy. Cause I didn’t know what it was basically just intense spasm in my stomach that made it rock hard.

And it was like a blockage. So I couldn’t, you know, get a catheter in. It took a long time for that, but it was just that any pain, any discomfort there and yeah, your blood pressure. For me anyway, a lot of people experience it differently. Blood pressure goes through the roof. Um, yeah. Clammy legs, sweaty, all that sort of stuff.

Apparently your heart rate drops. Yep. Yeah. Gets bad headache. Yeah. From yep. High blood pressure sort of too hand in hand. So yeah, that’s, that’s my experience. And until you fix the problem, it’s just gonna get worse and worse. So yeah. It’s, it’s, I’ve. Yeah, big trouble. Like generally, if you know, I’ve worked with a few people where we’ve had those events, you know, and automatic just reflex event and where, you know, you see it happening, it’s happening in front of you and you gotta figure that out.

Yeah. Because if you pretty much, if you don’t figure it out in the first. Few minutes. It’s we just call an ambulance and say you have a heart attack. Yeah, that’s it. Well, I mean, it it’s you’re on the road to it. Don’t yeah, if you don’t fix it, that’s the end sort of result or a stroke, so, yeah, it’s good.

Yeah. And it’s something that no one.  no one knows about really. And it can be something so slight for some people. Yeah. Like I said, it, you know, tight jeans, as you said. Yeah. Yeah. So it’s, it’s below the level of injury. It’s a noxious stimulant, like external noxious stimulant or bowel and bladder, uh, issues as well.

Yeah. Um, you know, a lot of people, um, they could be sitting. A rock or something like that. They didn’t know. They transferred onto just sitting there. Yeah. And then they’ll start feeling the symptoms, the sweaty, the headache. Exactly. It’s like, it’s a guessing game as to what’s causing it. Let’s figure it out.

Yeah. Yeah’s cause it’s straight away. Everyone puts on the detective hats. That’s what I’ve noticed. Everyone’s like touch wood. I’ve been very fortunate in what’s caused ad for me. Yes. You know, it hasn’t been too many things. I’ve yeah. Remember buying a new pair of shoes once and wore them for the whole day.

One of my leg. Well, my legs kicked a bit. I hadn’t taken the paper out, so my toes were getting squashed, but it caused spasm, but not ad symptoms. So. Gotcha. Yeah. Okay. So there’s obviously a threshold there where the body is. Yeah. You know? Yeah. Cause I mean, there are people that have a events a lot. Yep.

And just constantly and, um, and, and sometimes just ride them out and just go that’s their mentality now is just to go and that’s experience, I guess them again, you know, your own body, you know what it can. Yeah. Yeah. You know, even, I know, I guess it’s almost the start of it. You know, I know when my blood is feeling, I feel my blood pressure go.

I mean, I know your blood pressure kidneys are related there, but I can tell that’s how I know when I need to go to a catheter is blood pressure starts to go up a little bit and I sometimes use it to your benefit. Cause I can actually sit up instead of having horrible blood pressure, like, you know, coming up here today where I’m lightheaded and woo.

It’s like right. Got five minutes where I can just enjoy high blood pressure for a bit and then yeah, go on sort stuff out. But yeah, it’s one of those things that, what, what’s your average blood pressure? Do you know? Yeah. It sits at about 90, on 60, 90 on 60. Yep. And then can get up to, uh, it seems to be the way every time I go see a doctor and he takes, it, wants to put me on something’s low, more blood pressure because it can go, you know, one 60 on one 10, it’s been, when I’ve been to the doctor the night I was.

What they call that white coat syndrome when you’re in front of no, no, it was, it’s sort of me just making sure that I’ve done everything I can to match. Sure. My blood pressure’s up before I go out. So yeah, it’s, it’s not, I’m not nervous about being there. It’s just to leave the house to transfer right.

Enough. I don’t, you know, do all things. I can, my blood pressure’s gonna be through the floor. Yeah. The other night I was sitting next to the bed and, you know, blurry vision, just ears ringing and thought I’ll take my blood pressure and see what it was. Took a picture and sent it to Pam. Was it about, I think it was 57.

57 or 43. Oh, like it was, yeah. It, it just, you know, so it’s gotta sit and there’s nothing much you can do when you got low blood pressure. Yeah. You do drink water and pray pretty much. Just wait for it to pass, you know? Yeah. But yeah. So that’s the thing is.  because my blood pressure hits the lowest of lows and the highest of fires.

There’s nothing really you can do to raise it. Yeah. So it’s playing with fire though, as doctor low blood, pressure’s not a problem until it’s a problem apparently, but you know exactly. What’s a problem when you transfer out of the car and you gotta sit for five minutes because you just, you know, gotta wait for it to come up.

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I mean, is that an inconvenience or a problem having, yeah. Right. Blood pressure through the roof is probably more of a problem than so. Yeah. It’s just finding that balancing act and. So you mentioned just like, actually it was a while ago now we’ve, we’ve gone and chatted about a few things.

Yeah, it’s gonna happen. Um, but I was wondering about, uh, you mentioned that, you know, driving to and from jobs and I was actually pretty intrigued to find out your experiences with employment, gaining employment and the jobs available out there for someone like yourself. Yep. I dunno where to start with that.

So for me, I, we started our own business, permanent online business that we ran for a good while and ended up closing it down for yeah. That number of reasons, mm-hmm,  stolen credit cards and all that sort of stuff didn’t want versus reward. If we take an order, it’s on us as to whether or not. Yeah. Anyway, so.

I did that for a while. Learned a lot, learned how to build websites, market websites, you know, all that sort of thing. Um, and then was at a point where I needed to get a job. So I went to a disability employment, like desk provider, employment services provider. Mm-hmm  pretty much went, said I’ve never had a job.

I haven’t got a degree. I’ve I know I haven’t got anything on paper. Can you help me find a job? So, yeah. A good experience for me because they sort of pointed out, well, hang, no, you can build websites. You can do. So it was a pretty cool list of things I could do. And I’d just been self-employed in doing it.

Right. So they helped me find a job. Cool. Yeah. And I went to them instead of just looking myself, I thought I wanted to go through someone that knew the landscape better than I did. Mm-hmm  and I guess hoped that, you know, if it was between me and someone without a disability, that there might be some sort of.

Financial incentive for them to hire me, which I knew there was wage subs and all that sort of things available sometimes. Yeah, yeah. Potentially. And I just thought if there’s any benefit I could get or any, you know, leg up, so to speak, pun intended, I would, you know, Do what I could could to, you know, have a work in my favor. Yeah. So yeah, they helped me get a job and I was there for a while and then ended up, ended up working for the company that got me the job. Yeah. They’d started a new, the Des program was going through a big change.

So what to you’d go to Centerlink and get referred. Centerlink would just choose who you go to. And then it became participants choice. So you would go and get given a, you know, select few. Who would you like to be referred to as a desk provider? So. The change within yeah. The company I was ended up working for was customer experience.

So I started off as customer experience consultant and became the customer experience leader. So yeah, I mean, I, I was just about to say that sounds like a good avenue for yourself. It was fantastic. Think it was, this is the first time we’re actually we’re meeting and sitting down and talking in person.

And just the information that you’ve given us so far. Seems like odd spot. I love the job. It ended up. Yeah. You know, it was the perfect combination of data analysis cuz we conducted surveys to, you know, get feedback and then breaking down that per what you know, is it per region, disability type, all that kind of thing as to what makes sense.

And what story does it tell and then trying to relay that back to the staff at a local level so that they could better understand. Their customers, their participants were actually thinking, you know, rather than just assuming what problems were, is it, which is still a massive problem today. So it is it’s still, yeah, it was a big problem for me going to the different offices, you know, aren’t they accessible to some aren’t.

Yeah. It was that kind of thing. So yeah. It’s, it’s that whole thing. So it was, yeah, that was my employment to that point mm-hmm . Yeah, but I learned a lot working for them to see, you know, they. Oh, every disability kind like that is 50 officers from cans to Hobart. So, you know, I had to yeah. Sort of look after the customer experience from each thing we had to did the NPS score.

So yeah, I had NPS scores for each region and NPS, sorry, net promoter score. So, you know, the ultimate question on a scale of zero to 10, how likely are you to recommend blah to, uh, Friend or family member, you know? So it’s, it’s based on the whole notion that if you’re likely to recommend someone that’s gonna reflect on you.

So you are gonna, you know, how likely are trustworthy of they for you, you know, are you gonna be a representative for that company to a friend, you know? Yes. So it’s that one thing referral process of, yeah. Yeah. You know, after starting a business, I found out that it is that word of mouth. Referral thing that then really gets you started.

Yep. At least. And I think it’s still pretty much one of the main forms of us. I I’ve canceled, you know, like someone I’ve had booked in because. Someone else has said, oh no, go with this. You know that, you know, so if someone’s recommended something to me, I’m much more likely to follow that than just go with someone off.

Yeah. So it’s that even with, you know, buying a pizza or something, like I was gonna say literally on any scale, a word of mouth recommendation is enough to do. Yeah, it is. So that’s the whole, you know, Concept behind the MP is yeah. How likely you to recommend that yourself and the scorings, like, you know, promoters, passives, and detractors.

And it was so zero to six, other detractors, seven or eight of the passives and are nine or 10 are the only ones that are gonna promote you. And the difference between the nines and the tens is massive. Right. Okay. Actually love reading review. Like, I love it. You are fan of that. I use my comments account.

Yeah. And I’ll like, go and give, like, I always leave good reviews, but I’ll just make it completely off topic.  it’s great. Yeah. It’s a lot of fun. Yeah. Yeah. Like the lighting was amazing in here or something like that. No, like I’ll be talking about a different rush. Best big Mac I’ve ever eaten.  The sushi joint. That’s it? That’s kind of borderline. Crazy, but the review is positive. So like, unless you take your time to read like five stars, I would never do. I’d never leave a bad review. So someone reading that going, that sounds awesome. Where’s that restaurant. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, never a show, you know, so yeah, that was, that was a great job, but unfortunately, yeah, my position was made redundant, so yeah, moved on from that and yeah.

Um, sort of got another job for a little while. Didn’t sort of get past the probation period purely because it was at. Eight mile planes and I live at Petri. Yeah. So it was a yeah. Two trains. Yeah. Two trains and an Uber each way. So it was, I was working an eight to nine hour day working and. Officially working four hours.

So, yeah, and it, that was when I, yep. Got some pretty bad back pains from transferring out different cars and just stop all day. Yeah. Too much strain on the body for, yeah. I mean the pain was okay, but not worth yeah. What it was doing. So when I finished there pretty much just had to take it easy and rest my back, which is I got my back fusion done in 90.

And yeah, still to this day, it cracks and creeks and all sorts of things that it probably shouldn’t do. I’ve broken the rods in a couple of places from, oh, wow. Yeah. Doing this, that and the other. So it’s did they put titanium rods in, at the start or is that something that they only do recently? I, I vaguely remember it.

Being titanium. That was, I think that’s what it was. Yeah. I do know it weighed about three kilos cuz I used to love to swim. So when I jumped in the pill for the first time I sank instead of floated, that was different. Like, geez, this is a lot harder than it used to be. Yeah. Trying to kick your head up.

So yeah, that was, oh, that’s what that is. Yeah. But I had a, a bad law dose before I got my back fused cuz. Low blood pressure always wanted to lean forward, so that leaning forward would sit up. So yeah, went that way. So to do the operation, I couldn’t get fully flat. I had to take the discs outta my lower back.

So I think it was 13 and a half hour surgery to get that done. But yeah, it changed a lot, you know, for balance for right mobility for a lot of things. This brings you a little bit.  closer down. Is that mainly why the balance thing works for you is like you just, I just don’t bend now. So where before my back would bend, you know, and I’d yeah.

Bit of scoliosis and whatnot. Yeah. Now it’s like a solid trunk that, you know, I can fall one way or the other, but there’s no, yeah. Sort of bending. So it’s not yeah. Interest. That was the, the main sort of feel from it. Cause I’m they did from about T2 down in my pelvis, so great. X-rays they look pretty fancy.

Yeah. Right. Yeah. I’m sure. How about, um, Looking for employment now, like what’s your, what’s the current situation for yourself? Interesting. Yeah. Difficult. I would say I, yeah, went for a period there after I’d. Yeah, it did sort of recover after a little while, um, and applied for quite a few jobs along the same sort of lines as what I was doing before with the customer experience side of things.

And yeah, it, it just do I disclose them in a chair, do I not do I, that kind of thing. And yeah, there was one that I didn’t disclose and got asked to come in for an interview. Before I got there, the guy sent an email saying that just a heads up, there’ll be a bit of travel involved with this, like down to Melbourne.

I think once a month, Melbourne offices I’m like replied and said not a problem at all. You used to travel with my last job and different offices here, there and everywhere. Um, but I said just in full disclosure, I actually have a spinal cord injury. I’m in a wheelchair. It doesn’t impact my ability to do this job, but just, you know, before being front, before me never heard again, no way really didn’t get it.

Didn’t nothing ever happened. So no reply, no reply. So it’s, geez. It’s one of those things to talk about it, from my perspective, you know, it, it can sound like sour grapes, like, ah, they didn’t gimme the job cause I’m in a chair, but oh, trust me. I’d be saying the same thing. Well, no response is pretty like, I mean, when it’s black and white like that.

Yeah. It’s pretty. But with other ones where you are, you know, you’re on paper. It looks really good. My resume matches exactly what they’re looking for. Yeah. And you don’t hear back at all. It was like just, you know, it was yes. One of those things where I have disclosed being chair, so it’s, it’s just, yeah.

And last thing you’ll never know, you know, I, I’m not saying discrimination’s out there, but that was one. Element of, so where I worked in customer experience sat on the marketing team. So with them, it was about trying to get employers to change their sort of understanding that, you know, it isn’t, you hire someone in a chair they’re gonna take more days off.

They’re gonna be sick. They’re gonna need doctor’s appointment it. It’s. Most cases, literally the other way, where you get given a chance, you’re gonna prove yourself hundred percent to get to. And from that job, you know, I’d have to catch the train. It was near the train station. So I can’t get on the trains at PCO cause it’s too crowded.

So I would leave home at. Six 30 in the morning, get Pam to drop me off at the train station and get home at seven o’clock at night. Cuz you’re leaving at six and it’s an hour trip back. So yep. You know, but did that for a long time. You just that’s what I did. And that was work. Yeah, that was exactly. So it wasn’t taking more days off.

It was going above and beyond to prove that it isn’t gonna be a problem kind of thing. So, yeah. Right. Yeah. And it. You across the board working down, outside it a lot with all different disability types. It was just, yeah. That I guess repaying the, the favor, you know? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Does any part of you look forward to, I mean, I imagine that there would have to be something remotely exciting about like, I’m about to surprise this person with the fact that I’m in a chair and you get to see that like, Like when you are going to meet someone who you’ve spoken to already, and they don’t quite know that you’re in a chair, like, I think I’ve ever done that, to be honest.

Right. Okay. I know a guy that did that. He, he was gonna to uni, he was 19 and he was in a collapsed rugby SCR and broke his back. I broke his neck, sorry. And went on to still get his degree in engineering and struggled to find base. Back, you know, in the nineties were probably a lot more open with discrimination.

So he was disclosing, he was in the chair and never got a call back. First time he didn’t disclose he got an interview and wheeled in there and the guy was, yeah, shocked, you know, getting the job. But yeah, it was like a, oh, hang on. I wasn’t ready for that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah. I’ve never sort of gone down that road it’s either.

Yeah. Okay. I’ve either had to, or it’s never been. You know what I mean? Like I haven’t come across that, so yeah. But I have often wanted it too. Yeah. But yeah, you just sort of surprise someone, but I guess for me, I get a lot of anxiety about access, so I don’t wanna turn up for an interview and go, yeah.

Right. I shouldn’t have be such, just smart ask. Cause now got a flight of stairs. I can’t get off. It’s that kind of thing as well. So, yeah. Okay. Um, so in terms, I mean on the topic of work and employment and you know, all that stuff, I hear that you are keen on starting podcast. Yep. So that sort of came about, um, yeah, kind of mate, who he bought all the podcast here.

He wanted to study his own podcast and it SAT’s room for about a year. So I was like, let’s just start our own. Let’s do it. And you know, it was the topic, nobody kind of just. Two bloke having a chat. Yeah. You know, we always have a chat and we get onto topics and tangents get very unique perspectives and different points of view that yes.

You know, people might find interesting. They might not. But exactly, that was sort of the line of thinking. And for me, it was, you know, being stuck at home with COVID and all that kind of stuff. So sort of all right, it’s an opportunity to get back into that head space of thinking, you know, about different topics rather.

Lost staring at the TV, you know, like yeah, for sure. Yeah. Just getting your voice back a little bit. And I want talking like this it’s difficult when you’re just at home and not talking to people to find your words to continually flow. So yeah. Yeah. We just thought we we’d give that a crack and yeah. I mean, my long term goal for employment, I’ve sort of given up on the idea of finding a job, working for someone else was never really my goal in life.

I like to sort of yeah. Do my own thing. So yeah, I’m sure eventually I. My goal is to start up my own something. Again, I’m not sure where that is and what that looks like. Yeah. Okay. I’m pretty intelligent. I can pick things up wherever I wanna go. It’s just working out, you know, the old question of what do I wanna be when grow up?

Is that, that kinda thing? The podcast was just, you know, me taking a step back out there, I guess, rather than it’s an inclusive way. Yeah. So, and that’s thing it could take off, it could, you know, monetize it, it could be, that could be my full time thing is exactly, you know, but if it doesn’t so be it. Yeah.

And I think that’s been my sort of downfall the past is overthinking, you know? Yeah. Is to say if I could analysis paralysis, if I could stop analyzing and be able to walk again, you know, that sort of thing. So it was with the podcast. I didn’t want to think too much about it was just. Nope. Don’t want to worry about what niche it is, how to market it, who the let’s just start, you know, jump in and have a crack and just see where it goes.

So, yeah, I think we said that about six months ago, we still haven’t started yet, but we’ll get there. Yeah. Right. We’ve been renovating. So that got in the way. Yeah. You go, have you got a name for the podcast yet? Nope, not yet. Okay. Any other information about that podcast that, uh, only that it’s a secret only that, yeah.

Once we clear out the stuff that’s in the, the room that we set up for the podcast we’ll yeah. Be able to get back out and. In that head space, but yeah, like I said, we’ve been renovating, so we, we, it was great. We had a room, we set it up, we made a feature wall and did all sorts of things. So we’d have a nice backdrop and yeah.

Then ended up renovating other rooms. So all the stuff that was space, all in that room got filled with boxes and everything else. So, yeah, we’ll get there. That’s the way keeping it the world of it. Yeah. World. Yeah. Podcast world. Um, I guess we are running outta time, I guess, but I think we might just kind of move on to.

Probably talking about, um, you know, what type of things have you been doing with Keegan? So Kegan’s an EP that works with us at B physiology. Uh, he has been your main EP, uh, for the duration of the last six months or so the beginning yeah. Came to the, from the beginning. Yep. Beautiful. Um, what kind of things have you been working on?

So, yeah, I, it’s been really interesting for me and fun. I, I used to exercise quite a lot when I was in my twenties to 30, you know, sort of time we used to live at regularly. Like I said, it was great. I could wheel around the beach and had a big weights machine set up. So. I noticed that all the exercise I used to do back then were almost in line with what I did on a daily basis where Kegan sort of works on the supporting muscles and whatnot.

So where I was pushing forward all the time with my shoulders, we’re working on, you know, pulling back to support it. And I’ve really noticed, you know, the little twins in my shoulders when I do transfers and stuff. They’re not there as much as they were like it’s it’s yeah. I just noticed that the other week said, said it to Kegan and it’s like, that’s great.

You know, at least we know we’re on the right track, but yeah. Yeah. I think that’s what I used to be able to do. And now I wasn’t like these days, it’s like some resistance training with really lightweights. I’m just bugged for the rest of the afternoon’s great. You know? Yeah. Yeah. You know, you’ve done something as fantastic, but yeahs I’s on just very different muscle groups to.

I was, you know, used to work on and I’ve noticed that it yeah, yeah. Has helped it’s that qualities that the, the art of finding the thing that you need to work on, that overarching thing, or just the, we kind look at it, it’s the, the low peaks. And we’re just trying to fill up those peaks to get you, you know, here.

Yeah. And then you can start exploring a lot more with like transferring or, or whatever. So that’s what we’ve just started to look at now is transferring, which has been yeah. Great. Just to yeah. Yes. See what I do and what could work better and how I can sort of bring that in, in little area. I. Yeah, the whole, you know, head forward, bump up kind way using that sort of pivot point way.

I’ve used that quite a lot. Just moving around the bed. So not so much transferring on and off. I’m still trying, but it’s almost the balance point. And I was talking to Pam on the way, and then I. Yeah, one thing is I spend my life trying to stay balanced, cuz if I don’t, if I’m not balanced, I fall. Yep. So I wear, you know, weightlifters belt.

That’s just bit extra Velcro from, you know, rebel sport, wrap that around. And that’s what I use to stay stable in the chair. So without that I will fall over the place. It’s one of those things. So when it comes to transferring, it’s finding that comfort point of how far I can lean and still feel comfortable that I’m in control and I’m gonna still make it onto the bed chair.

Exactly. You know, as it’s sort of mentioned before that whole way of, you know, starting to shift your body weight one way as momentum, and then just going with it, it’s not necessarily sustainable and the safest way to do it. No, not at all. I mean, understanding though the technical balance point, like your personal balance point is can be so effective when you get it continuously and you start be like, Like, this is where I’m comfortable tipping over yeah.

With this. And I’m, that’s a lot lighter back there now. Like those things, like figuring out those things are the coolest thing. I think about our job in general. And that’s the thing is finding that. You know, comfort zone, but then can I go further, you know, is that comfort zone life begins your comfort zone, you know, you can use that.

Why is my comfort zone? Yeah. Yeah. And, and can I push it that bit further and work on yeah. Strengthening muscles, whatever, to push that zone that little bit further to then be able to transfer in a way that’s gonna be sustainable. So I’m not gonna put undue pressure on wrists and shoulders and things that need to last me good for years yet.

Yeah, exactly. Right. S has been great for equipment. We’ve got stealing hoist being installed and pull that. I really wanna use it as a backup, not as my go-to for daily things, so, oh, it’s good to have. Yep. But yes, exactly. Only way I’m gonna get off the floor is with that stuff. Yeah, exactly. Right. Yeah.

Yeah. Um,  another thing that, you know, I’d love to ask you is how has seeing other people who, you know, who are using a chair or who are living with a disability, how have you found that impacted your perspective on life in general? So I think that was growing up, you know, it was guys from physio, mum probably cultivated friendships with, you know, several of them to give good examples.

But I dunno if it was by design or just luck. Cause there weren’t many guys that were there, but yeah, there were three main sort of guys that I grew up. Um, one broke his neck, jumping off the Morton when he was 18. Um, another guy riding a. And someone threw a can out the window horse straight up, he fell off, broke his back at T4.

So just, yeah, no conversation or anything there just littering. And like I said, the other guy was who broke his neck in the rubies from, so the guy who broke his neck at the diving was he just had the best sense of humor, you know, just most inappropriate jokes and all the rest of it. Love it. But yeah, it was, everything was a laugh and yeah.

Yeah. It, it, you need that, you know, there’s situations you come across where if you don’t laugh, you’re just gonna sit in the corner in the fetal position rocking, you know? Yeah. So it’s the only way to get through something and not appropriate to laugh at that at all. But you just have to, well that, I mean, we we’ve had someone on this, uh, podcast before named Mick and that’s his Mo is just, if you’re not, if you’re not having a laugh.

Yep. What are you doing? You know, that’s the. It comes back to that, you know, what jokes can I make? Cause I’m in a chair versus what can I make because it’s not. Yeah. That’s exactly, I think intense, the big thing behind it. What is that? Yeah. Tell us a little, like, talk us a little bit about that. Um, you know, your experiences with good experiences and negative experience with humor.

Yeah. And you know, so. I, I use humor a lot. Like I said, I think it’s born from just having to have a laugh. Cuz if you don’t laugh, you, you cry. But yeah, it’s just, it’s finding the funny, in a situation where it’s not funny to just cope. I mean, that’s the main thing. And then it just flows on where you just try to have a laugh in most situations in life.

But yeah, there’s been times where, yeah, you’re in a group and I’ll make a comment and you know, 90% will laugh and a few people look at me and go, Dave, you can’t say that. Yeah. That’s they. Kenya. And I think that’s the yeah. Social thing of what is appropriate, what isn’t, but when you pull those off, when you’re not sure about what comes outta your mouth and it works.

Yeah. But, and when it doesn’t, I’ve been in situations before though, where it comes down to intent. Yes. And I’ve had it where.  someone’s called me a, an innocent name, just, you know, from them a carry name, but I always took so much offense from it. And I did not like it at all, where someone else has called me a very offensive name, but I knew him and it was a term, dear me, you, I was like, and there was nothing at all, but I think it’s the way it’s said yes.

And I say, offense has taken not given, you know, so yeah. You can say something and I can take offense to it, but did you have intent for me to, yeah, so I guess it. Yeah, the delivery. Well, that’s actually just remind me of a, a client of mine with that whole, you know, an innocent word or a name or whatever, you know, seeing someone pushing their wheelchair on the side of the road and then someone coming up to them and saying, you know, you’re an inspiration or a champion or something like that.

And it’s just like, and he’s like, get away from me, you know? Yeah. Like it only takes a few of those to, to make him be. Yep. Um, enough of that, you know, and that’s the thing they’re coming up in a positive thing, but a hundred percent. Yeah. It’s almost offense is taken because yeah. To him, to me, all he is doing is living his life.

Yes, exactly. When I, I had a few people that would say something, you know, positive to me when I was getting out the Carmo. So I do it. I didn’t have a hoist, so it was pull up and they’d get the chair out, put the wheels on and then transfer over and have people watch or come over in a positive way. And.

Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s not bad, but when they start coming up saying you’re an inspiration, thankfully I haven’t had to experience that. Mm. But yeah, it’s just, that’s my normal, you know, and that’s the thing, I think everyone’s got their normal as to what it’s taken them to get wherever that’s just yeah.

My way of doing so it’s not, and it’s I get where that, you know, people could see that, but yeah. It’s yeah. Yeah. Everyone’s got their own normal in life. Yeah. That’s true. True. You know, people with fatigue and all those sorts of things, you know, invisible disabilities that can. Just so much willpower just to get to a place.

They don’t get the inspiration tag, cuz it’s not seen, you know, they don’t see all the behind the scenes stuff that has taken someone to do a job to yeah. Get to where they need to go. But yeah. Yeah. I’m just lucky. I’m like one’s physical. So it’s much more visual. Yes. That was the great part of working for a dads provider.

When I got up and said something. It hit home a lot more. Cuz you can see I’m in a chair.  it’s not like, oh is he on the spectrum? Is it, this is it. That’s trying to guess the disability. It was just upfront. Yep. It’s quadriplegic. I’m good. That’s what that is. Yeah. Okay. Interesting. Uh, coming up on the last couple of questions, what’s one thing that you wish people knew about living with a disability.

That’s a hard one to answer. I don’t really know that. Yeah. There’s anything super broad. I know. It’s um, Yeah, and yeah, and I I’ve thought about this a lot because. But it’s an individual thing. I think, you know, I think it’s one of those. The only thing I could come up with was I’ve lost, you know, friendships have sort of gone by the wayside over the years because I’ve had to cancel quite a few things at the last minute.

And it’s been due to something that. You know, you bladder bowel pressure or something, that’s come up that I haven’t been able to make it, but you don’t tell them that, you know, it’s just, oh, I can’t make it. You know, something’s come up. So if you do it a few times, you just get that, oh, you just cancel time.

So friendships are sort of gone that. So I guess the one thing would be. Give it a leeway to those, you know, the reason they’re giving for not being able to make it to something may not be the real reason. And they just don’t wanna talk about what the real reason is. So, yeah, I think that’s the, one of the only things that, yeah, I sort of come up with that cause otherwise it’s, you know, every person’s different, like you could have someone with the exact same disability, the same, everything sitting next to me, they’re gonna be affected differently.

So they’re gonna have different, they might want help getting in and outta the car. Whereas I didn’t, you know, so it’s yes. Yeah. There’s no real. You know, broad sports. Can I speak for everybody? Yeah. Yeah, sort of, yeah. One more little thing. I’m gonna show you a photo and I just want you to tell, give us your, uh, first impressions.

Okay. What’s that? Uh, what’s that look like to you, mate? It, it is good. It’s like two guys having fun and up beat and positive. Yeah. I just laughed at the one team. One dream. That was part of my old job. That was one saying that I wasn’t a fan of, but it was right. That was Brittney’s fault. Not ours. It’s one of those.

I’ve just been exposed to it way too much and using the wrong term, but yeah. Gotcha. I think that’s positivity and happiness is yeah. Lacking in a lot of places in life, so yeah. To see, yeah. Britney gets jealous when she sees that photo so that’s pretty love. Well, thanks so much for joining us, Dave. I know.

Oh, good. Thanks for having me. It’s it literally has been fantastic having you here and talking. All walks of life with you, pun intended. Yeah. That’s what I  do you wanna come for a walk? Dave, do you wanna yeah, take the dogs for a walk. Uh, but again, thanks so much. Appreciate it was great. Fun. Thanks. Having take your time.

Yeah. Cool. Thank you, Dave. Thanks guys. Yeah, it was all good. Hope you guys enjoyed the latest episode of Be Stories. Make sure too like comments and subscribe. And if you wanna be part of Be Stories with Be Physiology, hit us up on Instagram.

Meet the hosts

Be Physiology

At Be Physiology we focus on exercise and movement for the management and improvement of neurological and chronic conditions.

Related Podcast

Trent Brock | Mobile Exercise Physiologist

Trent Brock

mobile exercise physiologist
I have had 3 major passions throughout my life; exercise, competitive sports, and a strong will to help others. Those 3 factors made it an easy decision to pursue a career as an exercise physiologist. By encouraging and facilitating evidence-based exercise rehabilitation, I can help individuals living with various chronic conditions, particularly those living with neurological conditions.
I see exercise physiology as an extremely beneficial practice that enables clients to experience an improved quality of life. Personally, being able to provide insight into exercise and other tools that can equip clients with helpful skills and wellbeing improvements is extremely fulfilling. Being able to improve not only an individual, but their support network’s day-to-day life fills me with great joy and motivates me to continue to be better so that I can do better. I understand that everyone has a different view of exercise and there is no one-size fits all approach, so I operate with an open and adaptive mind, supported by evidence-based practices. If you or anyone that you know is looking to improve their quality of life and begin a journey to improved living, or just have any general questions, get in touch and let's have a chat!
Michelle Marais AEP

Michelle Marais

mobile exercise physiologist
My passion for movement, health, and helping others led me to become an Accredited Exercise Physiologist. Through this role, I facilitate exercise-based rehabilitation for individuals with various chronic conditions, with a primary interest and area of expertise in neurological conditions.
To me, exercise physiology is about equipping clients with valuable skills that make daily tasks easier and empowering them to achieve their goals while enjoying the process.I take great pride in being a part of my clients' rehabilitation journey and exploring new methods with them to find the optimal exercise approach that works best for them.If you have any questions or are interested in starting your journey to a happier, healthier lifestyle, please feel free to reach out to me.
Angus Sullivan AEP

Angus Sullivan AEP

Mobile Exercise Physiologist
As an accredited exercise physiologist, I see my role as an opportunity to facilitate a safe and effective environment for my clients to explore their physical capabilities, identify areas where they would like to improve, and then prescribe meaningful and appropriate activities to achieve these improvements.
I currently work predominantly with individuals living with disability and have a keen interest in acquired brain injuries (ABI), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), cerebral palsy (CP), spinal cord injuries (SCI) and rare neurological conditions.
To me, exercise physiology is not only about achieving narrow objective goals (eg. 1 Rep Max bench press), but improving an individual’s lifestyle and making activities of daily living easier (mobilising, transferring, feeding, and more).
I love what I do and enjoy learning new methods and discussing different opinions about exercise. I am always happy to chat about it so please get in contact if you have any questions or knowledge that you wish to share!
Our team of mobile exercise physiologists

Walter White

manager of good vibes
Being active has taken on a whole new meaning and I am 100% here for it. I like to fink I'm pretty active, and I keep up de vibes during team meetings - just making sure everyone's hands are always moving (across my butt) because I know dat any exercise is good exercise.
I keep close to everyone, real close, just to keep dem on their toes when dey walk by too.
Fings are always better when I am der so if you need some good vibes, I will be der for you.
Brb just going to have a snooze.
Love and licks,
Brittney Kenward

Brittney Kenward

co-founder / Operations manager
I’m NOT an exercise physiologist, but I do take my hat off to my team and get to admire the work they do each and every day. Be Physiology means that we’re able to apply our passion, and our experience, to make exercise physiology more accessible to the people who need it the most.
You might hear the team describe me as ‘the person who does everything else’, and that can be translated to ‘marketing and operations'. My background is marketing and business, which I’ve lived and breathed since 2011. I’ve worked in both the agency and corporate spaces, across many industries, with many amazing people and now with Be Physiology, I get to explore the health industry further and continue to meet the most incredible people who are the ones to define motivation.
If you’ve met Harry and Aj, you’d know that they don’t really need marketing - they’re genuine, have ridiculous amounts of charisma, knowledgeable, and extremely passionate about helping people to be a better version of themselves. But, sometimes getting an introduction is the hardest part and that’s where I come in.
If you want to chat, a coffee, a laugh, I’m always here to make one or all of them happen.

So call me and let’s keep sharing the love!
Keegan Betts AEP

Keegan Betts AEP

mobile exercise physiologist
As an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, my work is driven by my passion for movement, health, and empowering others. With my experience working with individuals of all ages who have neurological conditions such as autism, stroke, and cerebral palsy, I focus on delivering activity-based therapy to optimise their independence.
Seeing people empowered and handling daily tasks easier is incredibly rewarding, as well as being able to give others the tools to improve their mental health and prevent secondary health conditions.
I know the importance of creating a welcoming and safe environment particularly when improving our health and I always strive to ensure everybody feels supported by the team around them and receives the highest level of care.
Get in touch today and let's make it happen.
Kristen McCluskey

Kristen McCluskey

Mobile Exercise Physiologist
If you spend as little as 10 minutes a day exercising, it will still make a huge difference to your overall physical and mental health - this is a fact and it is very often underappreciated! The benefits of exercise don’t discriminate and the rumours are true, exercise is medicine.
Spinal cord injuries, neurological conditions and women’s health are areas I find to be very dynamic and that I am particularly passionate about, but all aspects of exercise physiology are unique and have a significant impact on people’s everyday lives and I want to continue bringing it to those who will benefit the most from it.
I'm passionate about learning new methods and learning what my clients enjoy and how they approach exercise. I am always happy to chat about the many benefits and outcomes of exercise physiology so please get in contact if you have any questions or knowledge that you wish to share.
If you’re interested in learning more about who I am or want to ask any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch at .
Charlotte Gill

Charlotte Gill

marketing assistant
My name is Charlotte, and I'm a sports enthusiast currently studying for a marketing degree. Although I am not an exercise physiologist, I have a passion for sports having a background in ski instructing and adaptive skiing. Like the team, I believe exercise is medicine and share a similar passion and values to help and motivate others I meet.
I've been fortunate enough to work globally with a background in event management, ski instructing, administrating, and climbing supervisor. However, working alongside the Be Physiology team as my dream role in marketing is a highlight. If you have had the pleasure of meeting the team, you will know their genuine, funny, knowledgeable, and passionate to help others. These are values that I also pride myself in, and I am so fortunate to be surrounded by like-minded colleagues.
Harry White AEP

Harry White AEP

co-founder / supervisor
Exercise physiology combines two of my favourite things: health and helping people. As an accredited exercise physiologist with more than seven years’ clinical experience, I have treated people presenting with a wide variety of health conditions and concerns, postural issues, chronic injuries and rehabilitation needs.
My expertise is spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders and helping my clients to achieve an improved quality of life through rehabilitation and functional training. Rehabilitation for spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders can be slow but incredibly rewarding for clients when results are achieved, no matter how small. Assisting people through learning useful skills and functional training is the most important role that an EP can play to help people lead a more fulfilled life.
Working for many years with people who have suffered serious injury or live with a disability, I know that taking a proactive approach to your health changes your life. If you care for your body, it will take care of you.
I’m passionate about helping people live a long, healthy and active life, so call today.