Rain Ponchos for Short Adults and Children: Customizing Them to Size

Packing for the 2018 LPA National Conference in Orlando, we needed rain ponchos. Rain in Orlando during summer is unpredictable. We considered umbrellas, but we didn’t want the weight and the risk of it breaking. Ponchos were the way to go.

Being the thorough person, Dwarf Dad wanted to check out the best ponchos. We considered, weight, durability, features (fasteners, pockets,etc.), and ease to customize. Here’s what we found:

When it came to customizing it to our sizes (as an achon and pseudo adult and achon teen), we considered arm span and height. In addition, as people with achondroplasia, our head and necks tend to vary in length and size. We made sure to put the hood on before making a decision. Some were too short, too shallow, or narrow. Others were too thin. Here is my hack:

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Fine Cleaning for Your Bum: The BioBidet

On Dwarf Dad’s first visit to Europe as a child, he was exploring a new hotel in England and encountered an old-school bidet. His sister wondered what that odd contraption was, turned the handle and promptly got sprayed in the face. At the time, you didn’t find any kind of bidet on the mass market in the United States. Fast forward to now, you can even find them on the shelves at Costco!Read More

Color Street: Easy Nail Color

As I’m aging, my vision and dexterity  is getting weaker. My friend introduced me to Color Street one day when we were having a girls lunch. In a matter of minutes while waiting for our lunch order, she demonstrated how easy it was to put this new alternative to traditional nail polish.

I bought one set for Halloween/Dia de los Muertos, and put it in my purse. One day, I had a couple minutes before school pick up to try it out. I was surprised how “disability friendly” it was.

  1. Pretty nails for the less dexterous.
    My handwriting is pretty good and I’m a painter by formal training, but I can never paint my nails without it looking like a 3-year old did it. Also, I seem to spend more time fixing the mistakes.
  2. Difficult to make a mistake.
    Nowadays, my aging eyes has me using reading glasses. Even with them on, I can’t get the fine details done on nails. Color Street makes it easy to put on without mistakes as if you were almost a nail stylist.
  3. Sensory friendly.
    For those of you who don’t like the full sensory experience of getting your nails done (the almost nauseating smell of the air in a salon, the feeling of your nails being cleaned, etc.), Color Street works really well. It’s almost a stick-and-go thing, which also works for those who are low on time.

One thing I felt to be helpful for me is a basic manicure kit that you could find anywhere. The tools help me finish the job and fine tune any mistakes. I especially love the rubber cuticle pushers to help stamp down and smoothen the Color Street strips.

Now, I have no excuse for mani-pedi time with my daughter and nieces. Also, I’ll look more put together when I need to be.

Packing Your CPAP for Travel

Packing to travel can be a pain if you have to include a CPAP/BiPAP in  your luggage. No matter how tall you are, the CPAP is just one more thing to lug around. At the same time, you need to keep this expensive medical equipment safe from damage. It helps you breathe while sleeping, so no matter where you are, you will always need your CPAP. Otherwise, even just one night without it can mean a really groggy, grumpy day to say the least.

Packing

I prefer to put the CPAP in a hard sided luggage and check it in with the other luggage, but this does add some risk if your bag does not show up on time. If you choose to pack your CPAP as carry-on luggage and go through security, be prepared to have them touch all the parts that go into your nose/mouth, etc. Since it’s a medical device, it should not be counted as one of your personal carry-on luggage. My husband usually asks them to change gloves before examining the CPAP so there’s no cross contamination. However, lately they the airlines seem to have relaxed their policies around CPAPs. We remove the CPAP case from the carry-on, place it in the bin, and they haven’t questioned it.

If you consider packing it in your luggage versus as a carry on, try to pack clothing around it even if you have a hard case luggage. Packing it tightly with your clothing would help prevent it from being tossed around so much. I usually pack it at the bottom (the part that is the bottom when standing upright) towards the wheels. It’s going to most likely be the heaviest part of your luggage, so it helps to keep it there.

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LPA Membership: The Gift of Community

How does one identify with a community they’re born into? Do they just turn it on?

Born with dwarfism, as the only person in your whole family, the journey to identity can be long and difficult depending on who and what makes up your emotional environment.  For anyone, the identity is layered in ethnicity, color, gender, spirituality, family environment, etc.  As a Filipino woman with dwarfism, these three major factors have definitely sculpted my identity.  The journey to who I am today as a mother of a child with dwarfism and an Average Height child continues to evolve, yet remains strong via my roots in LPA.  But, that identity doesn’t happen for everyone.  We can’t just hold up our trident hand and wear our identity like a cape.

Why do I need to purchase LPA membership? We want our children to benefit from membership as much as we did.  LPA membership didn’t give us automatic self or peer acceptance.  But, it did give us the three major things most people with disabilities need:

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