Sometimes it’s the big things that makes the big differences. Moving house, buying a wheelchair, selling a piano, allowing myself to use a blue badge, custom-made splints. And sometimes, it’s the little things that makes the big difference. Small water bottles, finger food, electric toothbrushes, thermal socks, key turners, cats.
The sheer volume of adaptations often required seem a little daunting at best. It’s the little things that remind me that we’re not aiming for an end-goal that exists somewhere along the line. The point of everything is to each day improve a little on the previous so that tomorrow will generally be a little better than today.
Drinking straws are one of those tiny little things that help more than I usually realize. There’s various types of straws on the market, like reusable straws, remodable straws, straws with one-way valves, sticky straws that attach the side of the cup and then there’s just the standard supermarket brand straws. I get that reusable would be the greener alternative and sticky straws would probably be even more useful, but adding a big box of straws to the trolley is really just that much easier. I love straws. It’s easier to sip water when I can’t breathe, can’t swallow or have issues staying upright and it’s that much harder to choke when drinking from a straw. I used to order cocktails with the sole motivation that drinks-that-come-with-a-straw-can’t-be-bad. I have carried a straw in my bag for years to pull out in coffee shops, restaurants and bars (when anything alcohol turned out to be a no-no and I stuck to mineral water that usually didn’t come with a straw or umbrella, I didn’t pack the umbrella although I contemplated the idea for a while). Watch me nonchalantly sip my lattè, vodka, bottled water, juice, fizzy drink, milkshake, ice tea, herbal tea – I do like my drinks – it’s a huge improvement over the watch me choke on my beverage of choice stares. At home, it means I don’t necessarily have to lift my head and on some days, that’s a big improvement in and of itself. Bad headache day again after a week of breathing issues lead to hemoptysis (nothing serious, just another EDS quirkiness) and I am infinitely thankful for the small contribution of my little blue straw-of-the-day. Tomorrow’s will be green, I think.