Get Winter-Ready with Tips from Cold-Weather Expert Chris Collin
By Lisa Wells, Cure Medical
You may remember reading about Community Advocate Chris Collin here on Abilities.com, or maybe you recognize his contagious smile from visiting the Cure Medical booth at Abilities Expos nationwide this year. But when Chris isn’t traveling the country as an advocate for people who roll, he lives an adventurous life in rural Maine. While it’s certainly not the warmest spot in the country, Maine is the perfect place to live for Chris’s love of all things wild and makes him an ideal source for advice on getting winter ready.
After a motorcycle accident left him with a thoracic spinal cord injury just over ten years ago, Chris developed a deep love for adaptive sports and the outdoors, especially snow skiing.
Four years ago, Chris became a certified instructor for Maine Adaptive Sports, primarily teaching people with paralysis how to mono-ski.
“If you like independence, you have to try mono-skiing. You can do the same exact things as a skier who is standing up—you can go where they can go and do what they can do. You feel more independent and free. When you get out there on the slopes, there’s no difference—it’s a level playing field,” Chris shares.
Maine Adaptive is also a fantastic program for people to consider if they are new to adaptive skiing. Their sports programs are totally free, without the ticket, equipment or instructor fees that most programs require.
Dress Appropriately Before you Head Outdoors
If you are spending any time in the cold weather, remember to dress in layers and wear gloves and head protection like a hat or scarf. Make sure your gloves have some type of grip—you won’t be able to hold onto your cane or move your wheelchair with a pair of basic knit gloves.
Chris adds, “If you can, invest in some waterproof rain boots or pants, especially if you’re in a wheelchair. Sleet and snow can kick up onto your clothing and leave you cold and wet.”
Winterize Your Mobility Gear
Your wheelchair, cane, walker and even your accessible van all need TLC to keep running smoothly. Cold weather and road grime can affect their performance, so it’s a good idea to have a maintenance plan in effect before the weather gets cold.
Manual wheelchair users should also check your wheelchair tire pressure, wheel balance and whether there are any loose bolts and nuts. It is a good idea to lubricate all pivot points as well. If you live in an area that might get snow, it is recommended that you change tires in the winter because the new treads can grip better. (You can also purchase snow tires from many online retailers.)
Chris says, “I drive a Subaru Outback as my daily vehicle here in the snowy mountains of Maine, and I also change my wheelchair tires to fat, knobby wheels like you would see on an off-road bike.”
Power chairs must be maintained by an authorized service provider, but you can have yours evaluated in person at the Dallas Abilities Expo!
If you have balance issues, the thought of walking through snow and ice might be terrifying. Consider getting ice tips for your cane or walker. For added support, wear hiking boots or another shoe with deep, rugged treads, or get spiked shoe covers.
Don’t forget to winterize your motor vehicle as well.
Chris Chooses A Cure Catheter Closed System to Better Manage UTIs
There’s nothing worse than being laid up over the holidays with health issues, especially a urinary tract infection. That’s why Chris is so vocal about his chosen catheter and how he believes it has helped him avoid more UTIs.
“Right after my injury, I consistently got urinary tract infections (UTIs). I tried many different brands of catheters. I always washed my hands carefully before using my catheters and tried to keep everything associated with my catheters as sterile as possible,” Chris explains.
“However, I continued to get UTIs. My catheter provider, located in Portland, Maine, suggested I try one of the Cure Medical catheters that they carry. To find the Cure Medical catheter that worked best for me, I tried a Cure Catheter® Closed System, a catheter that came pre-attached to a bag. I never really touched the catheter thanks to the design of the Cure Medical Closed System. Since I began using Cure caths, I have had very few UTIs,” Chris adds.
“Even better, I discovered that Cure catheters are not made with chemicals like DEHP, DINP or BPA. In several studies, DEHP and BPA have been linked to cancer. I didn’t want to put anything with DEHP or BPA in my body, or use a catheter that has a required chemical warning label on it. Thanks to the Cure Closed System, I now have a better option to self-cath without the scary chemicals,” he says.
To request free samples of the Cure Medical® Closed System that Chris Collin prefers, or any Cure Medical® catheter, contact your local distributor of quality healthcare products, or click here.
Say hi to Chris in person when you visit the Cure Medical booth #424 at the Dallas Abilities Expo on December 13-15, 2019 at Dallas Market Center!
Join Chris for more Adventures in the Cure Nation
Chris Collin is one of millions of people who roll through life every day after paralysis, free to be whoever and whatever their heart desires in the CURE NATION.
With plenty of resources and programs available through Cure Medical community partners, like the Wheels UP! accessible travel initiative with SPORTS ‘N SPOKES magazine, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to join the fun, thanks to these free CURE NATION resources and events.Pre-Register for Abilities Expo Today...It's Free!